Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute

One of the watches synonymous with the pioneer era of spaceflight is the Breitling Cosmonaute, which was worn by Scott Carpenter on the 1962 Mercury-Atlas 7 mission, making him the second American to orbit the Earth and the Cosmonaute the first Swiss-made wristwatch to make it into space.

The Cosmonaute has been part of the Breitling catalogue in various forms in the decades since, but now for the 60th anniversary of Carpenter’s journey to space on board the Aurora 7 spacecraft, Breitling has unveiled a remake, the Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute Limited Edition. The 362-piece edition is faithful to the original in terms of design, but upgraded with the in-house Caliber B02 and a bit of luxe in the form of a platinum bezel.
I’ve always liked the distinctive aesthetic of the Navitimer – it is actually an aviation instrument – and the Cosmonaute is essentially a more complex version of the same thing, making it even more of an instrument. Granted all of that functionality has very limited use in the modern world, but it is still an appealing watch that possesses significant history.

That in turn makes the Cosmonaute remake an appealing watch, especially since Breitling did a good job reproducing the original. The diameter remains the same but the modern-day version is necessarily thicker due to the in-house B02 movement, which is definitely the most important upgrade of the entire watch. Derived from Breitling’s flagship B01, it’s a smartly constructed movement that’s amongst the best industrially-produced chronographs calibres at its price point.
But the remake does try a bit too hard to look like a vintage original, as Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute remakes often do (which was the case for the AVI and Navitimer remakes).

It could have gone without the faux-vintage Super-Luminova that is now too common, having been overexploited by the watch industry. That’s a minor quibble that doesn’t take away from the appeal of the overall package.

And then there’s the date, which usually doesn’t work well on a remake but in this case is pretty well done. The date window sits within the hour register, leaving it discreet enough that it doesn’t get in the way of the design.
According to Breitling, the Cosmonaute was created at Carpenter’s request in the early 1960s. As the story goes, the astronaut had been a naval aviator in the US military, during which he has encountered the Navitimer ref. 806, one of the leading aviator’s watches of the period.

Carpenter was then selected to be one of the “Mercury Seven”, the seven naval aviators selected for Project Mercury, the first American spaceflight programme, where he approached Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute for a watch to wear into space. His requirements were simple: a Navitimer that could indicate whether it was day or night back on Earth, leading to the 24-hour display that is now the defining feature of the Cosmonaute.
The remake retains all the key ingredients of the vintage original, including the black sub-dials and condensed slide-rule bezel that does without the hours-and-minutes scale that’s found on the standard Navitimer. This was another the changes requested by Carpenter since the hours-and-minutes scale calculates distance travelled over time, which wasn’t needed in space.

Another detail is more subtle: the bezel is slightly wider than that on the Navitimer in order to make it easier to rotate while wearing a spacesuit.

But it is not a one-for-one remake. Amongst the differences are the recessed, textured registers (the original had a flat dial) as well as the addition of the Breitling logo on the dial.
The tweak that really matters, however, is the movement. It’s the B02, which is a hand-wind version of the B01 automatic that’s been modified to have a 24-hour display.

Equipped with both a column wheel and vertical clutch, the movement is visible through the open back, which reveals it has slightly fancier finishing than the typical Breitling calibre.

graham swordfish bronze

The Graham Swordfish Bronze encapsulates several influences from the marine world. Employing bronze, an alloy widely used in the naval industry, and incorporating unusual magnified portholes which mimic the eyes of a swordfish, this chronograph provides a characterful alternative to some popular, albeit run-of-the-mill options.
The Swordfish, also known as ‘xiphias gladius’, is widely known for its flat bill. The large fish typically grows to 3 metres in length, albeit some examples are known to have grown up to 50% bigger. The largest examples of the fish have tipped the scales at 650Kg. However, despite their incredible size, they are able to scythe through water with amazing alacrity.

Graham, the Swiss watch brand based in La Chaux de Fonds, has employed the ‘Swordfish’ nomen for a range of distinctive chronographs, each endowed with prominent ‘eyes’. The brand’s choice of name seems inspired as the chronograph registers are magnified through two portholes, emulating the bulbous eyes of the eponymous fish.

However, beyond the scale of the swordfish’s eyes, they feature another unusual characteristic. A special organ, positioned near its eyes, heats the eyes and brain, improving the fish’s vision. Again, the magnified portholes seem to mimic this natural phenomenon.

