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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 till today and lingered very well, especially within the dive-watch community, a name that is synonymous with fine French horology.
Mr. Belmont himself 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 era. 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 Bronze Bordeaux
Today, we like to introduce you to the latter that Yema had brought back from their archive. The brand reintroduced the Superman collection awhile back and have seen numerous selections. What we have right here is based thoroughly on its exact vintage-inspired model, but with a unique case material and bezel colorway- the Yema Superman Bronze Bordeux Ref. YSUPZ2019D-AZS.
Before we get started, The Bronze diver was not new to Yema, wherein 2019, the French maker manufactured their first bronze, launching through the Kickstarter program that was fully supported and funded within minutes. The first bronze collection was in a commemorative mood, limited to 1948 pieces to celebrate its founding. Since they were all long sold out, Yema did not disappoint their community and launched another 100 pieces with serial engraved on the back of the new Superman Bronze Bordeux.
Things are about to get warmer, but before we head into the watch details, we like to point out that Yema truly focuses on the brand's iconic diver to craft a faithful homage. They use 3D-modeling on an actual vintage Superman diver from that era during the inception period of the design process.
|Yema's signature locking device for the bezel|
Faithful to its predecessor, specifically the Ref. 53.00.16 from 1970, the 300m water resistance Yema Superman heritage is a direct reissue of the 1963 famous diver, with its true to size 39mm brushed bronze case, featuring straight pointy lugs but still keeping the original lug to lug distance of 48mm, and 13mm thick.
Just like the 1963 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 did 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.
|MBP1000 French In-House Movement
The bezel inserts ode-to-the-past with a "bakelite acrylic" style, scratch-resistant sapphire bezel with burgundy that fits the French's hereditament. As a whole, the burgundy bronze bezel rotates anti-clockwise with an old-school 60 click system when it unlocked, of course.
The dial and handset are the French house epoch, with the same hour dots, logo, and down to the "traffic-light" style second hand. The dark matte black dial surface contrasts well with the applied hour markers featuring metal "gilt" surround with gold finish and a slightly recessed date window. All of which applied with luminous that glows well in low-light situations. All can be seen through a high-domed sapphire crystal that has a durable thickness of 2.6mm that gives the retro charm while with durability at the forefront.
Yema did not stop at the case design, they intentionally paired with a period-correct theme tropical heritage black TPU rubber strap in black with matching bronze tang buckle. This accompaniment completes the whole package, and it's downright perfect.
|Domed sapphire crystal radiates the vintage charm of 70s divers|
YEMA's workshops are based in the small town of Morteau (Franche-Comté), surrounded by extensive pine forests in a secluded valley in the Jura mountains They are a third-generation watchmakers' family of Morteau with a small scale team averaging +30 years that continues the French horology, a longstanding tradition of excellence indeed. All these historical and geographical elements have enabled the French Watchmaker YEMA to design its In-house mechanical movement.
In 2011, after two years of Research & Development and over € 3 million investment with the directions of YEMA's leading watchmaker, Mr. Jean-Paul Boillot, a fourth-generation watchmaker, developed and released its very own in-house self-winding mechanical movement. Behold, the French Caliber MBP1000. Yemen's in-house movement has been designed, manually assembled, and precisely taken care of by highly experienced French traditional watchmakers. YEMA's In-house Caliber MBP1000 performance has thoroughly analyzed, tested, and reviewed by CETEHOR, the French Watch Technical Laboratory.
The Yema Superman Bronze Bordeux powered by this new in-house movement, 12 lines, 31 jewels, 4.6mm in height automatic caliber, boasting 45 hours power reserve that beats at 28,800bph, letting one enjoy the smooth sweeping seconds and date display. What's more, than meets the eye of this new MBP1000 automatic caliber has to be it's innovative on its technical perspectives. Without further ado, this caliber boast bi-directional winding via its three arms rotor for optima winding inertia, allowing quick release for its dial during servicing or repair intervals, and has its conventional barrel spring with sliding flange at the top of the winding, lastly allowing disengagement of its automatic winding device during wearer's manual winding. All these are protected thoroughly under a solid screwed-in case back that bears individual serials and Yema's historical coat of arms.
|Exact re-issue hour lame plots and handset|
The 100 pieces modern reissue in bronze that is nearly identical to the vintage model, with few significant upgrades like the improvements of the case finishing and featuring their in-house movement, not many can boast all of these on their own. What's more intriguing is the significant parallel between this reissue and the vintage model is their price. Like the vintage model, both are legit tool watch that offered good value for those willing to venture outside the usual suspects in the market.
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