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Review: Graham Chronofighter Oversize GMT Watch

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If you’ve been following my weekend watch reviews, you’ll note that I tend to like bigger watches. But even this monster – the Graham Oversize GMT – is too big for me.

Graham is a British manufacturer of haute horology. Named after famed clockmaker George Graham, the company manufactures mostly in Switzerland and uses a combination of bespoke movements as well as some modified ETA pieces. The Chronofighter is a bit different and a bit more interesting.

What are you looking at here? First, this is one of Graham’s flagship watches. It contains an automatic caliber G1733, Graham’s first in-house movement with a big date at twelve o’clock and a large GMT hand. It also has a chronograph with a unique pusher/crown arrangement to stop and start measurements and a plunger-like pusher.

That big trigger stops and starts the chronograph and it also protects the crown. The case is 47mm in diameter and the watch is quite thick, with a signed, solid case back. It is ostensibly water resistant to 100 meters.

On the wrist, especially with a leather strap, the watch is surprisingly light. However, the trigger on the side is definitely an acquired taste and tends to dig into the flesh if you’re on the slightly slimmer side. While I wouldn’t count myself as svelte, I felt it was a bit too big.

But what fun it is to wear. Graham is a polarizing watch company that jumped into the big watch trend with both size 14s. The piece is bold and very eye-catching and the British pedigree and essential “tool-ness” of the watch makes it an interesting find. You can pick these up for about $11,000 brand new but the collectors markets often surfaces them for about $8,000, which isn’t bad for a hand-manufactured watch the size of a bundt cake.

Of all the big watches I’ve reviewed, this watch is the most difficult to recommend outright. I’m more inclined to encourage folks to visit the dealer and try this thing on to see for themselves how it fits and I worry that it is big for big’s sake – a concept watchmakers throughout the previous decades were falling over each other to promote.

Graham has a unique new vision and although they’ve been attacked by some purists as being garish I would say that they are instead bold. The Chronofighter is a huge watch for folks who like huge watches and, for the money, I haven’t seen anything beat it in terms of visibility, utility, and sheer cheek.

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