Debuting at the 1980 Brussels Motor Show, the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo became a rally car legend fairly quickly, garnering even more reverence after homologation models were produced shortly after. The store started a few years prior when the French marque knew it couldn’t compete with the likes of Lancia and Audi who had more dedicated resources at the time. It tapped Bertone’s Marc Deschamps to design a Group B iteration of the iconic hot-hatch, the 5 Alpine, with a mid-mounted engine, flared bodywork, and a boosted engine. The result was the 5 Maxi Turbo — or R5 Turbo — which has now inspired a new limited-edition chronograph from YEMA.
Finding its most prolific years during the racing heyday in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, the French watchmaker is no stranger to auto-inspired timepieces. Since rebranding in 2018, YEMA has revived classics such as the Rallygraf and the Superman. And while it’s notably unveiled some new models as well, its latest Rallye 5 Turbo Limited Edition, inspired by its namesake rally car, may just take the cake.
Nodding to Renault’s and Deschamps’ creative design decisions, YEMA’s own Head of Design Christopher Bôle took aspects from seemingly every part of the car’s interior. To create a sense of depth, he set the template first by stacking four dial layers on top of one another so that different elements would come to life — including the top layer that’s been sand-blasted to echo the racing blacktop. Establishing a dynamic much different than your average chronograph, the unique steering wheel shape is depicted via the L-shaped dial cutout, while the totalizers and hands recall the vehicle’s dashboard instruments and overall aesthetic. Housing an ETA Valjoux 7753 caliber movement, the 39mm stainless steel case, made exclusively for this timepiece, features a tachymeter bezel and pushers that look like engine pistons.
Adorned with a gorgeous brown perforated leather strap, the Rallye 5 Turbo Limited Edition is also notable for its price tag, which is a tad bit more than YEMA’s standard budget-friendly range of chronographs. Limited to just 300 pieces, the watch will cost you $2,190 when it launches on March 22.