Saturday , 25 May 2024

Graham Fortress Ltd : Left field, but logical

The Graham Fortress is a chronograph equipped with a monopusher set within the crown. By placing the monopusher/crown on the left flank of the case, the watch breaks with convention. However, here is much sense in taking this unusual approach to chronograph design.

What’s in a name? The Fortress upholds Graham’s fondness for aviation-themed product names. Perhaps its moniker doffs its hat to the Flying Fortress of the 1930s? Alternatively, the word ‘fortress’ may evoke thoughts of military strongholds or castles and, by default, elicit images of strong, castellated buildings and impregnable structures. All of these associations are consistent with the tough nature of this new Graham model.

To really understand the watch brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds, a person has to think like Graham, i don’t subscribe to convention or accept mediocrity; be #bold and #brave. If a sign says ‘keep off the grass’, put on a pair of big boots and do a jig on the turf. If other brands choose to place push-pieces on the righthand side of the case, then break the rules and go for a leftfield approach.

Indeed, as you look at the new Fortress from Graham you will note a monopusher located on the left flank of the case. This lone pusher, positioned in the top of the crown, starts, stops and resets the chronograph. It’s a #one-stop shop for all of your stopwatch needs. By combining it with the crown it endows the case with a clean, uncluttered profile.

But a leftfield design can also be eminently logical. A pusher on the left side of the case proves more #intuitive to use. When using a chronograph, the wearer observes the start of an event, actuates the stopwatch function and, thereafter, at the end of the event, halts the timer. The potential problem is the human factor, namely the time gap between seeing an event and pressing the push-piece. The shorter the gap between observation andpressing the pusher, the more validity the recorded elapsed time has. The thumb is the fastest actingdigit, hence with thisdesign, a right-handedperson will instinctively place their plumpest digit on the push-piece and press it with lightning-bolt alacrity.

Another key benefit of positioning the combined crown and monopusher on the left is superior wearer comfort. Often when a watch is worn and the wearer flexes their wrist, the protrusions on the right flank of the case gouge the wrist, chafe the skin or inhibit free movement. The Fortress’s leftfield approach causes no such problems.

The blue sunray dial and the black grained dial feature #bold, luminescent hour and minutes which collaborate with ample, applied Arabic numerals, imparting meaning. The dial has two circular brushed counters, a small seconds display at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph register at 6 o’clock. A date display is located adjacent the monopusher/crown. Housed in a 47mm stainless steel case, the generous proportions of the watch confer impressive wrist presence, while the exhibition caseback affords sight of the Fortress’s Swiss automatic movement.

This rebellious firm doesn’t subscribe to slick marketing, it chooses to focus on making excellent watches, rich in character. Indeed, the Graham Fortress Ltd is a serious watch from a company who still knows how to have #fun.


About Karl Heinz Nuber

Nuber ist langjähriger unabhängiger Uhren Journalist und begann seine Karriere in den frühen 80er Jahren. Durch das Sammeln kam er zum Schreiben. Er ist Gründer des vierteljährlich regelmässig bilingual – Deutsch und English - erscheinenden TOURBILLON Magazin’s, der digitalen TOURBILLON Plattform TICK-Talk, der Ausstellungs- und Event Plattform Art of TOURBILLON und TOURBILLON TV. Er tritt regelmässig als Kenner der Branche in Erscheinung.

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