Graham Silverstone’s Pole Position

— Graham is extending its motorsports-inspired Silverstone Omega Replica watch collection in dramatic fashion through a more technical range christened Skeleton RS.

Graham's Silverstone Skeleton RS

Graham became a cult brand among Replica Watches UK aficionados for its boldness, cementing a strong reputation in the past decade around powerful timepieces with a touch of British flair displayed via three very distinctive branches. The aviation-inspired Chronofighter rapidly became the flagship due to an emblematic lever serving as trigger for the chronograph functions; the Swordfish is a remarkable exercise in style that exudes charisma through a pair of protuberant eyes over the chronograph counters; and the more consensual Silverstone chronograph has been an attractive cocktail of motorsport DNA.

Red and Blue: two of the three limited runs of the Silverstone Skeleton RS. The Calibre G1790 prepared by LaJoux-Perret is highlighted both on the dial and on the transparent case back. © Graham 1695

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.

Just in case…

When a Replica Watches brand brings out a completely new case, it means a relevant step was taken production-wise and in terms of strategy. “The new collection is named Silverstone Skeleton RS to clearly show and state that we are in the world of motor racing, as I am racing myself”, affirms Eric Loth. “I wanted a timepiece that would be aggressive and carry identifying colours, because we drivers like to stand out from each other through colours; I also wanted it to be deeply technical”.

An ode to mechanics: the depth on the dial creates a tridimensional effect. © Miguel Seabra/Espiral do Tempo

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.

Caring for details: integrated strap, different surface polishes and a mushroom-like bezel rising above the case. © Miguel Seabra

“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”.

Ceramic and aluminium
In comparison to the regular Silverstone models, the new case architecture of the stainless steel Skeleton RS is accentuated not only by a different format for the crown and pushers but especially by an exquisite bezel construction. “The black ceramic bezel with tachymeter scale is actually wider than the 46mm case, just like a mushroom. It is quite special and strikes a playful note: you don’t see the colour on the bezel when you look from above but, as soon as you view it from the side, the colour is evident on an aluminium ring with a ‘Clous de Paris’ decorative hobnail pattern”, reveals Eric Loth. The integrated black tyre tread rubber strap has an inset in red, blue or green to match the same accent on the dial.

Many shades of grey depending on the lighting conditions, plus a sprinkling of contrasting black and racing red accents. © Miguel Seabra/Espiral do Tempo

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.

“Talking Pieces”: the technical aura of the new Silverstone Skeleton RS vs the colourful style of the regular Silverstone © Miguel Seabra/Espiral do Tempo