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Steel and bronze are both fundamentally very different kinds of metals, carrying their own distinct properties for the construction of watch cases. Is it really possible for a timepiece to be built with both? For YEMA’s latest release, the historic French watch manufacturer innovatively integrated the use of these two dissimilar metals to recreate their vintage YEMA Superman Ref. 53.00.16 first released in 1970 as an indestructible measurement tool for diving professionals. Limited to only 1948 pieces to commemorate YEMA’s year of establishment, the YEMA Superman Steel Bronze Gray Ref. YSUPSSZ39-CAS is a magnificent vintage-inspired collector’s edition model that showcases the impressive modern watchmaking capabilities of the French.
|Yema Superman Steel Bronze Gray 39mm - Ltd Ed 1948pcs
We all are familiar with countless exceptional watches made by the Swiss and Japanese that are dominating the market. Nonetheless, the French also displayed excellence in the fine art of watchmaking with the creation of many beautifully decorated haute horlogerie pieces and complex movements. While YEMA may not be a name that the masses are entirely familiar with, it is a brand synonymous with the production of fine French-made timepieces and an incredibly rich heritage. Founded in 1948 by French watchmaker Henry Louis Belmont, YEMA has demonstrated remarkable mastery in watchmaking with the creative integration of innovative designs to their ever-dependable tool watches.
The case of the Superman Steel Bronze Gray Ref. YSUPSSZ39-CAS remains as striking as we’ve known it to be with previous iterations, presenting sharp pointed lugs and well-defined lines on its fully brushed 316L stainless steel case. Measuring in with a tasteful diameter of 39mm, a lug to lug distance of 48mm and a slim case profile of merely 13mm, the watch evokes an appealing retro character that sits extremely comfortable on the wrist.
|Yema's signature locking device for the bezel|
Driven by a strong sense of innovation, YEMA developed the Superman with a novel bezel-lock mechanism to set the bezel in place, preventing accidental bezel movements that may hinder timekeeping functions for professional divers. Just like YEMA’s first ever Superman from 1963, the Superman Steel Bronze Gray Ref. YSUPSSZ39-CAS sports this iconic design feature operated from its screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock position, locking its sand-blasted bronze unidirectional divers’ bezel firmly in place. The brilliant use of bronze here is certainly delightful as the bronze develops a pleasing patina as time progresses, resulting in a warm, rustic and unique appeal that is simply irreplaceable by any other types of metal.
To complement the warm tones of the bronze bezel, the matte gray dial of the Superman Steel Bronze Gray Ref. YSUPSSZ39-CAS sports a set of beautifully guilt hands and chapter ring, adding a ton of character to the piece. For uncompromised nighttime visibility, the guilt hands and white printed indices are generously treated with a thick coating of Swiss SuperLumiNova C1, lighting the dial up like a torch in the dark with a bright green hue. Topping it off, the 2.60mm thick scratch-resistant double-domed sapphire crystal further elevates the vintage aspect of the piece with enthralling distortions at various angles, just like old-school acrylic crystals.
|Domed Sapphire crystal radiates the vintage charm of 70s divers|
Water resistance is uncompromised as a result of its screw-down crown and screw-in case back which are proudly signed with YEMA’s historic crest, equipping the piece with a strong water resistance of 300m (990 ft). Each individual piece is engraved with its own unique “édition limitée” (limited edition) serial number of 1948 pieces to ensure utmost exclusivity. This incredible dive tool watch is supplied with a 19mm vintage black leather strap stitched with white contrasting threads, further elevating the retro ‘70s appeal.
The Superman Steel Bronze Gray Ref. YSUPSSZ39-CAS is powered by the second-generation in-house Caliber YEMA2000 automatic movement, a stepped-up variation of the MBP1000 Caliber. This magnificent movement yields slightly enhanced precision and durability with optimized components, giving the movement a healthy power reserve of approximately 42 hours. This 29 jewel movement beats at a rate of 28,800 beats per hour with thorough accuracy checks by YEMA watchmakers. On top of that, the movement is gorgeously decorated with stripes and stunning perlage finishing that reflects on their fine craft in producing an in-house movement.
|Exact re-issue hour lame plots and handset|
Bringing an attractive combination of both steel and bronze in this commemorative timepiece, the Superman Steel Bronze Gray Ref. YSUPSSZ39-CAS proudly embodies the brand’s unwavering innovative spirit in a French-made, robust dive watch that excels in both raw mechanical performance and specifications. For many reasons, the Superman remains incredibly well-received by watch enthusiasts all over the world, recognizing YEMA’s illustrious history and the wonderful value the brand offers in their timepieces.