The Graham Chronofighter Trigger Tourbillograph Havana (ref. 2TTAR.C01A.C87B) doesn’t make an impression of a particularly elegant timekeeper, but it sure is as easily recognizable as a German luxury car. Regardless of the generation, you can always say which one is a Mercedes and which one is a Bimmer thanks to their signature corporate grilles that evolved through decades while maintaining their core DNA. The design element from Graham is, of course, not as old, but something tells me that this controversial (putting it mildly) trigger-shaped chronograph activator will haunt us for years to come.
Graham-London, the brand of British origin that –together with Arnold and Son, another British trademark resurrected by Swiss investors– belongs to the Swiss-owned The British Masters SA group, has recently revealed the new member of its Chronofighter collection.
Called the Chronofighter Trigger Tourbillograph, the model features their trademark trigger-style button on the left side of the case, as well as a transparent tourbillon escapement carriage and, of course, the chronograph itself: the now-omnipresent complication that was created by the brand’s founding father George Graham at the beginning of XVIII century. So, the name says it all.
I must admit from the very start that I don’t like when fine wristwatches get their push-pieces stylized as gas pedals, safety control levers, and, most of all, triggers.
Well, I equally hate the canteen-style military watches: the attempt at making a ‘recognizable’ design just looks too obvious, too straightforward. From timekeepers that usually cost such a heavy chunk of cash, I expect something more subtle, something that requires a group of industrial designers to scratch their heads for months to create a masterpiece that will instantly become a living legend and spur a whole branch of ‘homages’ from those less talented. Well, not in this case.
Yet, I understand that in today’s world, when even the expensive timepieces are sometimes produced in hundreds of thousands of units, the young brands are desperate to construct and learn their own design language, even if sometimes it sounds like a barbaric gibberish.
Unfortunately, the new Graham Chronofighter Trigger Tourbillograph belongs to the latter group.
Its trigger-shaped push-piece that controls the foudroyante (split-seconds) chronograph complication looks almost as appropriate in a luxury tourbillon as a king-size waterbed in a church.
The design is so ‘bold’ that it ruins the otherwise beautiful timepiece making it look like a remote control unit for a toy car.
This is especially lamentable because the Tourbillograph comes equipped with a new Calibre G1780 automatic movement with an eccentric tourbillon complication developed and manufactured by La Joux-Perret. Beating at a pace of 28,800 vph, the self-winding caliber features a double bridge construction with an 18-carat red gold ‘upper deck’.
The whole assembly is placed in a large 18-karat red gold case whole 46 millimeters in diameter. While still wearable, it is large, although that may not be a problem for what is essentially a collector’s item that is not supposed to be actually worn, except for some special occasions.
As far as I understand, Graham will try to sell the Tourbillograph Havana for some €100,000. It would have been a more than reasonable price for a tourbillon watch packed in a massive rose gold case if not that damned “trigger”.
See also: Concord C1 Biretrograde
Graham Chronofighter Trigger Tourbillograph specification
Movement: Graham Caliber G1780, manufactured by La Joux-Perret exclusively for Graham, Swiss Made
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, seconds, column-wheel chronograph, tourbillon
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case: 18k rose gold
Diameter: 46.00 mm
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown leather
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective