The 2015 Graham Silverstone RS Racing collection is offered in three finishes that you can buy either individually or as a set with a pair of nice sunglasses (paying an impressive amount of around $18,000). Although the device doesn’t look groundbreaking in any way, it is still a nice gadget for a person who prefers fresh-looking sporty timekeepers to time-proven (and thus boring) collections from the major brands.
Basically, this new version of the Silverstone RS model was designed for those who thought that the British brand’s 2013 Silverstone RS Skeleton was a bit over the top. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but there are times when you need something, well, a bit less sophisticated. Sometimes, you need something that just looks cool and sharp, and gets you some interested glances, but doesn’t make you look like you own a secret lab deep under the Rocky Mountains where you develop the first generation of Terminator cyborgs.
Available in three color schemes, the watch indeed makes a good impression: despite featuring a rather standard layout for a chronograph watch with a day-date function, it doesn’t look like yet another run-of-the-mill accessory. Well, maybe just a little bit, but, as I have already noted above, something tells me, that was the idea.
In this regard, it reminds me of the recent batch of cars from Audi. While just about everyone tries to show off their creativity, the German carmaker makes cars that, while looking deliberately generic and unassuming, are absolutely stunning in their own sterile way.
Looking at this new Silverstone RS Racing, I can see that a lot of attention was given to every detail that comprises this beautiful artifact. The machine-brushed surfaces are nicely accented by thin strips of polished metal. The carbon-fiber-look dial, which is available in blue and black, looks surprisingly three-dimensional thanks to snailed chronograph sub-dials. The strap is, still, offers one of the best ‘tire-tread’ motifs that you could get.
Case & Strap
At 46 millimeters in diameter, the watch is unarguably large. It is not huge, okay, but be ready to sacrifice a great deal of your wrist real estate if you ever opt for this thing. The effect is further emphasized by the rubber strap: being integrated into the case and going all the way to the bezel, it makes the watch look even more massive thanks to the aforementioned tire-tread pattern. This is actually not a bad thing if an over-sized watch is something that you are looking for. It could even look great with a formal suit if you are careful enough choosing the color scheme that would match your other accessories.
As for the ergonomics, it seems to be fairly standard. Although I can’t predict how good it will sit on your wrist, I can see that the crown and chronograph push-pieces are on their usual, time-proven places so, if you plan to actually use the function to measure time intervals, you will probably be quite satisfied by the way the controls look and feel. Well, perhaps, the setting crown could have been just a tiny bit longer, but that’s my personal preferences.
Both the bezel, which is available in green (ref. 2STEA.B11A.K98F), black (ref. 2STEA.B12A.K108F and 2STEA.B12A.K68N) and blue (ref. 2STEA.U02A.K107F, pictured) colors, and the ring that goes between the bezel and the case are crafted from some ‘composite’ material. Although I would clearly survive without the bright-white tachymeter scale on the bezel, it still doesn’t sting your eyes thanks to a well-chosen typeface that is large enough for the indicator to be easily read that one time you decide to test it, but still doesn’t look too bold to visually dominate the whole display.
As for the mechanism, it is reported to be a Caliber G1749 automatic movement that is based on some third-party job. Judging by its layout, I would have presumed that this is a modified version of the good old ETA Valjoux 7750 job that features a different regulator on its balance wheel.
I think that the standard working frequency of 28,800 vph and the same 25 jewels it is built on, as well as the easily recognizable layout of the mechanism support my guess. However, given the number of recently resurfaced ‘clones’ of classic mechanisms introduced after ETA started to gradually decrease the number of movements it sells to independent watchmakers, I am having my doubts. Unfortunately, the brand’s PR representative wasn’t ready to clarify the matter at the time of my writing this rather brief review, so don’t quote me on this.
To my taste, the cal. G1749 looks a bit too plain, especially if you compare it with the colorful front of the timekeeper. Well, perhaps, the idea was to somehow cool-down the hot look of this gorgeous device.
The dial, as I have already noted, too, looks standard. It could have even looked a bit generic with its usual way of placing the pair of chronograph sub-dials (the 30-minute counter is at 12 o’clock and the 12-hour totalizer is at 6 hours) and the rather small day-date apertures at 3 hours, if not the wide vintage-styled hour and minute hands and the brake-disc-styled small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock (it is, by the way, supported by a similarly styled oscillating weight of its movement).
The dial also is contrast enough to be perfectly visible both in the day and in the night thanks to its bold Arabic numerals that are painted with white-colored Superluminova (it also covers the hour and minute hands).
Pricing & Availability
The watch is already available in US stores and you can even order one at some online retailers with prices ranging between some $5400 USD and €5100 Euro. For a piece equipped with such a nice movement and featuring such a fresh-looking, sporty styling, this looks like a really good deal. The only thing that bothers me a little is that it probably won’t hold its value as firm as similarly styled timepieces from more established Swiss brands.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Graham Silverstone RS Racing specification
Price: $5800 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Graham caliber G1749, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Perforated oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, chronograph
Case and Crown: Stainless steel
Size: 46.00 mm
Dial: Black or Blue
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: White
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Integrated rubber strap with blue tire-tread motif and ref insert, steel folding buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides