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Graham - Against the current

Graham Against the current

Tracing the journey of the intrepid swordfish collection from Graham Watches.

Graham Watches, an independent watch company located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, takes inspiration and philosophical direction from the London clockmaker George Graham (1673-1751), who is considered one of the fathers of modern watchmaking. However, the company we now know as GRAHAM SA was created in 1995 and is known for developing atypical watches. One of the most iconic watches of Graham is the Swordfish. Celebrating 15 successful years, the Swordfish watch remains at the heart of the Graham collection.

It was in 2004 when the first Graham Swordfish watches were born with an unorthodox identity. This design seeks inspiration from the eponymous marine creature. The Swordfish is distinguished by its elongated body, large eyes and sword-like bill, capable of reaching speeds of 90km/h. The swordfish possesses a biological mechanism allowing it to heat up its eyes (and brain) to enhance its vision and catch fast-moving prey in cold water. 

The Swordfish watch collection may be unorthodox looking, but that often translates into trendy timepieces. The Swordfish watches are mainly characterised by two 20% magnifying glasses over the hour and minute counters, creating two prominent 'eyes' or 'portholes' on the dial. The two loupes of this bi-compax chronograph magnify the chronograph minutes counter and the hours/sweep seconds counter and recreate the look of a high-tech instrument of the 19th century.

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Swordfish © Graham

In 2004 the first Swordfish watches were introduced, quickly finding their way into the collections of discerning watch lovers. The Stopwatch with two magnifying glasses on the glass was showcased to the world of watchmaking. Graham introduced the watch in both right-handed and left-handed versions, available in steel or gold. 

In 2006 Graham introduced two new embellished versions called The Swordfish Diamonds, individually named Black Ice and Snow White, named for the 322 diamonds of corresponding colour they were set with. Additionally, dials and straps were offered in a range of colours for the feminine or fashion-forward customer.

2007 was a year of consolidation for Graham as the new Swordfish models were released with slight design variations such as enlarged dial numerals; the materials and colours on offer were also expanded.

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Swordfish © Graham

In 2008 the Graham Swordfish celebrated four years of unconventional design success. To commemorate this, the Swordfish Ali Baba Watch was launched in a limited edition of 40 pieces. Way before the current trend of multi-hued gem-set watches, the Graham Swordfish Ali Baba went down the rainbow route. Each watch was set with a dazzling palette of 61 diamonds, 64 emeralds, 42 rubies, 151 sapphires (57 blue, 48 yellow, 46 pink) and 40 mandarin garnets. 

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Swordfish Ali Baba © Graham

In 2009 the Swordfish Lucy was introduced. This collection has a constellation of diamonds on the dial and bezel.  The watches were available in steel and gold case with black or white dial options. The numerals of 12 and 6 are also embellished with black or white diamonds. The watches come with either a rubber or leather strap. This year also saw the introduction of the Swordfish Booster watches in 48mm, with left-handed and right-handed variations as clearly indicated on their dials.

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Swordfish Lucy noire © Graham

The Swordfish All Black watch was introduced in 2010, presaging the trend of dark, full-stealth watch models that would characterise watchmaking releases in upcoming years. And in 2011, the Swordfish Booster All Black watches extended the collection with four models bearing pops of colour on their hands. New dial colours and gem-set models offered more choice for fans of the Swordfish. Catching all eyes that year was the Swordfish Iris, treated with a particular PVD process that imparted an iridescent exterior surface to the case. The colours change with interference of light, similar to that on a soap bubble or oil spill. 

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Swordfish All Black © Graham

This year — 2019 — Graham celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Swordfish collection with vintage-inspired watches that emphasise the distinctive look of the Swordfish design. Four timepieces, two in steel and two in bronze, recall naval tool watches, with the bronze versions developing an attractive patina over time. To avoid excess oxidation caused by direct contact between the bronze watch and the wearer’s skin, these watches have a titanium case back. Fabric straps complete the vintage look.

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Swordfish Vintage © Graham


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Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, Graham preserves the legacy of London clockmaker George Graham, developing modern timepieces that combine sophisticated techniques with an atypical design.

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