Founded by Henry Louis Belmont in 1948, the timepiece maker launched its very first Yema Superman for divers in 1963. Over the years, it has seen multiple variations. This year, Yema has unveiled a 300-piece, limited-edition chronograph, Yema Rallye 5 Turbo (Ref. YRAL23-AU32S), inspired by the 1980 Renault 5 Turbo hatchback.
Even though watches and automobiles serve different purposes, they have one thing in common — their close association with racing. Of course there are collaborations between the two as well. We often see the horological world drawing inspiration from some of the most iconic cars ever created. Just as cars have sophisticated engines, watches have complicated movements. Furthermore, a case is to a watch what a chassis is to a car.
The Renault 5 Turbo was a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive hatchback, built as a rally car. With a seating capacity for only two people, the car was powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged inline four cylinder engine, producing 158 horsepower and Nm of torque, mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
Coming to the limited-edition timepiece, the watch draws inspiration from the main design of the rally car in question. The 39 mm stainless steel watch gets a steel bezel with a tachymeter scale, along with a matte black, textured race track asphalt ‘sandwich’ R5 turbo dial, featuring a sandblasted effect. The watch comes with polished SS indexes and hands with Super-LumiNova, complete with a red central chronograph hand.
The dial also consists of a running seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock. Additionally, there is a date window at 6 o’clock. The watch also comes with a double-domed sapphire crystal, which makes it ideal for everyday wear. There are two stainless steel chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the function. There is a pushed crown with the YEMA logo at 3 o’ clock.
Powering the Yema Rallye 5 watch is the ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic movement with 44 hours of power reserve. The solid stainless steel caseback is engraved with the YEMA emblem, ‘limited-edition’ and the individual watch number out of 300. A brown leather Rallye strap with a polished clasp keeps the aesthetic of the watch vintage.