LeJour Yachtingraf
$ 6,200.00

LeJour Yachtingraf

In 1961, JeanRichard SA—parent company of Aquastar—filed a patent for a unique type of watch. Frédéric Robert, the founder of Aquastar as well as one of its chief designers, took a Felsa 4000N  movement and modified it to display a five minute counter, located on a disc on top of the movement. Robert then added a third wheel and connected to a pusher; once depressed, the pusher would reset the seconds hand to zero and start a countdown, visible on the disc.

This watch, the Aquastar Regate, has gone down in horological history as the first regatta timer, and has spawned countless successors—like this watch, the LeJour Yachtingraf.

It seems odd that a sport as esoteric as yachting would have its own watch, but the first regatta timers were created in an age of economic prosperity. Freed from the constraints of post-war rationing, people suddenly had more free time, and the resources to fill it with sports. Aquastar, which was founded by a SCUBA diving enthusiast, was only capitalizing on this sporting boom.

Yema was just another brand that took the idea of a yachting chronograph and ran with it—or, should we say… sailed?

The brand was founded in 1948 by Henry Louis Belmont in Besançon, the hotbed of French watchmaking that also spawned Lip. Yema’s claim to fame was the first automatic chronometers produced entirely in France. However, by the 1960s the brand was also churning out 300,000 watches per year: handsome sporty models like the Superman—the brand’s first dive watch, rated to 300m—or the Yachtingraf.

The Yachtingraf debuted in 1966, using a patented design for “yachting and underwater use.” Unlike the Aquastar Regate, the Yachtingraf combined a chronograph with the regatta timer, this time shown directly on the diver. The Yachtingraf would prove immensely popular, and would be produced in six different versions from 1966 to 1970, when the model was discontinued.

Many of these watches were sold under the brand name LeJour, Yema’s distributor in the United States—including the watch we offer here.

This particular Yachtingraf is an example of the second iteration of Yachtingraf, produced from 1966 to 1967. It’s powered by the Valjoux Calibre 7733 manually-wound chronograph drivetrain, an affordable and easy-to-service movement used throughout the industry.

The Yachtingraf combines everything we love about 1960s chronographs—a nice size and sharp looks—with robust internals. Although we’d be hard-pressed to find ourselves wearing one in the midst of a yacht race, it’s perfect for casual wear on solid ground.

Details

SKU: AS02436

Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Valjoux 7733 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall with sharp lugs and moderate signs of use and wear in keeping with age. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and signs of age to the luminescent materials. Unsigned crown.

Includes one 20mm black leather strap with white contrast stitching.

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