Chronographs signed Grana are regarded by collectors as one of the rarest and best looking vintage chronographs of the so-called “Dirty Dozen” makers – those who originally supplied watches to the British Military in 1945 (Vertex, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Eterna, Grana, Lemania, Cyma, Longines, Omega, Record, Buren, IWC and Timor).
Grana split seconds chronographs were made in very small numbers, few have ever appeared at auction and of those, the present watch is one of the most appealing. The superb gloss black luminous dial with tachymeter shows no signs of cosmetic enhancement. The case displays the honest signs of use over the last almost 80 years. The movement, the famous Venus 185 column wheel rattrapante has the split seconds function activated through the crown. The button at 2 o'clock starts the chronograph; the winding crown button is for the split function and the button at 4 o'clock resets the chronograph to zero.
Grana, although never a household name, is the brand that later became Certina. Founded in 1888, the name “Grana” was coined in 1906, as an abbreviation of the word “Granatus”, the Latin name for Grenchen in Switzerland where the company was established. In the 1930s, the firm started to favour the brand name “Certina”, easy to pronounce in all languages. It was based on the Latin word "certus", meaning "sure". The Certina name was registered in 1939 and from 1949 completely replaced Grana to become the company's sole brand name.