Introducing: The Yema Rallye 5 Turbo Limited Edition
Yema is a brand that continues to surprise us by releasing new chronographs every few months. Each new collection takes inspiration from a car race, an iconic person, or a famous automobile. The last one is the inspiration behind the new Rallye 5 Turbo. This mechanical chronograph is encased in 39mm of steel and inspired by a famous French car, the Renault 5 Turbo. As a Frenchman and a watch enthusiast, I find it pretty neat that Yema draws inspiration from iconic French stuff. As we will see below, Yema found its muse in the car’s geometrical design and almost Ferrari-red color.
While the Superman dive watch brought Yema back to the international horological scene, the brand also has an expansive catalog of chronographs and deep connections with the world of car racing. Looking at the Rallygraf and Navygraf Chrono, we can see that Yema can do chronographs well. The new Rallye 5 is no exception, and it seems that the brand went the extra mile this time.
Taking inspiration from the Renault 5 Turbo
I’m the last person who could intelligently talk about race cars. It’s a world that remains a mystery to me and that I lack any real knowledge about. However, I am French, and I remember the iconic Renault 5 Turbo. Although it came in many colors (not only red but also blue, green, and yellow), here, we’re going to take a look at the red version. After all, Yema was inspired by the red Turbo 5 for this new Rallye chronograph. Released in 1980, Renault managed to create a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged car that won many races (I know, super detailed, right?).
But besides being fast, the 5 Turbo was nimble and had an interior specially designed by the Italian firm Bertone. More specifically, the Renault 5 Turbo stood out for its wild bodywork and spaceship-like dashboard. Even more unusual was its asymmetrical steering wheel with its inverted-L-shaped arm, and that has inspired the dial design of the Yema Rallye 5.
Yema Rallye 5 Turbo Limited Edition — a compact chronograph
Typically, chronographs are difficult to keep slim. One main complaint that many watch enthusiasts have is that the cases are too thick and too heavy. To be fair, that is often due to the inherent complexity of automatic chronograph movements. However, Yema managed to keep the proportions of the Rallye 5 rather reasonable with a case diameter of 39mm, a lug-to-lug of 48mm, and a thickness of 12mm (excluding the crystal). Aiding the overall look, the Rallye 5 has a 20mm lug spacing and comes with a brown leather rally strap.
The ETA 7753 inside is a mainstay Swiss caliber beating at a 28,800vph (4Hz) frequency and delivering 44 hours of power reserve. In this two-register execution, it has a running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock. To be used every day without worry, the Rallye 5 Turbo is equipped with a double-domed sapphire crystal. It also comes with a push/pull crown and a 100m water resistance rating. All in all, these are pretty decent specifications for a mechanical chronograph.
Where the 5 in “Rallye 5 Turbo” comes from
As I mentioned, the Rallye 5 Turbo takes visual cues from the Renault 5 Turbo while remaining a true Yema chronograph. It has the distinctive dial layout that many Yema chronos come with, notably, the stubby applied markers and the pencil-style handset. Both, by the way, are filled with Grade A Super-LumiNova (also note the sandwich lume construction for the small seconds register). The Rallye 5 also comes with a fixed, radially brushed stainless steel tachymeter bezel, which we also find in the brand’s Rallygraf collection.
Remember the Renault 5 Turbo’s asymmetrical steering wheel? It has inspired the most prominent design of the element of the dial. Its inverted-L-shaped arm is echoed by the identically shaped recessed portion of the dial, which encompasses the 30-minute counter and the date aperture at 6 o’clock. And the red color of the race car is repeated in the chronograph and seconds hand painted in red as well. All of this contrasts nicely with the gray matte-finished dial and its grainy texture.
The more chronographs Yema releases, the more options we have. However, as affordable as the brand’s meca-quartz Rallygraf is at €369, the new Rallye 5 Turbo Limited Edition is in a pricier realm. Indeed, it will set you back €2,190 on the leather rally strap. Nevertheless, you do get a nice package, good specifications, and a rather unique connection to French race cars. Being a limited edition, only 300 of these are available to pre-order right now. Yema expects to ship the watches in early June 2023.
For more information on the Rallye 5 Turbo Limited Edition, visit the official Yema website. And as always, feel free to let us know your thoughts on this new release in the comments below!