Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The New Yema Urban Sport Trilogy Brings Back Three of the Brand’s Icons

The Flygraf, Rallygraf and Yachtingraf names are back with accessible prices and 1980s-inspired cases.

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |

While the Superman, a skindiver piece, is by far the most emblematic model of French watchmaking brand Yema, three other names might ring a bell to some enthusiasts. All designed as professional instruments in the late 1960s or early 1970s, the Flygraf (pilot’s watch), Rallygraf (driver’s watch) and Yachtingraf (regatta watch) are now deeply rooted in Yema’s collection and were recently re-edited. But today, while sticking to the same names, Yema offers something different: a trilogy of accessible sports watches all built around the same technical base, yet with significant differences regarding the display to pay tribute to the vintage Flygraf, Rallygraf and Yachtingraf. Let’s have a look at the new Yema Urban Sport Trilogy.

Let’s first go back in time… Yema was founded in 1948 by Henry Louis Belmont, a trained watchmaker who graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Horlogerie de Besançon (National School of Watchmaking of Besançon) in the French Jura, near the Swiss border. A pioneer in the industrialisation of watchmaking in France, the brand grew to become, in the mid-1960s, the largest exporter of timepieces in the country. Success came mainly from one watch, the Superman, a skindiver launched in 1963. Later, other important models were created, most of them answering specific professional needs – alongside, of course, classic collections for daily wear.

Among dozens of sports watches, three names have gained particular fame. All designed with a dedicated mission, the original versions of these watches are now part of the most collectable items of the brand. Named Flygraf, Rallygraf and Yachtingraf, they were dedicated to pilots, rally drivers and regatta sailors, respectively. They were mostly built around a chronograph movement with a display incorporating useful elements such as a navigation slide rule, a tachymeter scale or a regatta countdown timer. Today, these three models are back in the collection but with different duties than the originals. With the Urban Sport Trilogy, Yema wants to offer a powerful design with dedicated functions but at an accessible price. And that meant getting rid of the chronograph function to focus solely on the displays and bezels.

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All three watches in the Yema Urban Sport Trilogy, meaning the new Flygraf, Rallygraf and Yachtingraf, are built around the same technical architecture, starting with a case that is inspired by one of the brand’s 1980s sports watches. This angular and barrel-shaped case can’t hide a certain “luxury sports watch” vibe but offers something sportier than, for instance, Yema’s Urban Traveller collection – this one was clearly intended to fight in the sporty-chic integrated bracelet market.

Sharper, more angular and more robust overall, the case used for this trilogy has a cool retro vibe and great proportions. At 39mm in diameter, 11.70mm in thickness and 47mm in length, its proportions are as appealing as they are comfortable. The flat top surface is home to a raised rotating bezel, framing a flat sapphire crystal. The crown is large, and despite being a classic push-pull construction, water-resistance is rated at a comfortable 100m – due mainly to the solid steel screwed back. The case seems nicely finished with a combination of vertically brushed flat surfaces and polished bevels.

With identical cases, you might wonder what differentiates the Rallygraf from a Flygraf or a Yachtingraf. Well, it all comes down to the bezel inserts, inner flanges and dials. All three models have a distinct personality, harking back to the origins of their respective ancestors. The Rallygraf, originally a watch dedicated to automobile racing enthusiasts, has a bidirectional bezel with a tachymeter scale printed on a black aluminium insert. The dial continues in the same vein with a white-on-black racing theme, including checkered flags at 6 o’clock and squarish markers and hands. The red seconds hand accentuates the racing side of the model.

With its blue dial, the Yachtingraf doesn’t hide its nautical origins. This discreet member of the Urban Sport Trilogy comes with a matte blue stepped dial, silvered hands and applied markers. The inner flange hosts a classic seconds track, and the central seconds hand has a nice open-tip arrow design. What makes this version unique is the aluminium insert of the bidirectional bezel with its 15-minute regatta countdown scale. It works in tandem with the minute hand and allows precise countdown timings for regatta-style races.

The final model in Yema’s Urban Sport Trilogy is named Flygraf and is dedicated to pilots. Its brushed black dial offers great contrast with the white hands and applied makers. Alongside the bold yellow accents, the main feature of this model is its rotating bezel that, together with the inner flange, allows for a multitude of in-flight calculations – average speed, average fuel consumption of an aircraft, or even converting nautical miles to miles, and miles to kilometres.

All three models are powered by the brand’s proprietary Yema2000 calibre, an alternative to ETA and Sellita movements, which was conceived in France and is assembled in the French Jura (in Morteau). Running at a 4Hz frequency, it boasts 42h of power reserve and is regulated in 4 positions to a precision of -/+ 10 seconds/day. The version used here is the no-date one.

The Flygraf, Rallygraf and Yachtingraf are presented on a 9-link stainless steel bracelet with a double security folding clasp and a design inspired by the 1980s or a leather strap with a steel pin buckle (black leather for the Flygraf, blue leather for the Yachtingraf and perforated brown leather for the Rallygraf). Either way, the 20mm lug width will offer a lot of possibilities.

All watches of this Trilogy are now available for order at EUR 829 on a leather strap and EUR 890 on a steel bracelet. There is also a 10-piece limited collector’s case containing all three models (EUR 2,669). For more details and orders, please visit

2 responses

  1. Loving the watches, but good luck doing yachting, rally driving and flying in an urban area… Especially the Yachtingraf looks fantastic.

  2. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Yema brand however I’ve always been under the impression that reviews of the company/quality have been a bit hit and miss?


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