While the Graham Swordfish Bronze is offered in steel, a watch I particularly liked when I reviewed it last month, the bronze case version in this review has even stronger ties to the marine world. Bronze has been widely used in the maritime industry for many years. Sextants, bells, valves, pumps and even propellors have been constructed in the copper-based alloy. This is because bronze forms a protective patina which helps prevent seawater corrosion.

The rationale for the ‘Swordfish’ soubriquet seems eminently logical.
Appraising the composition of this watch reveals some luxurious touches such as the 18-carat gold hands and indexes. This may seem at odds with the slightly informal character of the bronze case and fabric strap, but the unusual ensemble works surprisingly well. The green dial surface and matching fabric strap imbue the Graham Swordfish Bronze with a high quotient of style. The green tones appear fresh, new and unlike the tones I typically encounter in my professional role as a watch journalist.
In some cases, style comes at the expense of practicality, but no such criticisms could be directed towards this masculine timepiece. The case, crown and pushers feel robust, as if they were hewn from granite, while the dial is a paragon of lucidity. Quite simply, the wearer of this watch does not have to forgo practicality in the pursuit of style.

The Graham Swordfish Bronze does not walk along the well-trodden path of others, exploring unusual aesthetics which distinguish it as different. By adopting this approach, Graham may well have alienated some sections of the watch-buying public, however, other horophiles, myself included, will no doubt appreciate this model’s distinctive mien. Indeed, beyond its apt nomenclature, this is a watch I would dearly love to own.

Graham CHRONOFIGHTER SUPERLIGHT CARBON SKELETON

Ihave a soft spot for watch brands that lean into doing things a bit differently, and the Graham Chronofighter is up there as a divisive design signature that has defined the brand. The Graham chronograph trigger on the left side of the case was inspired by a countdown timer watch that Universal Geneve developed for the Italian Air Force back in the 1930s and has been a staple of the Chronofighter for about 20 years now. But does the unconventional military-inspired design translate when we’re talking about a complication like a tourbillon chronograph rather than a casual sports watch?

Limited to 100 pieces, the Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon Skeleton Tourbillograph is all about being big. At 47mm-wide in a very lightweight black carbon case, it’s also got one of the biggest tourbillons around that I’ve seen. Vintage military design, modern case construction, and legit horological chops all make for what is overall a pretty compelling package for an admittedly niche person — that is, if your wrist and wallet are big enough. While the case size is 47mm-wide, that’s without the chronograph trigger. My calipers have it at 57mm-wide with the trigger, 17.5mm-thick, and with a lug-to-lug height of 55mm. What’s also big is the tourbillon, which I don’t have a precise measurement for, but the ends of the bridges are about 21mm apart. I think a more conventionally sized smaller tourbillon would look funny in a watch this big and aggressive, but Graham pulled it off.
The watch is really light, though I felt a little silly being surprised when I first picked it up considering “Superlight” is right there in the name. Still, the large case size and aggressive design don’t betray the 100g weight (which is just about what a Tudor Black Bay on strap weighs). This is, of course, due to the black carbon composite case, though the tourbillon cage itself comes in at 0.485g, which is a feather more than the 0.403g weight of Audemars Piguet’s tourbillon cage used in its current production models. Watch media can get a little overexcited in covering the newest record-breaking thinnest or lightest watches, but the reality is that while the Graham isn’t any particular record holder, it’s about as light as I could perceive a watch this size on my wrist to be. While it’s certainly big for me, if your wrist circumference is > 8 inches, the Chronofighter Tourbillograph really is pretty practical when you consider its unobtrusive weight and 100M of water resistance. The chronograph trigger on the left side of the case is a quirky design signature, for sure, but at least it’s not going to be confused with anything else out there, which is more than I can say for a lot of watches. I’ve worn more large watches than I can count that have a traditional crown that digs into my hand. Not a problem here, as the chronograph trigger, while large and protrusive, is not felt or noticeable at all on the wrist.

