In the watchmaking world, few things are appreciated more than century-long traditions. And while not all trademarks succeed in operating through centuries, some of the vanished ones do return with a fanfare. This time we’ll talk of the British horologist George Graham (1673-1751) and the modern eponymous brand. Although the interests of Royal Society of London member George Graham stretched far beyond the horology, few can compete with him on the number of fundamental horological discoveries and improvements. He developed his own version of the escapement and came up with the first device for measuring individual time intervals. And he also worked as a tutor to Thomas Mudge, the future farther of lever escapement, but that's totally a different story.
Mudge can formally be called a full-fledged heir to the master, for the workshop on Fleet street went to him after Graham’s death. However, until the sudden revival of the brand in 1995, done by the efforts of Eric Loth and Pierre-André Finazzi, Graham’s trademark aesthetics did not receive any continuation.
The obvious tributes to the brand’s founder fill the Geo. Graham collection, combining the chic of classical forms with a variety of prestigious complications. But the most popular Graham watch by far is the Chronofighter – the aviation-inspired chronograph with massive case of a little under 50 mm in diameter. What does the great English scientist have to do with it?
Formally, having developed a clock to measure individual time intervals, he actually anticipated the appearance of a chronograph. Perhaps this is not the most convincing proof of kinship, but we’ll go with it. Anyway, its much more interesting when, in addition to direct borrowings of centuries-old know-how, the brands try to experiment in other directions. Anyway, tourbillions and planetariums, glorifying the founder's scientific preferences, likely wouldn’t mind such a neighborhood, right?
Oct. 15, 2018