The New Yema LED Kavinsky Watch Is a 1970s Cyberpunk Grail

 Alongside boxy Ferraris, pleated Perry Ellis fits, and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” digital watches dominated in the ‘80s. As iconic as the coolest 1980s watches are, however, the digital timepieces of the 1970s were even wilder. Digital tech was brand new in the ‘70s and, typical of the decade’s freewheeling decadence, the first generation of digital watches were as freaky as you’d expect. While ‘80s digital classics like the Timex Ironman and Casio Databank calculator watch were all about functionality—whether timing laps or splitting the tip to two decimal places—the watches from the decade preceding it were all about style.

Thanks to the resurgence of interest in all things ‘70s—from blobby furniture to Jerry Buss’ wildly sleazy shirts—these watches are starting to pop up again as re-editions, in all of their weird, techno-glam glory. Hamilton’s PSR came first (fittingly, since their Pulsar kicked off the digital watch boom in 1970), and followed it up with a limited-edition Matrix collab earlier this year. There’s also Bulova’s equally funky Computron and Girard Perregaux’s recently-relaunched Casquette, whose most remarkable features are its sideways oriented display and $4,700 price. Then there’s the Yema LED, a ‘70s digital timepiece from a recently re-animated French watch brand with a chunky, octagonal case and a bright red digital display reminiscent of a Sony Dream Machine.

Following the initial success of the re-launched Yema LED, the brand is gearing up to drop a limited-edition sequel, and they’ve enlisted French retro-futurist DJ Kavinsky (better known as the guy who wrote the synthwave hit Nightcall from the movie Drive) to lend a hand. The Yema LED Kavinsky is available in a choice of 316L stainless steel or moody black PVD and features the same red LED as the original, but adds a blockier bracelet, a single red pusher, and a case engraved with horizontal lines—much like those on Kavinsky’s red Testarossa. The watch launches this week via Kickstarter campaign, where early backers can get up to 30% off the $360 retail price—and a unique numbered edition of the watch—by signing up. You’ll also get a copy of Kavinsky’s new vinyl LP, but you’ll have to buy your own driving gloves and scorpion jacket.

Yema LED Kavinsky watch


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