The G1780 is an automatic column-wheel chronograph and tourbillon that Graham first introduced about 10 years ago when it was outfitted in a watch from the brand’s Silverstone collection. This movement was made exclusively for Graham by La Joux-Perret and, while it’s not new, it’s actually got some interesting stuff going for it. First off, it’s rare to see a tourbillon that is integrated into a column-wheel chronograph, the wheels of which you can see at work through the tourbillon cage. Operating at 28,800 vph with a 48-hour power reserve, the G1780 is hand-finished with Geneva stripes, perlage, chamfering, and polished edges. The column wheel has parts of the base cog wheel polished in order to reduce friction, as well. The tourbillon cage is comprised of 48 parts, several of which are done in 18k gold, like the upper tourbillon bridge and oscillating rotor.The movement is Chronofiable-certified, which isn’t a household name like COSC or other tests, but it’s noteworthy, nonetheless. Carried out at Laboratoire Dubois in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Chronofiable certification has to do with the durability and toughness of the watch and movement. This process simulates shocks, acceleration, and temperature changes over 21 days, which is equivalent to six months of wear. This is the same certification you’ll find on some Richard Mille watches such as the RM 035 Rafael Nadal, though I believe they now have an in-house test. La Joux-Perret has two patents having to do with protection of the tourbillon, which they call a “shockproof” tourbillon. In addition to Incabloc shock absorbers, they reduced the tourbillon down to as few components as possible and constructed a double-bridge for rigidity and stability.

Given how delicate tourbillons can be, I think the reassurance of the Chronofiable certification is pretty important if you want to actually wear this watch around as its meant to be without worrying. The chronograph is activated and paused via the trigger pusher, while the gripped pusher at 10 o’clock resets it. With the 30-minute chronograph counter sub-dial at 9 o’clock and that big tourbillon stretching between 3 and 6 o’clock, there really isn’t any room left on the dial for much else. I’m pretty agnostic about the matching black carbon dial that matches the case, and I do think a bit more could be done with the Graham logo and indices that are in a white varnish finish. It’s just a bit flat, for me. Still, the large lumed red gold hands match the red gold seconds hand that is set inside the tourbillon aperture very nicely and contrast with the black carbon in a way that’s refined but still appropriate for the military-watch vibe of the Graham Chronofighter.

Nomos Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit Qatar

We announced this project on the 23rd of September. Over a week of build-up before yesterday’s release, we could feel the excitement growing in the community, but we never could have anticipated the result. The Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit “The Hague” Edition sold out in under ten seconds, which immediately presented us with a burning question: where do we go from here?

I must admit, of the three limited-edition projects Fratello pursued this year, it was this one that held in store the fewest surprises. I suppose knowing NOMOS and the brand’s way of working inside out largely accounts for that, but, in truth, I was just supremely confident that the design was not just attractive, but a welcome addition to the Zürich Weltzeit’s story. The fact that this watch looks so different and yet so comfortable alongside the existing Weltzeit models (core and special editions included) gives me a lot of pleasure. And, I hope from the bottom of my heart, that all 25 new owners feel the same.
While the reception of the product was almost universally positive, one thing raised eyebrows: the limitation of 25 pieces. There have been quite a few, shall we say, unsavory suggestions as to why the watch was limited to just 25 units, but the truth is far duller than the nefarious machinations suggested.

It’s been a fantastic year for us in the e-commerce sector but we are still finding our feet in this new guise. We feel a great responsibility to our readers to only pursue interesting and genuine collaborations that come from the heart. These projects really aren’t about the business side of things as much as they are love letters to the industry. That said, effectively balancing our own fiscal abilities, a brand’s production capacities, the brand’s retailers’ sentiments, and our audience’s desires is tricky.

However, difficult as it is that is no reason for us not to try and figure out a way around all of those hurdles the next time we do something. We’re working hard on remodeling how we approach these collaborations. We want to place the community’s desires front and center. Hopefully, you will all stick around to see what we’ve got brewing. I’m generally allergic to people claiming they are going to upend the watchmaking industry and “disrupt” the established order of things so I won’t go that far, but I will say what we’ve got cooking is a lot closer to doing those things than any other project or brand I’ve heard using those words with abandon.
And so how are we going to make sure the Fratelli get their hands on the watches we design? We’re going to listen. If you were sad you missed out on the Fratello × NOMOS Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit “The Hague” Edition sign up to the “waiting list” here. The exact same model will not be returning, but I’m working on a fitting follow-up that I hope will scratch the itch of anyone that missed out this time. If you’re interested in that, then let us know your email address and we will be in touch in due course to ensure you have the chance to pick up whatever we serve up for round two.
But enough of the serious “what is to come” stuff; let’s talk about the watch of the moment one more time before it sails off into the sunset. As someone who consciously regards themselves as a “product-focused buyer”, a panda-dialed NOMOS Weltzeit was always something I believed in. But I would be lying if I said the story behind a watch is irrelevant to me. Sometimes I try desperately (in private) to pretend it isn’t, before listening to myself gush about why my limited edition Everest Skydive Breitling Aerospace is cool, how the Synchron Vs. Doxa military stand-off makes all of those pieces fascinating, potentially historically significant buys, or why the WH&T LCF888 chronograph was the best value project we’ve seen in the last five years (and nobody seemed to care).
Stories matter. The people and the relationships behind watches do too. It’s hard to believe that sometimes we get to be those people and unspeakably humbling that you, our valued readers, the Fratelli, validate us in that role. Of course, I must also thank NOMOS Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit , the whole company, from top to bottom, for not just the faith shown in Fratello to bring this project to a worldwide audience and drive it toward success, but also in me personally and for sticking with me since I took up my current role in the media. Every time I look down at the Weltzeit on my wrist, I’ll be grateful for that.

