Looking for a vintage dive watch? I have another recommendation for you coming from the French watchmaker Yema -- Yema Superman Bronze Bordeaux.
First thing you will notice on this watch is the colour combination. As it's name states, it combines bronze colour of the case, bordeaux (wine-red) bezel, with matte black case.
YEMA Superman Bronze Bordeaux
This colour explosion is further emphasized with the green-yellow NATO strap.
Great thing about the design is that colour combination and minimalistic design of the watch have managed to work complementary.
When you check on the map where Yema's headquarter and manufacturing facility is located you'll understand how it became the strongest watchmaking brand of France.
Current location is on the very border with Switzerland and practically it is a part of the world famous Watch Valley, the center of Swiss watchmaking. Yema moved to Marteau after being acquired by Montres Ambreu (adding Yema to already rich collection of famous watch brands).
City of Yema's origin is Besançon, where Henry Belmont, himself being a student of Swiss National watchmaking school in Besançon, founded the company and created French watchmaking history.
Yema Superman line traces back to 1963 when the first dive watch was released with the 300m water resistance and Yema's signature element - bezel lock system.
In recent years, after being acquired by Montres Ambreu, Yema focused on designing and producing their own caliber- MBP 1000. It is self-winding, automatic caliber with 28,800 A/h frequency and 45h of power reserve..
Another innovation in their approach is foundation of Yema CoLabs, a platform for crowdsourced development of new watch models. For me personally, it is really interesting to read the comments from Yema fans during the development process.
Coming back to the watch and the case - it's made of brushed bronze, 39mm in diameter. Smaller case means it should fit people with smaller wrist, like me. Honestly, I find smaller and thinner watch cases (this watch is 13mm thick) more useful because you can easily combine it with long sleeved business shirt.
This is a vintage dive watch, it is inspired with the history of the Yema Superman line. And case design itself is a tribute to the Yema's legacy - background is matte black, giving the markers and hands a good contrast to their white colour.
Markers and hands have strong borders following the same colour pattern as the case (bronze). If Yema wanted to make a clown watch, they could have added another tone in the mix.
I am grateful they did not...
Bronze colour elements on the case would in general go unnoticed, but they are actually a key final touch in achieving realistic vintage watch design.
Glass covering the case is made of Sapphire Crystal, you will not get scratches easily on it, and with 2,6mm thickness of the glass you should be safe from breaking it (but still - be careful of hard blows).
With the standard anti-reflective coating, domed crystal glass on YEMA Superman Bronze Bordeaux gives proper visibility above the water surface and under the sun.
For underwater adventures, if you take this watch with you into the deep, Super-LumiNova C5 lume will help you to track your dive time with its green(ish) glow.
Bezel looks fantastic!
Additional helpful thing, if you would actually use this watch as a dive watch, is the bezel. Bezel is the bordeaux part in the name of Yema Bordeaux. I really like the spirit of royalness that is incorporated in the burgundy colour.
From the more technical perspective, it is a sapphire bezel and has 60 positions (unidirectional).
As mentioned above, all Yema Superman models (since 1963) are equipped with a bezel-lock mechanism. It is a nice addition, but only useful for conservative divers operating a bezel for timing their dives. It's used as an additional security for assuring that bezel will not accidentally move without diver noticing it.
Acquisition of Montre Ambreu watchmaking group enabled Yema to invest in research and development and creation of their own in-house movement. It was a 4-year long process of trial and error until finally MBP-1000 came to see the light of the day.
MBP-1000 consists of (among other things) 31 jewels, it is prepared for 3 hands and capable of bi-directional winding via oscillating rotor.
It works on 28 800 A/h beat and it should save you from too frequent time adjustments. But, as with every analog watch, you will have to do it occasionally and for that purpose, movement's stop-second function will come in handy.
Yema's in-house movement was checked, tested and certified by French Watch Technical Laboratory (CETEHOR). Interesting to learn is that CeTeHor is also based in Besançon, where Yema was originally founded.
YEMA Superman Bronze Bordeaux is coming with 2 strap variations - NATO and rubber strap. Rubber variant (new Heritage TPU Dive Watch Band) is black and gives the watch more classic look by tempering down the colour mix of the watch.
NATO strap, on the other hand, combines navy green and yellow and transforms the Yema Superman into a military look vintage watch.
Straps are around 19mm wide and pretty comfortable. Clasp is bronze coloured and engraved with subtle Yema's logo.
If you are more into the classic dive watch look and would like to avoid the NATO strap - think about the putting a brown leather strap.
It will make Yema Bronze Bordeaux a watch for all situations, to be worn as part of any dress code, without losing its essence.
To correct myself - for all situations, except under the water. Don't take the leather strap with you in the water...
Yema watches are (at the moment) not available on Amazon. I totally understand this approach and appreciate it, even though it limits how easy is to get their watches on your wrist.
Having the full control of their sales and holding on to their relationship with the customers, enable Yema to build up personalized approach and support to every Yema owner out there.
They even set up a loyalty platform to keep the engagement high - check it out here -- Yema Privilege
There are 2 ways of building exclusivity of a product - premium prices or limited supply. Fortunately, Yema is playing on the latter option. Not selling through Amazon and limited production give every watch coming out from their workshop extra value points.
To get back to the YEMA Superman Bronze Bordeaux - it is available on Yema's webshop, with free shipping and 14 day money back guarantee.
I really like this watch and I am giving it all high grades. All the elements I look for on the watch are here: vintage look, in-house movement, high quality elements (Sapphire glass) and exclusivity of the brand. All that is coming with moderate price tag, currently around $1.500.
If you are looking for a vintage dive watch and YEMA Superman Bronze Bordeaux fits to your budget - I would say - go for it! You will not be sorry...
YEMA Superman Bronze Bordeaux