Over the last few months I have featured a few high-end brands that have paid homage to prominent historical figures involved in the world of horology. Two good examples are Arnold & Sons and Louis Moinet SA. Even though both companies have no real connection to the actual watchmakers they do have the same passion. Another watch label that has been inspired by a legendary horologist is Graham SA.
George Graham was an influential 18th Century English Inventor, Clockmaker and Geophysicist. Although he is famous for devising the mercury pendulum clock, his greatest achievement was the Graham dead-beat escapement invented around 1715. In 1995 Eric Loth established the modern day company in the picturesque location of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Over the last 19 years Graham SA has become synonymous for producing bold and distinctive timepieces. They have also experimented with a range of interesting materials like ceramic and carbon fiber. Certainly their oversized watches won’t appeal to more conservative tastes but I love their originality.
The Geo Graham Tourbillon Orrery is a departure from the company’s identifiable trigger mechanism chronographs. It derives its name from (and is based on) George Graham’s Orrery clock (mechanical model of the solar system), which he invented in 1713. Dimensionally the watch measures 48mm x 17.60mm and is designed to make a statement. In my opinion these proportions suit the style of watch without being too overbearing. Recently I have tried on a few similar size models and so I suspect this timepiece would be comfortable to wear. Primarily this is down to the stylish case design and choice of luxurious 18-karat pink gold in production. Personally I imagine a watch of this caliber would only be adorned on very special occasions.
Visually the Geo Graham Tourbillon Orrery has an incredibly highly complicated multi-layered appearance. The dial displays a plethora of features including hours/minutes, a Gregorian calendar and Zodiac scale. What makes this watch so exceptional is the meticulous attention to detail. I love the three dimensional representation of the solar system portraying the moon, earth, mars and sun. Other successful features include elegant open worked gold hands and a hand-engraved exposed Tourbillon bridge with two Phoenix heads. This entire splendor is encapsulated in a dome sapphire crystal. Overall the composition is sensational and the finishing first rate.
At the heart of the watch is a highly accomplished manual winding twin barrel movement. The Caliber G1800 comprises 35 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Graham SA exclusively commissioned Christophe Claret to devise this wonderful mechanism. Functionally the Geo Graham Tourbillon Orrery features hours, minutes, 100-year calendar and planet correction indication. The watch also has a respectable power reserve of 72 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres.
The Geo Graham Tourbillon Orrery has a hand sewn crocodile strap with matching 18 karat pink gold pin buckle.