I know there’s a lot of disingenuous stuff written on the pages of watch blogs and online watch magazines. I know, because when I was younger and greener I was tasked with writing a lot of it. It used to make me actively sad to have to work with brands I didn’t believe in or talk diplomatically about products I simply didn’t like.You could vilify me here for having had a choice in the matter. You’d be right. I did have a choice. I could have walked away from the industry I so desperately wanted to shape in some meaningful way and take up another job to pay the bills. As you know, I didn’t do that. Why? Because I believed I could make it through to the other side. Somewhere inside my head, there was a voice saying that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. That voice turned out to be right. In the past, the most common way to generate income was through advertising or sponsored content. Now, there are myriad ways to execute a sponsored content deal, some more useful to the reader than others. Sometimes, online titles will take copy directly from brands (you know the stuff because it reads like a press release). We never do that. Sometimes, brands talk up a product they don’t believe in. We don’t do that either. Why am I telling you this now? Because as Fratello continues to grow and establish itself as an industry influencer (forgive me if that term sounds despicably modern), we’re less reliant on running sponsored content. In fact, for the past couple of years now, we’ve been scaling back the amount of sponsored content on the site significantly. We refuse to work with any brand in that capacity if we wouldn’t feature the brand on the site for free. And, most importantly, we insist that we retain complete editorial control over what we write. What that means is, we almost always work with brands we like because the brands we don’t like don’t want to work with us (because we are scary and mean).

Nomos Glashütte Club Campus U²

NOMOS Glashütte introduces the new Nomos Club Campus U² watch (Ref. 738.S5), continuing the contrasting dial design of the Club Campus U watch of 2021. Inspired by the distinctive personality and life attitude of the current young generation, it bears the hope for their future expectations and best wishes. Just like its predecessor, the watch is exclusively available on the Chinese market.

[May 2022, China] As the representative of sports and leisure in the NOMOS Glashütte watch series, Club, which came out in 2007, was designed by Berlin-based designer Karin Sieber. The exterior design is matched with the brand ’s hand-wound Alpha movement, which not only expresses youthful dynamism, but also gives it a timeless charm. In 2017, on the basis of the original design of the Club, NOMOS launched the Club Campus watch – the dial layout in a combination of Arabic numerals and Roman numerals, showing a relaxed and humorous attitude, plus a higher degree of recognition. The Club Campus, with its rich dial colors, different sizes and movement combinations, undoubtedly provides more choices for the younger generation.
Similar to the Club Campus U watch launched last year, NOMOS’ new Club Campus U² watch (Ref. 738.S5) is once again based on the distinctive personality and life attitude of today’s young people: U is “You” , implying a variety of personalities and different life stages of the self – is an ignorant but energetic freshman in the workplace, and a mature, stable, capable and firm social backbone; U also refers to “Unity”, which means the combination of different personalities, different The experience of the situation is the complete self and life. From the perspective of the NOMOS Berlin design team, the contrasting black and white design of the Club Campus U² watch (Ref. 738.S5) is an excellent interpretation of this point of view – the milkshake white main dial and the anthracite small seconds dial are independent of each other , and indispensable, the two combine to form a complete Club Campus U² watch (Ref. 738.S5), reflecting a balanced and subtle visual aesthetic.
The case of the new watch is made of stainless steel and has a diameter of 38.5 mm. On the contrasting color dial, which combines a simple design and rich details, the hour markers composed of Arabic and Roman numerals outlined in gold serifs alternate with stick markers for the uneven hours. Like the golden hour and minute hands, they are covered with Superluminova fluorescent coating, which can read the time clearly in dim places. The watch is waterproof to a depth of 10 ATM (100 meters), which can easily cope with all kinds of activities. The matching dark suede leather strap infuses it with an elegant texture, suitable for daily commuting or other formal occasions. The Nomos Club Campus U² watch (Ref. 738.S5) is powered by the hand-wound Alpha movement made by NOMOS: a durable, precise and reliable movement. Through the sapphire crystal transparent caseback, you can admire its distinctive watchmaking features from Glashütte : a three-quarter plate, tempered blued steel screws and Glashütte stripe polishing.

