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REVIEW: Graham Chronofighter Oversize Black Sahara

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Graham Chronofighter Oversize Black Sahara (5)

It’s been awhile, but today we’ll be taking a look at another model from Graham (our first review is here). Today, we’ll walk through what the Chronofighter Oversize Black Sahara has on offer.

Graham Chronofighter Oversize Black Sahara (10)

Graham’s lineup is an interesting one, presenting a design that manages to be simultaneously bold and refined. The bold part comes from things like the larger case (47mm here) and the large trigger (of carbon fiber now) on the left side of the case. The refinement comes in due to the fit and finish, and use of materials, such as the polished ceramic bezel.

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Let’s go back to that trigger. It’s a departure from our previously reviewed model (previous review), as it’s made from a solid block of carbon fiber. This of course cuts some weight, and it just plain looks cool. How it functions is pretty cool as well. With chronographs, we’re used to having pushers flanking the crown, and you still get that feeling here. The reset pusher is above the crown, and where you start (and stop) the chronograph is below.

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If you take a closer look, though, you’ll realize there’s not a pusher at the 8 o’clock position, just the lever your finger activates. That pusher is actually embedded into the crown, right at 9 o’clock. This is a great bit of engineering and design, and helps keep the left side of the case from becoming way too cluttered (and obviating the need for the trigger, I suppose, which is a major design cue).

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When it comes to timing, the trigger is engaging a 30-minute chronograph, with the register appearing at 6 o’clock. That’s right, just 30 minutes – not hours. Which, frankly, if you’re timing things on a watch that isn’t a diver, that’s likely more than enough time. You do also have a telemeter scale printed around the edge of the dial, which helps to fill the space on the dial without appearing too busy. Interestingly, Graham states that you could use this to time how far away lightning is (per this article over at ABlogToWatch).

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Over at 3 o’clock, you have the small seconds subdial. Generally, I wouldn’t be a fan of an overlapping subdial like this, but here, it works. I think this is due to the color scheme used on it. The grey really helps it to blend into the dial when you’re not looking right at it, but keeps things readable should you need to see that bit of information. Of note, for some reason, the subdial became a lot more visible in my photos than it actually was in person.

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Rounding out the dial you’ve got one last datapoint, which would be the date readout. Which, I suppose if you take these three smaller circles as a whole, it’s an interesting mix of sizes and spacing that you might not otherwise catch. All in all, the watch is very readable, no doubt due to the larger (and lumed) numerals that the bigger case affords. The handset is also appropriately sized, with needle tips on both to help you see right where you are in your day.

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That leaves us now with the materials, which I’ve touched upon throughout the review. We of course have carbon fiber, and that polished ceramic bezel. Underlying that you’ve got a stainless steel case (verify), and the strap is a thicker, leather-lined, canvas. Visually, I really am a fan of fabric-style straps like this, as they can help to make a watch a bit more approachable, and they’re generally quite comfortable. Oddly here, though, this is one of the thickest and stiffest canvas straps that I’ve run across. I think this is likely due to the backing, and is something that would likely “break-in” to the owner as time goes on.

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Watches like the Chronofighter Oversize Black Sahara are an interesting study in contradiction.  Larger watches these days can sometimes lack the polish and finish of their smaller brethren; here, the Black Sahara neatly bridges the gap.  Powered by the in-house automatic Calibre G1747, and wrapped in sapphire crystals front and back, the 300m water resistant watch comes in at a price of $6,900.  graham1695.com

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