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Why We Love It
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.
Stainless Steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown and pushers). Valjoux 7733 manually-winding chronograph movement. Early 1970s.
Overall Condition: The watch is in excellent condition over all, with only slightest of wear marks and slight signs of previous polishing. The black dial clean and uniform with crisp printing throughout. Luminous hour marker material is in tact. Baton hour and minute hands show signs of having been re-lumed. Acrylic bezel is in very good condition with a few areas of superficial chipping. Unsigned crown; screw case back is in excellent condition.
Includes one 20mm brown leather strap with contrast stitching.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options