Introverted or extroverted, reserved or enthusiastic, the young generation who are loyal to themselves and carry their dreams have unlimited possibilities. This youthful NOMOS Club Campus U² watch (Ref. 738.S5), which is full of expectations and blessings, will accompany them on a new journey towards a bright future.

Nomos Glashütte Tetra neomatik – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte

Celebrating 175 years of watchmaking in the east-German town of Glashütte, NOMOS introduces four new takes on the bold & square Tetra neomatik, each limited to just 175 pieces.
The NOMOS Tetra, even in its standard guise, is a bold watch. In a world of round watches a square case always stands out, even more so in the stout yet comfortable dimensions of the Tetra neomatik (33*33mm, or 39mm diagonally). Now NOMOS ups the ante with four new takes on the Tetra. The new NOMOS Tetra neomatik 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte comes dressed in either off-white, black, blue or red. Each option has a glossy, lacquered finish, which is different from the typical matte, grained texture on NOMOS dials.
Like the standard production model, the 202 NOMOS Tetra neomatik 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte is powered by the brand’s in-house caliber DUW 3001, a self-winding movement with a slender height of just 3.2mm. It is furthermore equipped with with the NOMOS swing system (which ensures outstanding accuracy), and offers a comfortable 43-hour power reserve once fully wound. The wonderful finish can be admired through the see-through case back. The price of these exclusive limited edition watches is identical to that of the standard model, and as an added bonus they are delivered with one of NOMOS’ superb folding clasps.
The NOMOS Tetra neomatik 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte is now available for pre-order in our eBoutique using the links below in https://www.highluxurystore.co/;

NOMOS Tetra neomatik 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte Off-White 421.S1

NOMOS Tetra neomatik 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte Red 421.S2

NOMOS Tetra neomatik 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte Blue 421.S3

NOMOS Tetra neomatik 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte Black 421.S4

Graham CHRONOFIGHTER VINTAGE

At Baselworld 2016, Graham celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Chronofighter model with the release of four ‘vintage’ models. On my return to the UK I was offered the opportunity to ‘get hands-on’ with a version of my choosing. I immediately gravitated to a model featuring a captivating blue dial, with coordinating leather strap, and very soon the timepiece was temporarily mine.

This ‘Graham Chronofighter Vintage’ timepiece was inspired by the stopwatches once used by RAF flying officers during World War II. These watches, effectively pocket watches strapped to the sleeve of a bomber jacket, were vital when carrying out flying sorties, especially at night.

While operating at high altitudes, in non-pressurised cockpits, the pilots and their timepieces were exposed to freezing temperatures and their watches had to be tough to survive this hostile working environment. Therefore, both precision and reliability are two prerequisites for aviators’ watches.

As well as wearing the now iconic leather Irvin flying jackets, lined with sheepskin, the flying officers also wore thick gloves, keen to stave off biting temperatures. However, in the confines of the cockpit, the gloves inhibited free movement of fingers, hence a thumb operated trigger proved the optimal ergonomic solution.

Eric Loth, the founder of Graham Chronofighter Vintage , an engineer and physicist by trade, spoke to medical professionals and learned that the thumb is the fastest acting finger. Moreover, the thumb can move independently of other fingers. With this in mind and inspired by military aviation of yesteryear, he conceived the unusual trigger device which adorns the left hand flank of the Chronofighter’s case.
In order to accurately measure elapsed time, it is critical that the time taken from observing an event to the moment the chronograph is actuated is kept to an absolute minimum. Equally, the same applies when the elapsed interval has passed and the wearer needs to stop the chronograph. The trigger design of the Graham Chronofighter Vintage mitigates this ‘human factor’, proving intuitive to use, courtesy of its ergonomic interface with the right thumb.
Graham has not plagiarised the designs of other horological marques but conceived its own very distinctive and, in my opinion, handsome timepiece.

The dial lucidly converses with the wearer and the trigger is user-friendly, bestowing a superb tactile interface with the watch. Moreover, the trigger mitigates the time the wearer spends thinking about actuating the chronograph, or conversely, halting the stopwatch function.
The timepiece proved to be a stylish horological companion during its time in my possession. Its prepossessing blue colour-scheme proved ideal for pairing with jeans and casual shirts. Moreover, the watch evoked optimistic thoughts of blue skies on a summer’s day, a fitting notion for a pilot’s watch. The trigger, Graham’s ingenious idea, shows a notable dose of blue-sky thinking. Indeed, perhaps we should rename Eric Loth, ‘Mr Blue Sky’.

