If you haven’t heard of Yema yet, stop reading and skip to ‘The Story’ below.
Okay, so now that you know how cool Yema is, we can talk about the Yachtingraf Regate "Blue Ship."
Coming on the heels of the 1960s straight-lug Yachtingraf and the first execution cushion-case “White Ship,” the “Blue Ship” model is the model that was donned by the French Sailing Federation. With its modified Valjoux 7733 drivetrain, the Regate improved on the initial yacht timer design by utilizing a disc that rotates behind a dial with various apertures, making for a easily-readable digital display.
Like many of the brands of the era, Yema ditched its earlier case shape for a larger steel cushion case, but unlike Heuer, which was quick to adopt the Caliber 11 automatic movement for its sporting chronos, Yema retained Valjoux as its movement of choice, giving the modern wearer the peace of mind of a robust and easily-serviced drivetrain.
Infinitely wearable at 39mm, this “Blue Ship” is one of the cleanest examples we’ve seen, and makes a great summer companion on leather, nylon or even shark mesh. And while hard-nosed collectors eschew the 1970s models for the earlier three-register “Croisiere” and two-register Yachtingraf models, the enterprising enthusiast will see this killer watch as a great opportunity to get into a fun and reliable chrono from this storied brand.
Though Yema was minted in 1948, it garnered global attention in 1963 when it produced the Superman, a sleek and uniquely-attractive diver with a 300-meter depth rating. Where Rolex and Blancpain were busy duking it out over professional divers, Yema took the tack of marketing to average wearer, using themes of sex and adventure in its ads to attract a younger, hipper following.
By the late 1960s, Yema had conquered both land and sea with its very popular Yachtingraf and Rallygraf models, the latter sported by a young Mario Andretti on and off the race track. In 1970, Yema became the supplier to the French Sailing Federation, and by 1988, it had launched three different models into space on the wrists of French astronauts. As if that wasn’t enough, it supported two separate French expeditions to the North Pole, one a solo trek, the other an expedition via ultralight aircraft.
While Yema’s design language rose and fell with the times — sometimes with less-than-favorable effects — its steadfast support of exploration and sport draw an intriguing parallel to Rolex and Omega, making this brand one that should not be overlooked.
You can stop autoplay, increase/decrease aniamtion speed and number of grid to show and products from store admin.