At the time I was not impressed.
Of course I was flying some ships that were newer in the game than most, so their forms did not change much in the jump from classic to premium, and others that looked pretty good as they were designed. Drakes, Cormorants, Merlins, mining barges, Mammoths, and even Badgers did not change dramatically in the jump to premium, so it seemed like a big yawn to me.
Then I built a Raven.
Now there was a ship that was seriously improved by the premium graphics option.
As a reminder of how much of an improvement there was, I set my machine to classic graphics mode and took one last picture in the old art style for comparison. The subject: My Raven Navy Issue.
With Apocrypha the classic graphics are gone. Now, if you want to boost performance, you can alter your settings to show lower resolution versions of the premium models.
But it is always good to remind ourselves once in a while where things once stood.