The new Yema Rallye 5 Turbo goes deep into French car racingTime+Tide
Since 1948, Yema has been producing reliable sports watches that come with a unique visual DNA. Best known for the Superman Heritage diver, Yema has been producing many types of chronographs over the past few decades. From Meca-Quartz to full automatic, the French brand releases a new collection every year, if not more often. Each Yema chronograph nods to a historical figure or car race which is the case with the Rallye 5 Turbo. Indeed, the latter pays homage to an iconic French race car: the Renault 5 Turbo with its flashy red colour and almost art-deco interior.
For those of you who are into vintage race cars, you may have heard of the Renault 5 Turbo. It was something rather new and bold coming from a French car manufacturer. Released in 1980, the Renault 5 Turbo made the news for having a mid-mounted turbocharged engine and futuristic bodywork. The interior was conceptualised by the Italian industrial design firm Bertone which created, amongst other things, the asymmetrical steering wheel. The latter’s L shape construction is echoed in the dial design of the Yema Rallye 5 Turbo. (Look for the L-shaped recessed portion of the dial.)
Combining a modest case of 39mm in diameter, 48mm lug-to-lug, and 12mm thick with an ETA 7753, the Rallye 5 Turbo looks nimble. Automatic chronograph movements tend to make watches thick, however Yema managed to keep the dimensions of the Rallye 5 modest. This is perhaps due to the fact that the ETA 7753 only has two sub-registers. One for the running second at the 9 o’clock and a 30-minute totaliser at 3 o’clock. The latter is part of the L-shaped recess section as well as the date aperture at the 6 o’clock.
Being a chronograph, the Rallye 5 Turbo comes with a tachymeter scale printed on a brushed stainless-steel insert. The grey colour of the bezel insert is echoed on the matte black dial which looks grey at certain angles, except for the recessed part which is black and comes with a glossy finish. As in many Yema chronographs, the hour markers are applied and short, nestled within the fully graduated minute track. The pencil-style hands are easy to read and also a trademark of Yema chronographs.
Although the black dial and grey bezel create a monochrome colour theme, touches of red and yellow break the monotony. The red accents on the seconds and chronograph hands echo that of the Renault Turbo 5. While the yellow-coloured lume (which glows ice blue when charged) is present on the hands and applied markers. To further add dimension to the dial, the lume is present at the cardinal points in the seconds sub-register as well as on the 30-minute counter at each five-minute increment. The lume on the seconds sub-register has a sandwich construction that makes it highly visible.
Although the Rallye 5 Turbo is not a dive watch, it nevertheless comes with 100 metres of water resistance. This is made possible thanks to the screw-down case-back, however it should be noted that the crown does not thread, something that it is common to find on chronographs with mechanical movements. Furthermore, the crystal is of the double-domed sapphire variety offering protection against scratches. All in all, the Rallye 5 Turbo is well-dimensioned and comes with solid specifications.
Yema Rallye 5 Turbo pricing and availability:
The Yema Rallye 5 Turbo is available now as a limited edition of 300 individually numbered pieces. Price: US$2,190
|Rallye 5 Turbo Limited Edition
|39mm (D) x 12mm (T)
|Matte black semi-sandwich dial
|Double domed sapphire crystal
|Brown rally-style leather strap with polished Yema-branded clasp
|ETA 7753, automatic chronograph
|Chronograph, hours, minutes, seconds, date
|Limited to 300 pieces