Introduced in 2001 by owner and CEO Eric Loth, the modern incarnation of Graham takes inspiration from the gifted English horologist George Graham. And there’s no doubt why. Graham was a really inspiring guy, contributing many advances to the art of watchmaking. A geophysicist and member of the Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1722, Graham invented the mercury pendulum and some argue that he rather than Riuessec gets credit for the first chronograph, though Graham never filed for a patent. Interestingly, Graham never patented any of his devices because he felt work should be shared within the community—completely different from today where brand’s guard their “world firsts” like foaming Doberman Pinschers.
Graham is also responsible for the devising the first modern orrery, a mechanical device running off clock gearing that tracks the positions and motions of the planets and moons in the Solar System. Constantly striving to improve timekeeping, Graham invented the cylinder escapement, and most notably, the Graham dead-beat escapement, which prevents recoil in clocks and is still in use today.
Accepting the premise that Graham invented the chronograph, Loth has built most of his watches around this concept of precise timekeeping. The defining characteristic is a prominent chronograph trigger on the left side of the watch, activated by the thumb. Graham filed a patent for this device. Ironic, no?
Loth contends that his trigger construction is more accurate than the traditional position of the chronograph pushers because you don’t have to take your eyes off the event you’re timing. Like Graham, Loth builds his argument around science. He explains that the thumb reacts fastest when getting a message from the brain because it’s independent. When using an index finger to depress the chronograph, you can lose up to a second.
There’s no doubt the trigger design is polarizing, causing a love it or hate it reaction. Loth admits his watches are a niche product and appeal to a certain type of person. In creating them Loth believes Graham is living in modern times with the spirit of George Graham as a guiding light. Whenever he encounters any doubt though, Loth refers to Graham’s history to get reloaded.
Does Loth achieve a watch worthy of Graham’s name? We sat down with him to get a better sense of the company, its philosophy and market position.