Graham SWORDFISH

The Graham Swordfish watch brand as we know it really planted its feet with the Swordfish collection of timepieces. This fished-eye family actually began with a single eye design in the Swordfish Grillo. Double magnifier eyes were later added to the 46mm wide collection. While the Swordfish family really began around 2001, it was not until 2005 or so that it started becoming really popular as Graham matured the design and started to add more colorful pieces. For a long time the Swordfish collection mirrored the market of the era, and as a rather wild and unorthodox piece, was Graham’s top seller.
More recently Graham released the Graham Swordfish Booster. This model upped the case size to 48mm wide and flipped the crown and chronograph pushers to the left side of the case. The Swordfish Booster retained the essential double magnifier concept which was Graham’s attempt to embolden the idea of the cyclops magnifier that brands such as Rolex made famous as a means of making the date window easier to read. Graham’s idea was to use a metal ring framed magnifier over the sapphire crystal to magnify the chronograph subdials by about 15%.
Inside each Swordfish watch is a Swiss La Joux-Perret automatic chronograph movement – which is a base ETA that in this instance has been modified to have a full 12 hour chronograph with a subsidiary seconds hand built into the 12 hour counter. While not terribly easy to see, there is a running seconds hand. Graham calls this movement their caliber G1710, and it has a power reserve of about 48 hours. The rear of the watch has a tinted sapphire crystal that allows for a view of the darkened movement – in the right light. Despite the dark shades of the movement, there is an appreciable amount of decor on the movement surfaces.

In steel, the 48mm wide case is marked by steeply curved lugs and a slightly larger-than-life presence. It is water resistant to 100 meters and is surprisingly comfortable on the wrist. While the crown and pushers might seem a bit excessive, they are actually very comfortable to use – especially the crown. I enjoy the grated texture on the slightly concave chronograph pushers as well. Because the movement is flipped for a left-side orientation, you’ll use the bottom pusher to start and stop the chronograph, while the top pusher is used to reset it.
This specific Swordfish Booster model has the little term “Iris” as part of its title – and that signifies something rather unique. In this instance “Iris” is another word for rainbow, and refers to the special iridescent coating on the steel case. Using a PVD application process, the case is coated several times and heat treated to get this special iridescent black case color. As I understand it, the case has several layers of this coated film – each being a slightly different thickness. This property offers a unique type of light reflectivity.
Depending on the finishing of the surface, the case colors play in the light, with many colors being shades of green and purple. Graham’s own marketing images intensify this effect a bit, but the real-life experience is satisfying. I only wished that some of the more colorful finishes would have also been used on the bezel – as the best parts of the case for experiencing the color shifts are on the side and rear portions of the case. To compliment the qualities of the case, the Graham Swordfish Booster Iris watch uses a black (Tahitian) mother-of-pearl dial. The dial further uses hands and hour markers with black colored SuperLumiNova. I personally am a fan of mother-of-pearl, and enjoy when it can be successfully implemented into a man’s timepiece. You’ll notice that the chronograph subdials are black with a snailed texture.

While not always suitable for a watch, Graham’s choice to match the Swordfish Booster Iris with a deep green alligator strap was a good idea. It is matched with a polished black ceramic buckle. Regrettably the Swordfish collection suffers when it comes to legibility. The Booster’s hands are probably necessarily skeletonized, and in this instance don’t contrast enough with the dial. For that phantom look it works, but the dial isn’t easy to read. Of course, the largest legibility issue is related to the fact that the hands – while properly sized – must pass under the magnifier eyes, making them difficult to spot. Wearing this agreeably unique (and in my opinion quite fashionable) watch requires a legibility sacrifice. Having said that, I should add that the chronograph counters are easy to see!

As an example of the Graham Swordfish Booster collection, there are few models more unique than the Iris. It carries a bit of a premium price over its siblings due to the case. My understanding is that producing the iridescent case is less than a perfect science. That means many cases come out of the process with uneven colors and a blotchy look. The unpredictable and less than industrial technique adds time to the production of these watches and rarity to their availability.

Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon

Ihave a soft spot for watch brands that lean into doing things a bit differently, and the Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon is up there as a divisive design signature that has defined the brand. The chronograph trigger on the left side of the case was inspired by a countdown timer watch that Universal Geneve developed for the Italian Air Force back in the 1930s and has been a staple of the Chronofighter for about 20 years now. But does the unconventional military-inspired design translate when we’re talking about a complication like a tourbillon chronograph rather than a casual sports watch?

Limited to 100 pieces, the Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon Skeleton Tourbillograph is all about being big. At 47mm-wide in a very lightweight black carbon case, it’s also got one of the biggest tourbillons around that I’ve seen. Vintage military design, modern case construction, and legit horological chops all make for what is overall a pretty compelling package for an admittedly niche person — that is, if your wrist and wallet are big enough. While the case size is 47mm-wide, that’s without the chronograph trigger. My calipers have it at 57mm-wide with the trigger, 17.5mm-thick, and with a lug-to-lug height of 55mm. What’s also big is the tourbillon, which I don’t have a precise measurement for, but the ends of the bridges are about 21mm apart. I think a more conventionally sized smaller tourbillon would look funny in a watch this big and aggressive, but Graham pulled it off.
The watch is really light, though I felt a little silly being surprised when I first picked it up considering “Superlight” is right there in the name. Still, the large case size and aggressive design don’t betray the 100g weight (which is just about what a Tudor Black Bay on strap weighs). This is, of course, due to the black carbon composite case, though the tourbillon cage itself comes in at 0.485g, which is a feather more than the 0.403g weight of Audemars Piguet’s tourbillon cage used in its current production models. Watch media can get a little overexcited in covering the newest record-breaking thinnest or lightest watches, but the reality is that while the Graham isn’t any particular record holder, it’s about as light as I could perceive a watch this size on my wrist to be. While it’s certainly big for me, if your wrist circumference is > 8 inches, the Chronofighter Tourbillograph really is pretty practical when you consider its unobtrusive weight and 100M of water resistance. The chronograph trigger on the left side of the case is a quirky design signature, for sure, but at least it’s not going to be confused with anything else out there, which is more than I can say for a lot of watches. The G1780 is an automatic column-wheel chronograph and tourbillon that Graham first introduced about 10 years ago when it was outfitted in a watch from the brand’s Silverstone collection. This movement was made exclusively for Graham by La Joux-Perret and, while it’s not new, it’s actually got some interesting stuff going for it. First off, it’s rare to see a tourbillon that is integrated into a column-wheel chronograph, the wheels of which you can see at work through the tourbillon cage. Operating at 28,800 vph with a 48-hour power reserve, the G1780 is hand-finished with Geneva stripes, perlage, chamfering, and polished edges. The column wheel has parts of the base cog wheel polished in order to reduce friction, as well. The tourbillon cage is comprised of 48 parts, several of which are done in 18k gold, like the upper tourbillon bridge and oscillating rotor. The movement is Chronofiable-certified, which isn’t a household name like COSC or other tests, but it’s noteworthy, nonetheless. Carried out at Laboratoire Dubois in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the Chronofiable certification has to do with the durability and toughness of the watch and movement. This process simulates shocks, acceleration, and temperature changes over 21 days, which is equivalent to six months of wear. This is the same certification you’ll find on some Richard Mille watches such as the RM 035 Rafael Nadal, though I believe they now have an in-house test. La Joux-Perret has two patents having to do with protection of the tourbillon, which they call a “shockproof” tourbillon. In addition to Incabloc shock absorbers, they reduced the tourbillon down to as few components as possible and constructed a double-bridge for rigidity and stability.

Given how delicate tourbillons can be, I think the reassurance of the Chronofiable certification is pretty important if you want to actually wear this watch around as its meant to be without worrying. The chronograph is activated and paused via the trigger pusher, while the gripped pusher at 10 o’clock resets it. With the 30-minute chronograph counter sub-dial at 9 o’clock and that big tourbillon stretching between 3 and 6 o’clock, there really isn’t any room left on the dial for much else. I’m pretty agnostic about the matching black carbon dial that matches the case, and I do think a bit more could be done with the Graham logo and indices that are in a white varnish finish. It’s just a bit flat, for me. Still, the large lumed red gold hands match the red gold seconds hand that is set inside the tourbillon aperture very nicely and contrast with the black carbon in a way that’s refined but still appropriate for the military-watch vibe of the Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon .

