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Graham - The (Under-)Glass Menagerie

Graham The (Under-)Glass Menagerie

Animals real and imagined come out to play in the latest Graham Chronofighter models

Graham presents a playful trio of Chronofighter Vintage timepieces that feature animals on their dials, illustrated in a style inspired by early 20th century military art. These illustrations are not simply applied onto the dials of existing Chronofighter Vintage models — other dial elements such as the hour numerals and even the Graham logo are modified to show the animals interacting with them, each in their own unique way.

Graham Chronofighter Vintage

Chronofighter Vintage Bear © Graham

In the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Bear, the brown bear (once endemic to Switzerland) is depicted in a palette of browns and honey tones, wreaking havoc on the dial landscape. Not content with snacking on the 1 o’clock hour marker, the bear’s flailing paws grab hold of the 2 o’clock hour marker and push the Graham logo into disarray. A marauding bear would be a terrifying sight in real life, but safely (yet barely — or bearly!) contained under the dial crystal, the noble Swiss emblem can be observed close-up, at one’s leisure. Under his feet, the chronograph seconds scale and chronograph minutes numerals are hopelessly trampled, but that’s the price you pay when you invite Ursus arctos arctos into your watch.

Graham Chronofighter Vintage

Chronofighter Vintage Dragon © Graham

Crossing over into the realm of myth is the imperial Chinese dragon, shown in all his five-clawed glory. (Asian dragons of lesser nobility had fewer claws.) The Chinese dragon is a creature of sagacity associated with water, with clouds and rain, which explains the azure dial background. By comparison, dragons in European legends are diabolical fire-breathing beasts, not something you’d want wrapped around your wrist all day. Illustrations of Chinese dragons in antiquity often showed them chasing after a flaming pearl, a representation of wisdom and prosperity, a symbol which on the dial of the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Dragon takes the form of a flaming 12 o’clock marker. Tales of Chinese dragons described them as being benevolent as a rule, but they could be mortally offended, having somewhat of a touchy nature — and the dragon on the dial of the Chronofighter Vintage Dragon seems to be in an hour-marker-breaking, chronograph-seconds-upsetting mood.

Graham Chronofighter Vintage

Chronofighter Vintage Tiger © Graham

Finally, the talent of the Bengal tiger for camouflage in the shadowy jungle is showcased in the Graham Chronofighter Vintage Tiger, where a fully grown example of Shere Khan’s tribe slips in and out of sight via different subdials. Snarling at a wide-eyed baby Bengal who has, with a remarkable lack of stealth, burst through the 12 o’clock hour marker and kicked the Graham logo out of shape, the adult tiger manifests an endlessly amusing echo of exasperated parent-child interactions. Each of these self-winding Graham Chronofighter Vintage timepieces is limited to a numbered series of 100 pieces, and comes with a matching strap in calf leather.


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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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