When it comes to living life on the very edge, few sports compare to the white-knuckle endurance test of man and machine that is the annual TT Races, held on the closed public roads of the small and lovely Isle of Man, midway between Ireland and Britain. With their machines reaching speeds in excess of 200mph (320kph) whilst being thrown around the thin kerb-lined ribbon of asphalt on the 37.733 mile circuit as the scenery passes by in a blur of light and shade, the margin for error here is zero and the cost of a mistake can often be the ultimate one. Racing the TT is an unforgiving pursuit and with almost terrible predictability I hear of the passing of a veteran TT competitor on the course just as I write today, but the days racing continues and still they come from far and wide, year after year.
For sure motorcycle road racing shares little with motorsports’ more glamourous offerings, save for the same passion to search for and eke out those fractions of a second over your competitor. Hell, most of these guys would rather have another single unit of horsepower than any fancy timepiece you could give them. They live for the sport and sacrifice all that most of us mere mortals would hold dear just to be there and have their name on the TT timesheet, but that’s the way these fellows roll, and it’s not far away from motorsport in it’s purest form. Few riches here, and little in the way of glamour either, because apart from the achievement of competing, winning here is all.
Graham Chronofighter Oversize Superlight TT – A Race Against Time
For several years now the famous event has enjoyed the patronage of Graham of London, and over the years Graham Watches and The TT Races have become mutually synonymous. Although not new for 2014 Graham have reminded us of a special 200-piece limited edition version of their Chronofighter model, the Graham Chronofighter Oversize Superlight TT, which was released in 2013 but which is still available to order.
Manufactured in a black carbon fibre nanotube composite, the 47mm case of the Chronofighter Oversize Superlight TT accounts for a mere 5.33g of the watch’s overall weight of just 100g! The unmistakable left-hand fumble-proof trigger arrangement is formed in carbon fibre and the bezel satin finished black ceramic.
Graham Chronofighter Oversize Superlight TT – Lap. Time. Benchmark.
The Chronofighter Oversize Superlight TT features a black dial with large luminous arabic numerals and hands, and 30 minute chronograph layout with the small seconds at the 3 and the 30-minutes totalizer at 6, where a static yellow ‘hand’ rests frozen pointing at the seventeenth minute. This small detail is part of the legacy of the TT, as it took fastest lap record holder John McGuiness just 17 minutes to complete his historic lap in 2009, and once the short skeletonised red minutes pointer moves past that mark, the sweep of the red chrono seconds around a tachymetre scale unlike any other, as it uses as its base the course distance of 37.73 miles, with McGuiness’s lap record speed 131.578mph also highlighted in yellow, provides a reference which shows clearly the speed of a timed riders’ lap around the island.
A transparent exhibition caseback with the famous three-legged emblem of the Isle of Man reveals the Calibre G1747 automatic movement, and a black ‘techno-fabric’ strap with red stitching and ceramic tang buckle complete the look of this uniquely themed and genuinely racy looking watch; although the gift of one to any of the lower ranked riders would probably be readily swapped round the back of the pits for a few tyres or a decent pair of leathers. Such are the priorities of the fearless and furiously fast road racer.