— Graham is extending its motorsports-inspired Silverstone Omega Replica watch collection in dramatic fashion through a more technical range christened Skeleton RS.
These three pillars of the Graham catalogue have never really undergone drastic changes, in spite of some tweaking here and there that periodically induces a new version, a different size or an added mechanical complication. In my opinion, that consistency offers admirable proof of maturity in an era of all too frequent changes. It is well worth pointing out that towards the end of 2013 the La Chaux-de-Fonds based Anglo-Swiss company started a new haute horlogerie niche named Geo.Graham that already includes the inaugural ‘The Moon’ and the celestial ‘Tourbillon Orrery’. These are however highly complex and exclusive specimens, especially the latter. With a more ‘modest’ price tag of around 10,000 euro, the biggest new addition to the regular collection in a long time is now unveiled and fuels Graham’s CEO ongoing love affair with both engineering and motorsports.
That technical aura is reinforced by a stealth look combined with visible mechanics (the Calibre G1790 automatic movement has rhodium and grey hues) and the final racing touch is given by a judicious chromatic application: exuding such an appealing character, the new Skeleton RS range has shot to the pole position of the Silverstone collection and debuts in a series of three limited editions (red, blue, green) of 250 pieces each.
“The Silverstone Skeleton RS is all about the races; it’s about material, usability, toughness and resilience but also about technique, about improving the movement itself by making the escapement visible – it’s a 100 per cent technical timepiece”, enthuses Eric Loth, who hit the jackpot when Graham became official timekeeper of the Brawn GP team that would unexpectedly win the 2009 Formula 1 Championship before being sold to Mercedes. “I wanted to delve deeper into the racing theme and do something unique that would be typically Graham but more emphatic; the movement is semi-skeletonized and the visibility of the escapement and balance wheel is enhanced by a side porthole on the case at 10 o’clock. The light pouring through it creates a truly spectacular effect”.
The racing spirit is a key feature of the ‘Britishness’ that Eric Loth continually looks to implement on his fake Omega watch designs, especially the ones boasting the Silverstone signature on the dial – Silverstone being the legendary circuit built on the site of a World War II military airfield that became one of the world’s most renowned speed temples. “Car racing is a British thing. The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle race that we sponsor is a very British thing. We have that Britishness in our timepieces through heritage, connections and inspiration, while finally manufacturing them in Switzerland”. A gentleman golfer and a keen GT driver, Eric Loth certainly knows what he’s talking about after more than 30 years in the watchmaking industry, of which 17 spent behind the wheel at Graham.