There used to be no doubt no scarcity of funky chronographs within the seventies. Vivid, colourful dials, distinctive timing functions, and quite a lot of fascinating case designs become more or less a calling card for the last decade. Manufacturers like Zenith, Bulova, Tudor, or even Omega embraced the 70s aesthetic, every with their very own takes at the chronograph. Yema has been making watches out of France because the past due nineteen forties, however truly hit their stride within the sixties with their fashionable Superman dive watches, and in the end the racing-centric Rallygraf. A decade later within the 70s, they put out every other racing encouraged watch referred to as the Meangraf — a cool collection of chronographs that had been constructed particularly to calculate the typical hourly pace of a race automotive.
Keep on with me right here, to take part within the calculation of moderate pace, one would use the chronograph characteristic to time the race (of which they knew the set distance), after which turn the only goal calculation bezel to line up the time elapsed with the space traveled, after which the typical pace of the automobile may well be learn out by means of a triangle pointing to the quantity at 9 o’clock. An enchanting and extremely particular complication, this pace calculating bezel isn’t regularly observed within the watch world…till it’s contemporary reissue on Yema’s resurrected Meangraf.
Nowadays, we’re having a look on the modern re-release of Yema’s racing watch. Wearing the similar call as its predecessor, the Meangraf isn’t rather as indignant because it sounds. Whilst now not probably the most identified type within the Meangraf lineup, Yema opted to launch a lesser-known, funkier variant from the previous. Nowadays’s model is an overly solid 39mm block of steel with an inset bezel, mechaquartz movement, and a a laugh dial with yellow accents. At a marginally below $350, it’s all of the allure of a 70s chronograph with out the prospective headache of going antique.
Editor’s be aware: The photographs observed on this overview depict a pre-production prototype, and would possibly not constitute the overall manufacturing high quality.
Assessment: The YEMA Meangraf Is Reborn
316L Stainless Metal
Seiko VK63 Mechaquartz
Black with yellow accents
Domed Mineral Crystal
Metal mesh or leather-based
Push Down, Signed
39 x 46 millimeters of barrel-shaped 316L stainless steel make up the Meangraf’s chunky case. An unbroken slab of cleaned steel makes rather the impact proper off the bat. There’s a slight undercut within the case which provides a little bit little bit of aid from the slab. It’s an overly fascinating profile, enjoying with other angles and textures. The thickness measures in at 13.5mm, however seems to be thicker. It’s great if you need a case with some visible presence, and likewise one thing that doesn’t really feel such as you’re dressed in a brick to your wrist.
The 46mm lug-to-lug dimension is good and quick, giving the Meangraf some great proportions on wrist. The loss of conventional lugs paired with the 46mm dimension lead to a watch that may leisure properly with in the limits of maximum wrists. From the highest down, you’ll respect the barrel form with its signature flat best and backside and rounded aspects. Conventional lugs are nowhere to be observed, only a cascade of steel from the highest floor to the bracelet attachment level — a decoration part I truly love.
The loss of conventional lugs lead to a graceful case that’s highlighted by way of the vertical brushing (making for top drama wrist rolls). With a push down crown, the case is water resistance to 100m — greater than sufficient for day by day use and without a doubt sufficient to resist a rinse after the ones large splashes of dust thrown by way of the rally automobiles you’re seeking to calculate the typical hourly pace of.
The cleaned aspects and brushed best floor are damaged up by way of a large cleaned chamfer which transitions into the inset turning bezel in the midst of the case. From the aspect, you’ll see this impact even clearer. The only portion of the bezel that you’ll manipulate is uncovered between 2 and four, and once more between 7 and 10. Whilst I like how this seems to be, functionally it’s a little of a nightmare.
The skinny bezel is in large part shrouded by way of the case and it’s tricky to rotate. Whilst I truly dig the cultured of the skinny textured edges, the company motion and minimum house to grip the bezel lead to person who’s very exhausting to in fact use. I’ve discovered that I’ve to try to use an fringe of my fingernail (now not a lot to paintings with there) to truly dig in and spin the bezel. It’s now not probably the most actual manner of rotating a bezel, particularly on one the place it’s important to line up tiny numbers with the intention to make the object paintings. Talking of the way it works, let’s pass over that.
Chronograph and Bezel
Consider you’re within the Ecu geographical region, and also you’re about to witness a race that’s 200km lengthy. Because the race starts, you get started your chronograph to time the development. All the motion takes two hours overall, on the of completion if which, you prevent the timer. Now comes the tough part. Beginning at round 6:30, the inner scale at the rehaut counts up in 5 minute durations from 30 minutes to an hour (a triangle at 9:00), then switches over to each and every ten minutes.
It’s displayed in a complicated manner, so “110, 120, 130” is in fact an hour and 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and so forth. Since we all know the race is a suite distance of 200km, we turn the outer bezel’s 200 marking to line up with the 200 (2 hour) marking at the rehaut. Now, our moderate hourly pace is gifted by way of the triangle at 9 o’clock. We now know that the auto’s moderate pace is 100km/h as instructed by way of the readout (or some simple arithmetic for your head).
