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Yema, an unsuspecting name coined by Henry Louis Belmont during a school contest back in his teenage years, goes on to attain a massive following throughout its 72 years of watchmaking. Graduating at the top of his class in the National Watchmaking School of Besançon, Belmont lives up to his title with exquisite timepieces that are out of this world, literally when the Yema Spationaute flew to space on astronaut Jean-Loup Chrétien’s wrist. This year, this renowned French company brings you the Yema Rallye 5 Turbo Chrono which draws inspiration from the 1960s Yema racing chronographs, specifically the new Rallye 5 Turbo. With a quirky vintage look, this watch celebrates racing with a tachymeter scale around its dial. The new Rallygraf Chronograph now runs with full mechanical movement in which seals a tasteful tribute to the 60s era.
Word has it that Yema watches are often spotted gracing the wrist of Mario Andretti, a highly decorated racing driver with the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championship under his belt. He had even crossed the finishing line to claim the champion trophy at the Indy 500 race in 1969 with a Yema Rallye chronograph strapped on. This particular limited edition is based off a sports car released in 1980, Renault managed to create a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged car that won many races.
|Yema Rallye 5 Turbo - Ltd Ed 300pcs
Besides being agile and swift, the 5 Turbo was nimble, having an interior specially designed by the Italian firm Bertone. More specifically, the Renault 5 Turbo stood out thanks to its wild bodywork with spaceship-like dashboard. Even more unique was its asymmetrical steering wheel with its inverted-L-shaped arm, and that has inspired the quirky dial design of the Yema Rallye 5.
This 39mm Yema Rallygraf has a 12mm thickness and a lug to lug length of 48mm. As a tribute to its racing pedigree, it is fitted with an aluminium tachymeter bezel. Designed for motorsports and speed, the Rallye Chrono tachymetric scale bezel allows you to calculate your average speed over a given distance. This timepiece is protected with a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal which adds an extra depth to its vintage look. Additionally, the Yema Rallygraf features three push buttons which control the hour, minute and second respectively as well as two counters, for 60 minutes and an additional 24 hours reading.
Domed mineral crystal reinforces the 1970's vintage look
The retro dial with two sub-dials is the star of this timepiece. Drawing inspiration from the unique L-shaped arm steering wheel, the 30-minute counter and date display are being constrasted with a concave smooth black L-shaped design, seperating the rest of its matte textured charcoal black dial. This design truly helps Yema to be popular among watch enthusiasts and collectors. Both its steel bezel and black dial offer a striking contrast to its asymmetrical designed chrono sub-registers, allowing for maximum legibility. Spot the red central second hand which points clearly to the bezel marked with the tachymeter scale. The date is balanced off at 6’o clock position in tandem with the “Rallye, Automatic” text on its top to accentuate its racing theme.
Applied with BGW9 Super-LumiNova, its hands and polished metallic markers provide great readability in low light conditions. The Yema Speedgraf is also fitted with a push-pull crown embossed with the Yema logo which allows for a 100m water resistance. Flip this timepiece over to admire the sleek 316L steel case back that flaunts the Yema's historic crest, elegantly embossed with a hydraulic press.
This chronograph comes with a 20mm Rallye-style leather strap that is made by a French manufacture in Yema’s region. The grained, perforated leather strap has been specially designed to fit the racing theme.
Super-LumiNova Grade A
The Yema Rallye 5 Turbo is driven by the ever-reliable ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph movement (in its native and predominantly unmodified base form, an uncommon sight in this day and age), a Swiss-made integrated chronograph caliber essentially deriving the same family as the venerable caliber 7750, a movement that has undeniably became an timekeeping icon in horological world for its robustness and impeccable mechanical performance. This 27 jewel movement operates at a rate of 28,800 beats per hour (BPH) and features a healthy power reserve of approximately 48 hours.
Yema Rallye 5 Turbo Chronograph Ref. YRAL23-AU32S - Ltd Ed 300pcs is an exquisite collectible watch. As a competitively priced neo-vintage chronograph, this timepiece is a much-anticipated favourite of watch collectors from all around the globe. If anyone is looking for a vintage-styled chronograph with an original look and history, it's best to go to a brand that was actually around back then. Get your game on with the Yema which boasts a 60s racing style finished with a contemporary shine.