The names and insignia of military units and organizations are usually considered government property, and as such are typically regarded as being in the public domain in most modern nations. makes it easy for companies like Graham to piggyback on the honor of some organizations.
And why not? Luminox pretty much made a name for itself with an implied “Navy SEALs” association which was pretty tenuous at best. Graham has upped the ante by adding a camouflage dial and the “Who Dares Wins” emblem of the UK’s Special Air Service (SAS), and slapping a price tag on it that some sellers claim is as high as $12,800, as much as a small car.
And with the namesakes SAS heavily involved in conflicts in places like Afghanistan these days, one would like to think that Graham could at least donate a portion of that $12,800 to a military charity in the UK or such. Yet their website seems to make no mention of any such charitable intention though it might seem like an obvious place to make mention of such when they take pains to point out their racing sponsorships. They’re content to simply borrow the name and insignia for free. Honor, it seems, is cheap these days.
And as Ariel is typically quite good at finding and accentuating the positive in his reviews, you know something might be up when he quips in his detailed review at ablogtoread.com,
The crown has a pusher built in to it, which is depressed by the trigger. The top pusher is the reset button for the chronograph, but you knew that because it says so on the watch.
Like Ariel, I find the design decisions that went into creating this watch like the camouflage dial to be puzzling to say the least. I will agree however that one clever design element is the inclusion of the date aperture inside the 8 o’clock marker, a decision that doesn’t disrupt the visual symmetry (if there were any remaining at least) and still leaves room for a luminous marker. Of course, in order for this to even be possible the dial needs to be fairly outsized to begin with, so it’s perhaps a mixed blessing.
I would ordinarily be impresed by the integrating of the chrono pusher/winding crown design that harkens back to early vintage chrono movements as well. It might be a clever retro-curiosity in other circumstances, but when it’s wedded to that garish trigger design the cleverness is all but muted and it too comes as a very mixed blessing.
In addition to all the other design contradictions, there is one other glaring problem: the storied and secretive SAS guards its security fiercely; members take pains to avoid being photographed and are not even allowed to acknowledge membership in the unit. Wearing a great big honking watch with the SAS emblem featured prominently on the dial would seem somewhat at odds with these requirements. It’s thus quite likely that no SAS Trooper will ever wear one of the things. Even the custom-made Omegas known to have been purchased by SAS-affiliated units feature the logos only on the back.
The 5-figure pricing starts to seem especially outrageous when you consider that the motor inside is the pedestrian workhorse Valhoux 7750 with the hour counter subdial unused. It’s the same movement, of course, that appears in $400 chronos as well.
The Graham SAS Chronofighter Oversize Titanium comes in a limited edition of only 300 pieces too, so you’d better hurry.