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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 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 Heritage 41mm - Rubber
Today, we like to introduce you to the latter that Yema had brought back from their archive. The brand reintroduced the Superman collection and what we have right here is the exact vintage-inspired model; the Yema Superman Heritage 41mm.
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.
Faithful to its predecessor, specifically the Ref. 53.00.16 from 1970, the 300m water resistance Yema Superman Heritage 41mm is a direct re-issue of the 1963 famous diver, with its true-to-size 41mm steel case, featuring straight pointy lugs but still keeping the original lug to lug distance of 49.5mm, and 13mm thick.
|Yema's signature locking device for the bezel
Just like the 1970s 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 with the same hour dots, logo and down to the “traffic-light” style second hand. All of which 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 with durability at the forefront.
|Domed Sapphire crystal radiates the vintage charm of 70s divers|
The Yema Superman Heritage is powered by the 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.
Yema did not stop at the case design; inspired from the 1960's tropical style rubber straps, Yema paired a 20mm perforated black rubber strap made of thermoplastic polyurethane. This rubber material is flexible, durable and smooth in texture, lending it to be perfect to wear during aquatic-based or physical activities. This new Yema rubber strap gets a signed branded steel buckle.
|Exact re-issue hour lame plots and handset|
In all, the Superman Heritage is a faithful modern re-issue that is nearly identical to the vintage model, 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 watch that offered good value for those willing to venture outside the usual suspects in the market.