YEMA RALLYE ‘ANDRETTI’ CHRONOGRAPH | FIRST GENERATION
Racing Dial Yema – Rare & Instantly Recognisable To The Few In The Know !
Famously worn by racing driver, Mario Andretti
Back in the 1960s, the French make, Yema, were looking for exciting ways of extending and promoting their already trend-setting range of watches. One rarity they came up with, was their Red Line Racing Dial, featuring a unique central dashboard design and chequered flag logo. The Yema Rallye achieved fame, as it was the watch of choice for racing driver, Mario Andretti.
Marketed towards the rally and motor racing fraternity, their advertising material showed their Racing Dial watch alongside images of rally driving, speedway, and motor racing. Today, Yema’s Racing Dial watch, is both rare to market, and instantly recognisable to the few in the know. And obviously it is supremely wearable by those with classic cars and classic bikes.
Item description: This rare example of the classic Yema Rallye is a first generation model, dating from the middle 1960s. The watch uses the highly regarded Valjoux 7730 chronograph movement. With a stainless steel case, black tachometer fixed bezel, and with circular chronograph pushers, this is a good looking watch. It has the classic and sought after Yema Rallye Racing Dial, in black with the light grey centre bearing chronograph counter insets, and the dual red stripes. The reverse has a screw case-back with the serial number. The Yema Rallye watch came with a very specifically designed leather rally strap, and this watch has a new Yema Rallye style strap, which is hand-made in Italy on special order.
Case size: 50mm x 40mm (excluding crown)
Condition report: Overall very good to excellent condition. Case in excellent condition. Reverse with polished screw on case-back. The fixed bezel has survived in particularly good condition for one of these watches. Clean, and with all the tachometer numbering clear and readable. Beautiful original dial with light ageing. Movement functioning and fully serviced one year ago. Sweep seconds fly-back to 12.00 position correctly. The timepiece has been opened, so it should not be used near moisture or water without being checked and resealed by a qualified watchmaker. The watch complete with a new black leather and hand stitched special order Yema Rallye strap.
Background to Yema: Yema was founded in 1948 by Henry Louis Belmont, with his workshop in Besançon (Doubs). The evolution of the brand is punctuated by:
The anti-shock watch in the 50’s;
The Yema Superman waterproof to 300 meters in 1963;
The Yema Rallygraf equipped with a tachometer for car enthusiasts in 1968;
The Yema Spationaute first French watch to fly in space with Jean-Loup Chretien in 1982;
The Yema North Pole which accompanied Nicolas Hulot and Hubert de Chevigny in the exploit of the North Pole in 1987.
In 1966, 1967 and 1968 Yema became the leading exporter of French watches, with more than 500,000 watches sold every year across 50 countries.
Special notes: Today, the Yema Rallye remains a rare watch to find. A trending watch, the Yema Rallye could easily be the next watch to make a big increase in price.
Provenance: The watch purchased in 2016 from a shop in Monte Carlo by the previous Italian owner. In a short letter, he states how he had seen the watch in the window of the shop for some time, but after watching the Formula 1 GP in 2016, he made the decision to buy it.
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