A Very French Space Watch: the Yema Spacegraf ZERO-G

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Lots of watch enthusiasts have a natural affinity for space watches, and it’s not a huge mystery as to why. If you’re at all inclined toward watches as a hobby, space exploration as a serious interest isn’t too far of a leap. There’s a link, of course, in the fundamentally mechanical nature of both pursuits. What’s the Saturn V rocket, after all, if it’s not a purpose driven tool? It’s built on a much larger scale than a Speedmaster, but each has a hand in accomplishing the same end goal. The Speedy, obviously, isn’t the only space watch. Not by a long shot. Astronauts, through the years, have worn a wide variety timepieces, and those astronauts come from many different countries and represent just as many space agencies. This is where Yema’s new Spacegraf ZERO-G comes in, a French watch from a French brand, made in collaboration with the French space agency.


Yema Spacegraf ZERO-G

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black, blue
  • Dimensions: 39mm
  • Crystal: Mineral  
  • Water Resistance: 10 bar
  • Crown: Push/pull        
  • Movement: Epson YM90A
  • Strap/bracelet: Black or blue canvas
  • Price: $399-$449
  • Reference Number: YMHF2019-3AA, YMHF2019-AA, YMHF2019-GG
  • Expected Release: Available now

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The Spacegraf ZERO-G commemorates the 30th anniversary of French simulated microgravity flights. These flights are instrumental in astronaut training and have been used by other space agencies as well, including NASA. France’s space agency (the CNES) uses a converted Airbus A300 for their training flights, which involves allowing the jet to free fall for short intervals of time from high altitudes, simulating a zero gravity environment on board.

The watch itself is a simple quartz chronograph with a utilitarian design built for extreme legibility. The mix of circular and rectangular hour markers is reminiscent of classic divers, but the tachymeter scale on the bezel is clearly derived from old Speedmasters and Daytonas. The mixing of influences on a watch like this can sometimes appear lazy or as if the design team was just trying too hard, but the Spacegraf comes together nicely – all the design elements come together and create their own distinctive “thing,” and the fact that it’s all sanctioned by the CNES goes a long way toward lending the watch an heir of credibility. (Yema’s involvement does the same – the first Western European astronaut, a Frenchman, was wearing a Yema on his 1982 flight aboard the space shuttle Discovery). 

Three variants of the Spacegraf ZERO-G are available at launch. There’s a sleek black on black version, with a PVD coated case. We also have two versions in stainless steel, with your choice of a black or blue dial. Regardless of the version you choose, the Spacegraf has attractive red accents throughout, which I think gives a watch with some very traditional design elements a more balanced and modern look and feel. 

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With a quartz movement and a starting price of $399, these watches represent an affordable way for space nerds to collect something just a little bit outside of the mainstream. Lots of collectors have various editions of the Speedmaster, but the Spacegraf is a rare opportunity to own a watch with the CNES logo on the back, which has its own unique appeal. Yema

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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