Watches of Knightsbridge, London, June 24 2017
Sold for £8,680
Watches of Knightsbridge can always be relied upon to turn-up some interesting pieces from lesser known but interesting makers, and this sale was no exception. Among the lots were no fewer than 10 chronographs by the French maker Yema, a firm founded in 1948 in Besancon and taken-over 40 years later by Japanese giant Seiko.
The brand returned to French hands around 12 years ago, since when it has created a range of models based on its more successful pieces from the 1960s. They are dead ringers in terms of looks but, disappointingly to most horophiles, most are powered by Miyota quartz movements – meaning vintage is often the only way to go if you want a ‘proper’ Yema.
This example of the ‘Rallye’ model sold by Watches of Knightsbridge featured a decidedly wearable 41mm case and a beautifully mellowed black dial with so-called ‘brown sugar’ subdials arranged in the firm’s characteristic oval format. Powered by a trusty Valjoux calibre 7734, hand-wound movement (as used in the ‘70s by contemporaries Breitling, Heuer and Tudor, among others) it promises to be sturdy and reliable as well as good looking.
A nice touch on these ‘Rallye’ models was the chequered flag logo alluding, of course, to the fact that the watches were aimed at drivers.
Could Yema be the next Heuer?