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We like chronographs. As far as complications go, the versatile chrono can be applied to almost any purpose: war, motorsports, aviation, yachting. Wait, what?
Yes, indeed. We'd like to present for your humble consideration one of the most obscure chronographs we can think of: the yachting (or regatta) timer. It's essentially a basic chronograph with specially-designed subsidiary registers to denote the countdown before the start of a regatta.
Unlike a race on dry ground, in a regatta boats are unable to start a race from a dead stop. Short of anchoring, there's no way for them to be perfectly still. At the start of a regatta, yachts are jockeying for position behind a starting buoy for 15 minutes. When the starting gun goes off, a countdown starts and the competing vessels launch past the start line 15 minutes later. Yachting Timers such as this one are used to time the countdown onboard, and feature brightly colored dials to denote the remaining time.
This particular timepiece was made by LeJour in the 1970s. Known to collectors primarily for their close association with Heuer and their "Poor Man's Heuer" models, the Yachtingraf model is an exceptionally rare - and exceptionally cool - timepiece.
Featuring a solid steel case with a rotating outer bezel and powered by a Valjoux 7733 manually-wound chronograph movement, the Yachtingraf is every bit as robust as its highly sought after Heuer counterparts.
This particular example has developed a lovely even patina to the luminous hour markers and retains a nearly flawless matte black dial with a running seconds subsidiary register at 9:00 and the classic colorful countdown register at 3:00. With near-perfect case proportions and a sweet patina, this is a killer piece Yachting timer from a great (however unsung) brand this is the perfect option for the collector who wants a chronograph that's different from the the run-of-the-mill.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding the crown). Valjoux Calibre 7730 Manually-Winding Chronograph movement. Early 1970s.
Overall condition: Case is in very good condition over all, showing only the lightest wear from age and use. Dial is in excellent condition, featuring patinated luminescent hour markers and subsidiary registers at 3:00 and 9:00. Some of the luminous elements on the hands have deteriorated. Bezel insert shows light wear and marks from age and use. Pushers and unsigned crown.
Includes one 20mm brown leather strap with contrast stitching and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.