The cassette futurism revival has been raging strong for several years now. From legions of retrowave musicians to a new generation of youths dreaming of Sonny Crockett’s white Testarossa, it really seems like the 1980s are here to stay.

Not willing to rest on their laurels, the horologists at legendary French luxury watchmaker Yema have teamed up with prominent retrowave artist Kavinsky to design a retro-futurist LED digital watch that simply screams DAT tapes and DeLoreans.

So who is Kavinsky? He’s a French musician heavily-inspired by 1980s electropop and one of the pioneering forces behind retrowave music. His song Nightcall made it onto the soundtrack for 2011’s Drive and his album OutRun made it to number two on the French charts. Perhaps adding to the allure, his character follows an interesting fictional backstory. The tale goes that he died after crashing his Testarossa in 1986, only to reappear as a zombie making electronic music in 2006. Not exactly the sort of artist you’d expect to team up with a watchmaker, right?

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Look a bit deeper and you’ll learn that Kavinsky is one of the most acclaimed electronic artists of the 21st century, having pioneered the retrowave sound and toured with acts from Daft Punk to Justice. Having shaped the world of music and art, he’s now turning to fashion while promoting the release of his new album, Reborn.

Speaking of fashion, this 130-gram watch simply oozes style. Measuring in at 42 millimeters wide by 35.5 millimeters tall, the octagonal 316L stainless steel case is a sight to behold. Featuring bold beveled corners, fine line engraving and a hybrid brushed and polished finish, it suits the angular red LED display perfectly. Of course, the case is also available in black for those seeking a stealthier look. The display itself is fairly rudimentary, each number displayed in seven-segment style reminiscent of 1980s technology. In fact, it’s surprisingly similar to the LED technology pioneered by Yema in the 1970s.

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One interesting twist to this watch is that the soft LED glow is only visible when pressing the side button, an interesting bit of privacy that’s designed to save battery life and provide a sense of intimacy. Also on tap are both 12- and 24-hour display settings, month, date and year. As far as engravings go, this piece keeps things fairly tasteful. The Yema brand name is engraved just below the LED display, Kavinsky’s mongram is engraved on the stainless steel bracelet’s clasp while the backplate features Kavinsky’s logo, a bespoke limited-edition serial number and some key specifications.

Pricing for this limited edition watch is very compelling. Through Yema’s unorthodox Kickstarter campaign, one watch is available for 195 excluding VAT, one watch and a signed collector’s vinyl of Kavinsky’s new album Reborn is €222 excluding VAT and a bundle of two watches is €379 excluding VAT. Free shipping is included, with these timepieces set to ship in June. Ordering opens on March 18, so if retrowave is your style, you might want to hop on this watch before it’s gone.

Learn more here.

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