LeJour Yachtingraf Regatta Timer

LeJour Yachtingraf Regatta Timer

File this one under: Cool as shit.

Summer is here, and with that comes a reminder of one of the most obscure timepiece complications we know of: Yachting Timers.  Also known as Regatta Timers, these wristwatches are essentially just chronographs with specially designed subsidiary registers designed to denote the countdown before the start of a race. 

If you haven't been out racing your yacht recently, the principle is actually pretty simple.  Unlike a race on dry ground, boats are unable to start a race from a dead stop - and short of anchoring, they are rarely standing still.  At the start of a regatta, yachts are jockeying for position behind a starting buoy for 15 minutes.  At the sound of the starting gun, a countdown is begun 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 designed for those yacht captains on a budget.  Heh. 

Featuring in a corrosion-resistant 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 name-brand counterparts.  This particular example has developed a tremendous patina to the luminous hour markers and subsidiary registers but retains a nearly flawless matte black dial.  Portions of the luminous inserts on the hands has disintegrated over time, and rather than re-lume it we have chosen to leave it as-is.  With near-perfect case proportions, a killer patina, and super cool coloration to the dial, this is a killer piece and perfect for casual summer wear.  

Or, you know, on your yacht. 


For more information on the world of Regatta Timers, check out this great article over at Worn & Wound, HERE.


Steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown).

Overall condition: Case is in very good condition overall, showing normal light wear from age and use. Original dial is in excellent condition, featuring patinated luminescent hour markers and twin subsidiary registers at 3 and 9. Some of the luminous elements on the hands have deteriorated. Original bezel insert shows wear and marks from age and use. Original pushers and unsigned crown.

Includes brown leather strap with contrast stitching and two 20mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.

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