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 green

The Premier collection stands out and apart from Breitling’s classic pilot and dive watches, while still leaving all its distinctive Breitling features intact. We review the flagship model of this recently launched line, with original photos by Olaf Köster.
In marked contrast to the Navitimer 1 with its instrument-like tracks around the dial, or the Chronomat with its structural unidirectional rotating bezel, the timepieces in Breitling’s Premier collection embody understatement. But if we look to the past, we can see they’re clearly identifiable as Breitling watches. Most people who choose a Breitling Premier today weren’t even born when the original Premier watches were launched in the 1940s. During that time of turmoil and new beginnings, watches in the Premier line were intended to convey reliability, value and a touch of elegance. These merits are welcome today as well and give us a chance to step away from our fast-paced world for a bit of peace and quiet.

And so the Premier collection not only recalls a different era with its name but also hits the same marks with its design as it did back in the 1940s. It is also “the first modern Breitling collection that stands for elegance in everyday life,” according to Breitling CEO Georges Kern.
Our test watch, the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Green , is the flagship of the collection. Its name makes it abundantly clear that it is equipped with Breitling manufacture movement 01, available with either a silver or blue dial with black counters. A special Bentley version is available with a British racing green dial and the Bentley Centenary Limited Edition is also available with a brown dial and a red-gold case. Our test watch was housed in stainless steel.
For the sake of clarity, let us mention here that the collection also includes chronographs with ETA/Valjoux 7750-based movements and various three-hand watches with a small seconds subdial or weekday/date displays.

Speaking of the date, on the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Green, it is easily legible at its location at 6 o’clock. Its prominent placement is made possible thanks to the reduction of displays with the chronograph movement 01, which omits the 12-hour counter and lets the offset position of the date between 4 and 5 o’clock shift to a straight up-and-down position at 6 o’clock. The two black subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock present an attractive and readable “panda” face on a white background. This bicompax arrangement places the chronograph minutes counter at 3 o’clock and a permanent small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. This gives the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 a very balanced appearance and follows the current trend of chronographs with only two counters. Of course this only allows the timing of intervals of up to 30 minutes, but let’s be honest – who among us in these rapid-fire times needs to record extended time spans, especially since the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 was designed for “powering down.” Powering down is no problem with this Breitling manufacture movement. With its power reserve of 70 hours, the timepiece can easily be taken off the wrist and set aside for an extended “time out” without any worry of its stopping, especially since the rate results are shown to be stable despite gradually falling amplitudes. The same is true for the operation of the chronograph. The timepiece runs at an average rate of +2.4 seconds per day with amplitudes around 265 degrees. It provides chronometer-level quality in every situation, a long-standing Breitling standard for all of its timepieces.
But the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Green shows the instrumental nature Breitling is known for – more than merely chronometer performance. The center-mounted stopwatch hand has a red tip that travels around a delicate but fully legible tachymeter track, which is expertly printed on the black flange ring around the dial, and glides above the seconds track that is divided in thirds to reflect the 4-Hz rhythm of the Caliber 01 automatic movement. The precision and accuracy Breitling is known for is beautifully staged beneath a domed anti-glare sapphire crystal that reveals a certain retro charm. It is a nod to the past, just like the Premier logo on the dial: Premier models in the 1940s were the first Breitling watches to bear the product name on the dial. Its understated elegance extends even as far as the minimal application of luminous material on the hour and minutes hands – enough to barely read the time in poor lighting conditions. By contrast, legibility during the day is excellent. The watch’s sporty stainless-steel case boasts both polished and brushed-finish surfaces and is pressure-resistant and water-resistant to 10 bar (100 meters). Its 42.5-mm diameter meets current tastes – while it’s not nearly as large as other Breitling watches, it’s definitely not small. Its 13.81-mm height is not readily apparent thanks to carefully considered architecture that ensures that the watch doesn’t look overpowering. A narrow, stepped bezel and angular threaded caseback with a sapphire viewing window overlap a smaller midsection with engraved grooves along its body. The crown does not screw down and is easy to grasp and turn for manual winding, and can be pulled out smoothly and firmly into the individual operating positions. The modern-looking, elongated square pusher at 2 o’clock requires some pressure to start the chronograph function. It’s much easier to stop and reset using a similar pusher at 4 o’clock. The lugs are steep and angular; polished top surfaces add to the overall elegance of the Premier B01 Chronograph 42. It also fits well and snugly on a smaller wrist as the lugs bend downward. The leather strap is fastened to the lugs with curved spring bars. But for a larger wrist, the strap almost feels a bit too short – especially if you need to insert the prong into the last hole to fasten it. Otherwise, the solution is comfortable with side buttons to open the elegantly simple, single-sided folding clasp.