The great tradition of quality Graham watches began in 1673 with the birth of Englishman George Graham. Graham is now remembered not only for the company he left behind, but also for being an innovative clockmaker and astronomer. In 1715, he invented what is now known as the Graham escapement, which is essentially a deadbeat anchor escapement for pendulums. Graham learned much of the craft under the direction of Thomas Tompion, who he worked for and then later succeeded. Graham is also remembered as a many who improved upon Tompion’s ideas for creating quality watches. For example, in 1725, Graham improved Tompion’s previously created cylinder escapement for watches, which was the first of its kind in history. After perfecting the technology, he began installing this escapement on all Graham watches. As a result, the technology has been present in all Graham watches since 1726. Also in 1726, Graham invented his own mercury clock, which helped to reduce the effects of temperature variations. Once this technology was coupled with the escapement he had invented, Graham was able to produce a watch that was technologically advanced and precise. In fact, not until 1895 was the technology matched (by Charles Edouard Guillaume).
The Graham Legacy
In addition to pioneering several inventions in the watchmaking world, George Graham also played an important role in 18th century British society. He became the first great 18th century clockmaker to become a member of the Royal Society. Graham was also asked to become a member of the prestigious Clockmaker Company. Though the modern Graham Company was not officially founded by George Graham, the goal of the company is to be a contemporary watch brand that is reflective of the traditional watchmaking traditions that George Graham pioneered.
The Graham Collection
Graham watches are considered to be some of the most highly innovative timepieces available. There are several unique models that are part of the Graham collection. The first is the Chronofighter R.A.C., a sporty timepiece that features a column-wheel chronograph movement. The face and movements of the Chronofighter R.A.C. are designed to resemble the steering wheel of a racing car. The Chronofighter Oversize is a similar model, but features a slightly larger face. It is also designed to appear more forceful and abrupt. Another popular Graham watch is the Chronofighter Oversize Commander, which features a similar look to that of the other two Chronofighter models, but varies slightly in some minor ways.
The Graham watch collection also offers the Swordfish model, which is a sleek chronograph timepiece that features sapphire crystals to enhance the look. The Swordfish is available in multiple band and case colors. It also features a domed crystal that helps emphasize the thirty-minute counters. A variation of the original Swordfish model is the Swordfish Grillo, a model that is black and silver and also features the same domed crystal to help enhance legibility. The Graham watch collection also offers the Grand Silverstone, a flyback chronograph timepiece. It features a second time zone and a big date that is presented on the face of the timepiece.