The bizarre spacing within the scale, paired with truly small numbers, and a bezel that’s downright awkward to rotate ends up in a calculation that’s truly now not all that helpful outdoor of the world of racing. Additionally, it’s a little bizarre with the chronograph sub dial knowledge. At the left sub dial, there’s a 60 minute counter, and at the proper a 24 hour indicator. So timing a race is restricted to 60 minutes, in spite of the size going as much as a complete 10 hours. The suitable sub dial has not anything to do with anything at the watch, rather than the truth that that’s what the VK63 movement within does. As a man who appreciates a excellent, practical watch, the Yema Meangraf falls a little quick in its timing and calculation talents — they may were concept out a little bit bit extra.
Dial & Fingers
Yema’s re-release of the Meangraf sports a deep grey dial that’s ever-so-slightly metal. Working down the middle is a swoopy yellow stylized set of racing stripes. They’re damaged up by way of the Yema emblem, with “Meangraf Super” rendered in cursive textual content slightly below it. Inset into the dial, there are two chronograph sub dials, located at 3:00 and 9:00 showing in a pearly coloration of white with a touch of metal shine. The sub dial at 3 is a 24-hour indicator, which once more, doesn’t truly upload a lot to the rally racing nature of the watch (except perhaps you’re on the 24 Hours of Le Mans).
At the left aspect of the dial at 9:00, there’s a 60 minute counter. Denoting hours, you’ll to find small, squared off implemented indices which can be handled with a success of lume within the middle. In between, there’s a groovy checkerboard taste alternating decoration that differentiates between minutes. Between the size at the rehaut, the checkerboard minutes track, and two chronograph sub dials, there’s rather a little happening with in the limits of the dial. It wouldn’t be a 70s-inspired chronograph if there wasn’t so much happening. The weather are balanced sufficient to learn, and so they without a doubt fall into the joys and playful class with some transparent motorsport DNA all over.
A collection of cleaned pencil formed hands denote the principle time, whilst a tapered yellow hand looks after the working chronograph seconds. The handset is balanced properly with the remainder of the dial parts, and I really like how the yellow seconds hand choices up at the racing stripes at the back of within the dial. It’s a really perfect use of the tone yellow, a coloration which I’m now not in particular keen on, however right here it truly works. The bottom grey dial with the trace of metal shine supplies very good distinction for the pearly sub dials. General, the dial is beautiful busy as it must be. There’s numerous data had to make the calculation bezel paintings, and Yema’s designers did a excellent process of balancing the entirety out.
Within the Meangraf, you’ll to find the inexpensive and dependable Seiko-made SII VK63 mechaquartz movement. I’ve reviewed watches with this movement in right here sooner than, and it’s exhausting to best my colleague’s very good article with regards to mechaquartz movements that you can read here. Principally, what you’ve were given is a hybrid operated by battery movement with a mechanical gearing. The result’s an inexpensive chronograph movement that feels and looks as if its mechanical counterpart.
Activating the plungers is good and snappy, and also you get the barely jumpy 5 beat consistent with 2d sweep of the central seconds hand. Within the world of inexpensive chronographs, particularly within the sub-$500 vary, you’re almost definitely to search out this one from SII, and I’m utterly ok with that. Whilst it is smart from an affordability perspective, the 60 minute totalizer and 24 hour indicator aren’t probably the most practical suits with the remainder of the watch.
Bracelet & Wearability
At the wrist, the Meangraf is rather the hunk of steel. On the other hand, the balanced proportions and slightly quick lug-to-lug lead to a watch that’s strangely wearable. Whilst the case is thick, it’s now not imposingly so. The glass stands about 2mm off the highest of the case, and the inset bezel lend a hand with the visible thickness. For those who’re now not partial to slab aspects, I will optimistically say that this watch is probably not for you. The edges of the watch are unapologetically slabby, which simply screams seventies. Once more, if that’s a mode you’re searching for, a cool case form is nearly necessary.
Whilst the Yema Meangraf isn’t a watch I’d generally search out, I’m pleasantly shocked with how a laugh it’s to wear. The type I had the risk to take a look at got here at the steel mesh bracelet, which balances out the burden of the thick watch head up best. It’s super versatile and really relaxed to wear. The buckle locks up great and tight, with an extra safety buckle conserving it on my wrist. I’ve discovered the barrel formed case to wear properly too, despite the thick aspects.
Now that we’re on the finish of the overview, it will appear to be I used to be beautiful important to the Yema Meangraf. There are without a doubt a beautiful balanced checklist of execs and cons. Whilst I took factor with the bezel motion, making calculations, and the selection of movement from a capability viewpoint, it’s exhausting to disclaim that the Meangraf is a a laugh watch. I like the barrel formed case and the way it cascades from best to lugs. The inset bezel is truly cool taking a look, and to be completely sincere, I don’t suppose I’d ever use the calculation bezel. To me, it hits more difficult as a cultured selection than a practical one. That’s more or less how the entire watch feels, and I’m ok with it.
For $350, it’s a well-constructed, a laugh, and cool watch that appears love it’s been pulled immediately from the seventies (I suppose that’s what a reissue is). If you’ll put out of your mind the few quirks, it’s a pleasure to wear. Cast with some great heft, however nonetheless relaxed at the wrist, courtesy of that steel mesh strap. Whilst the calculation bezel used to be irritating to determine (shoutout to my Pen Addict Slack Workforce for the crowd effort), it’ll barely ever come into use for me. Whilst my darkish grey Honda plug-in hybrid doesn’t precisely scream “heritage motorsports’ ‘ whilst I quietly glide into the workplace, I think a complete heck of so much cooler using it with the Yema Meangraf on my wrist. Yema.