Focus: Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon
Stealthy and strong, carbon fiber takes the spotlight in Graham’s latest Chronofighter Superlight Carbon.
Composed of numerous thin threads woven together to form entire sheets, carbon fiber is so astoundingly strong, yet lightweight, that it is commonly agreed to be the material of choice for high-performance engineering. Among the first industries to utilize carbon fiber are the aerospace and aeronautical worlds but it wasn’t too long before the motoring manufactures cottoned on, and shortly after, the watchmakers. Irrespective of field, however, all engineers covet this material for its high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent malleability, which gives it resistance to impact and shock. And in luxury watchmaking, there is one additional bonus: The unique woven pattern of the black carbon threads yields a cool technical appeal unlike anything else on the planet.
Daring and dedicated to people who like to live life to the fullest, the Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon espouses the virtues of carbon fibre as it places this material well in the spotlight. This latest timepiece completes the Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon models while offering some subtle design updates of its own. Like its siblings within the range, this watch is extremely lightweight thanks to a superlight technology involving innovative treatments of carbon fibre. Its entire structure weights no more than one hundred grams, yet it is perfectly capable of withstanding extreme shock and impact. This also means the Chronofighter Superlight Carbon will retain its pristine good looks far longer than a similar timepiece in steel.
Its black carbon speckled composite case gets most of the credit for its ‘superlight’ qualities. Graham had selected a carbon fiber composite that combines carbon fiber with a strong polymer matrix for maximum resistance and exceptional lightness. Notably, the middle section’s carbon matrix had been cut directly using high frequency tools made of cubic boron nitride, an extremely abrasive material that is the second hardest material after synthetic diamond. Examining it with a loupe reveals no sharp or jagged parts, only smooth edges with rounded corners – typical traits of quality watchmaking.
Reinforcing the watch’s technical allure, and of course also its sturdiness, the bezel, trigger, dial, and buckle have been cut from sheets of 3K carbon fiber. Toting the unmistakable woven thread pattern, they give some much-appreciated contrast to the carbon speckled composite case, adding a touch of visual drama to an otherwise stealthy design. Observe the true nature of 3K black carbon fiber by looking at the trigger, which starts and stops the chronograph. On the top surface, there are the familiar thread patterns of woven carbon fiber, but turn to the side and you will see the subtle lines showing sheets of carbon fiber that had been forged together.
The bezel, on the other hand, had been carefully crafted at an incline and it hugs the sapphire crystal perfectly. Together with the dial and buckle, it flaunts the unique allure of carbon fiber, making the Chronofighter Superlight Carbon an exceptionally masculine timepiece. On the back, however, horophiles would be pleased to discover some measure of transparency provided by the smoked sapphire crystal, which reveals the movement inside, Calibre G1747 self-winding chronograph, without diminishing the watch’s predominant dark side. Keeping the sapphire crystal in place is a screw-down case back made of a hypoallergenic IXEF polyacrylamide composite containing fiberglass elements that’s approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
This timepiece joins two other Chronofighter Superlight Carbon models, one with a white tachymeter scale and red chronograph hands, and another with a yellow tachymeter scale and a combination of yellow and red chronograph hands. Now with an orange tachymeter scale and orange chronograph hands, the collection also offers strap options in red, yellow, and grey respectively. These straps feature a Clous de Paris pattern echoing the pattern of the watch’s carbon fiber components. Limited to just 50 pieces, this latest version boasts minor updates to its dial, particularly on the small seconds sub-dial and the 30-minute chronograph counter.
- Dimensions: 47mm
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph, tachymeter
- Power Reserve: 48 hours
- Movement: Automatic Calibre G1747
- Material: Superlight black carbon composite
- Strap: Clous de Paris rubber with black carbon fiber buckle