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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 Speedgraf Black Ref. YSPEE2019-AAS which draws inspiration from the 1960s Yema classic chronographs. With a traditional vintage look, this watch celebrates racing with a tachymeter scale around its dial.
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. The Seiko NE86 movement, one of this coveted brand’s best chronograph calibre, is used to power the Yema Speedgraf Black. Operating at 28,800 bph, this 34 ruby jewel movement has an impressive power reserve of 45 hours.
This 39mm Yema Speedgraf Black has a lug to lug length of 48 mm and is fitted with an aluminium friction bezel. With no clicks, this 60-minute graduated diver bezel rotates smoothly in both directions, allowing for a seamless operational experience. This timepiece is protected with a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal which adds an extra depth to its vintage look. Additionally, the Yema Speedgraf Black features three push buttons which control the hour, minute and second respectively as well as two counters, for 30 minutes and 60 seconds. With the input of the column wheel system reserved only for the finest chronographs on the market, this complex mechanism consists of a triple-tipped hammer that simultaneously and immediately resets all the subdial counters back to zero as soon as the user resets the stopwatch. Its vertical clutch allows the watch to be extremely precise and is what sets this chronograph above its competitors.
316L steel case elegantly embossed with a hydraulic press
The matte black dial is the star of this timepiece. Drawing inspiration from the classic line of black-and-white Yema chronographs back in the mid-1960s, the Yema Speedgraf Black is popular among watch enthusiasts and collectors. Both its matte black bezel and dial offer a striking contrast to its white chrono sub-registers, allowing for maximum legibility. Spot the red tip on the central second hand which points clearly to the inner circle of the chapter ring marked with the tachymeter scale which is modelled after the 60s sub-dials.
Applied with Super-LumiNova, its hands and polished metallic markers provide great readability in low light conditions. The Yema Speedgraf Black 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 19mm black rally style strap made out of aged leather. This racing-inspired strap is fixed with a Yema branded steel buckle and has perforations that are reminiscent of the details on the steering wheel of a sports car.
With the first 300 pieces branded with a unique serial number, the Yema Speedgraf Black Ref. YSPEE2019-AAS 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. Get your game on with the Yema Speedgraf Black which boasts a 70s racing style finished with a contemporary shine.