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Yema is a name that was born in 1948, created by Henry Louis Belmont, who was a graduate from the National Watchmaking School of Besancon in 1931. The name stayed until today and lingered very well, especially within the dive-watch community, which is synonymous with fine French horology.
Mr. Belmont created Yema, who specialized in the manufacturing well-built watches at an honest price (Gnomon's philosophy), which led the brand to take off during the 1960s. Some of them do ring a bell for vintage watch collectors, for an instant, the 1960s Flygraf pilot chronograph (air), Rallygraf racing chronograph (land), and Yachtingraf regatta chronograph (sea). Further, let's not forget the one and only diver collection that stamps this French maestro into the watchmaking legacy- the legendary Superman diver.
|Yema Superman Heritage 63 39mm - Ltd Ed 1000pcs|
Today, we like to introduce you to the latter that Yema had brought back from their archive. Re-introducing the Superman collection and what we have right here is yet another of the brand's vintage-inspired model; the Yema Superman Heritage 63 39mm Limited Edition.
Before we get started, we like to point out that Yema truly focuses on the brand's iconic diver to craft a faithful homage. They used 3D-modeling on an actual vintage Superman diver from that era during the inception period of the design process.
While previous iterations are mainly based on the 1977's Ref. 53.00.16, this particular LE Superman harks back the first 1963 dive watch from Yema. Essentially, a 300m water resistance diver, and a direct re-issue of the 1963 famous diver Superman. Its true-to-size 39mm steel case features straight pointy lugs but still keeps the original lug to a lug distance of 48mm and 13mm thick. This Superman Heritage 63 Limited Edition pays tribute to the historic model by recreating the unique design and the professional diving features which have nowadays become essential on most dive watches.
|Yema's signature locking device for the bezel
Like the 60s and 70s model, the most iconic design feature of the Superman that sets it different from others is the locking device for the bezel, located at 3 o'clock, in-between the bezel and the crown.
How does it work? It was a piece of engineering where once the time set and bezel rotated to the position one favors, the crown then locks the bezel with the locking device by having the crown screw back in. Simple yet effective to prevent any unnecessary movement on the bezel.
The dial and handset is an ode to the past, even the exact same logo and the "shovel traffic-light" style secondhand. Notably, it rekindles the early '60s with a quirky, yet futuristic numerals present at the 12, 9, and 6 inside the hour markers, along with metal trims around all the trapezoid-shaped markers. This aesthetic is the traits of early 60s divers, like the Eterna Kontikies, Oris Sixty-Fives, and the earliest Superman watches. All of which have been applied with luminous that glows well in low-light situations. All can be seen through a high-domed sapphire crystal that gives the retro charm while durability is at the forefront.
|Domed Sapphire crystal radiates the vintage charm of 70s divers|
Yema did not stop at the case design; they intentionally recreated a 19mm anti-corrosion 316L stainless steel bracelet with satin-brushed top and polished sides. The sports bracelet has a signed clasp with a divers extension to allow quick adjustment over a diving suit. This accompaniment completes the whole package, and it's downright perfect.
The Yema Superman Heritage is powered by the tried and tested Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic caliber, boasting 38 hours power reserve that beats at 28,800bph, letting one enjoy the smooth sweeping seconds. All these are protected thoroughly under a solid screwed-in case back, engraved with both Yema emblem and limited edition serial.
|Green Super-LumiNova C|
Limited to 1000 pieces, the Superman Heritage 63 is a faithful modern re-issue that is nearly identical to the very first dive watch from the French brand, with few significant upgrades like the improvements of the case finishing and movement. What's more intriguing is that we can see the parallel between this re-issue and the vintage model on their honest pricing. Like the vintage model, both are legit tool watches that offered unique identity and value proposition for those willing to venture outside the usual suspects in the market.