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SPACEGRAF ZERO-G

After launching the Spacegraf to honor the mission of the last French astronaut in space, once again YEMA collaborates with the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) to introduce the YEMA Spacegraf Zero-G. This new partnership celebrates the 30th anniversary of the CNES’s parabolic flights.

NOVEMBER 08th, 2019 UPDATE

The Spacegraf Zero-G project in collaboration with CNES is reaching progress, our first prototype was tested in real conditions during a parabolic flight last October 15th, 2019.

The aim was both to test the Epson YM 90 movement and its chronograph function during the parabolic phases as well as to validate the good behaviour of the watch in weightlessness.

We entrusted this first Spacegraf Zero-G prototype to Sebastien Rouquette (Head of the Parabolic Flights program) aboard the A310 Zero G that took off from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport in the south-west of France.

FLIGHT LOG

We entrusted this first Spacegraf Zero-G prototype to Sebastien Rouquette (Head of the Parabolic Flights program) aboard the A310 Zero G that took off from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport in the south-west of France.

October 15, 2019: First parabolic flight of Spacegraf Zero-G

The weather conditions allowed a flight off Brittany, in a relatively calm air mass and a clear sky above 6000m of altitude, offering good flight conditions in weightlessness.

09h00: Closure of the aircraft doors. Taxiing to the runway.

09h30: Beginning of the takeoff roll. Takeoff from runway 23.

09h50: Beginning of the paraboles. At the announcement “1 minute!” made by the captain, the Spacegraf stopwatch is started.

The flight profile is as follows: During 2 hours, 30 parabolas are made in 6 series of 5 parabolas separated by 5 minute breaks, in order to allow the scientific teams to re-calibrate the measuring instruments and/or to change the samples. Within each series, the parabolas follow each 3 minutes.

The tempo is very precise and is followed with a digital stopwatch from the cockpit. In the experimental zone, the Spacegraf’s countdown is rigorously calibrated as shown by the photos taken during the flight, where one can see the stopwatch hand in the red range corresponding to the zero-g phase.

At all times during the flight, the synchronisation between the cockpit team and the Spacegraf team at the experimental zone was perfect. It was demonstrated that the Spacegraf Zero-G measuring instrument is perfectly adapted to what it has been designed for.

12h15: Landing on runway 23 at Bordeaux-Mérignac airport.

MODELS & LAUNCH PLANNING

During this flight, Sebastien Rouquette tested a Spacegraf Zero-G prototype with a glossy PVD black coating. After several coating tests and in agreement with CNES, we finally opted for below PVD black matt coating:

Available for order as from December 2nd at yema.com, the new Spacegraf Zero-G in 39mm black stainless steel case will be proposed at US$449 while two 39mm steel case variants (choice of textured black or blue dials) will come at US$399 with black or blue canvas straps.

JULY 3rd, 2019 UPDATE

Sébastien Rouquette, head of CNES’s parabolic flights program, collaborated with YEMA in the design of the Spacegraf Zero-G

This chronograph meets the CNES standards and will be equipped by a chronometer which allows the user to perfectly situate himself/herself in the parabolic time-space. More precisely said, in the rhythmic pace of the trajectories that follow every 3 minutes, especially between 22 seconds and 44 seconds (Zero-G stages). This timepiece gathers every aspect of this demanding activity that I love. As a civil pilot, I love the precision and fluidity aerial trajectory. Being passionate about space and science, I am pleased to have helped YEMA in designing this watch which will offer technology in contributing to the benefit of science.

Sébastien Rouquette

Inspired by the Spacegraf, this new moonwatch has been entirely reworked into a design that offers high readability and functionality in harmony with the technical characteristics of a Zero-G flight.

The YEMA Spacegraf Zero-G will be subject to a series of sub-spatial flight tests to validate its strength and functionality related to the atmospheric conditions presented during space missions and parabolic flights.

THE A310 ZERO-G

The A310 ZERO-G is operated by the French company NOVESPACE ( a subsidiary of CNES) to perform french parabolic flights. The A310 ZERO-G is an A310-304-type aircraft fitted out as a scientific research laboratory, specially adapted for parabolic flights. The Airbus Zero-G is now the world’s largest zero-gravity aircraft in terms of passenger capacity and experiment surface area, enabling scientists and the general public to access gravity-free conditions.

PARABOLIC FLIGHTS

Parabolic flights (or “0G flights”) are completed by aircrafts which, by performing a series of parabolas provoke a period of 22 seconds weightlessness. With very impressive and unusual trajectories, these flights allow the realization of scientific experiments without the influence of gravity.

SPACE TOOLWATCH

The dark black case (PVD) and dial combined with the white hands and indexes ends up as high contrast. The watch is equipped with a chronometer (red between 22 seconds and 44 seconds) and a matching red second hand which helps to define the zero-g timelapse easily during a parabolic flight. A minute counter has also been added at 6 O’clock. The tachymeter bezel allows the measuring of the average speed (kmh) of a moving body on a given time period. It is also used with a chronometer.

Domed markers The domed and embossed white markers are treated with SuperLuminova to offer perfect readability.

 

PVD Case The 39mm / 19mm lugs case of the Spacegraf Zero-G is treated with PVD, a high quality coating known by its inalterability, hardness, corrosion resistance, and excellent scratch resistance.  

 

Hands The hands sport an aviator style in tribute to the A310 ZERO-G used for parabolic flights.

Tachymeter Bezel The tachymeter bezel allows the measuring of the average speed (km/h) of a moving object over a certain period of time. It is also used with the chronometer.

Signed Crown Screw-down crown with vintage Y Yema logo engraved.

Caseback The caseback beautifully displays the official logo of the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in the center. It is also engraved in French: “YEMA -First French watch in orbit” and “30th anniversary of parabolic flights 1989 -2019”.

Movement The reason why a quartz movement has been chosen instead of a mechanical one is that when traveling to space, the movement is subject to a series of changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure. In addition, quartz movements are more precise than mechanical movements. For an astronaut, time measurement is a highly sensitive matter and needs to be done with high accuracy (to the nearest second). We hence chose Epson YM90 for its reliability and also its minute chronograph feature at 6 O’clock. This allows the Spacegraf Zero-G to be used to perfectly locate oneself in the space-time between the Zero-G period. This is done with the help of a specific marking on the dial. The minute counter, on the other hand, can be used to anticipate the parabolic stages.

CENTRE NATIONAL D’ETUDES SPATIALES (CNES)

CNES is responsible for the development and implementation of the French space program. CNES is the most important national space agency in 2019 in the European Union.

YEMA FIRST FRENCH WATCH TO FLY IN SPACE

Designed in 1982 at the start of the collaboration between the CNES and YEMA, the Spationaute model was the first French and Western Europe watch to travel to space. It was worn by Jean-Loup Chrétien during the French-Russian mission PVH, Soyouz T-6.

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