Back when we first talked about the Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G (here), we told you we were working on getting a loaner in for review. It took a little time for it to cross the Atlantic (as Yema calls France home) but it got here safely, and quickly found its way onto my wrist. That means it’s now time to tell you what we thought about the Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G.
Long-time readers will be ready for me to be down on the Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G, as it’s a chronograph and I’ve got a well-known aversion to them. Surprisingly, though, that was not even a factor for me here. Why is that? Well, for starters, you’ve got a much more compact case than you might otherwise expect (39mm), and there’s only the one sub-dial on the dial, keeping things uncluttered. Now, if you like the look of the bi- or tri-compax layout, well, then you’ll be disappointed. Me, I like the fact that it looks less like a traditional chronograph.
Of course, you’ve got the tachymeter scale on the bezel, so you know that it is a chrono (as well as the pushers flanking the crown). That bezel will no doubt call to mind the Speedmaster, the “moonwatch”. Well, why not call the Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G one as well? It’s got the space bona fides, and the dial actually looks a bit like the surface of the moon (or asteroid, if you prefer). How’s that? Just look above – you’ve got a grained and grooved surface that calls to mind something otherworldly. It’s a unique texture (not a sandy surface as you might expect), and it’s even got a matte finish to it. Why is that important?
Because it helps to keep the Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G very, very legible. Given the dark color of the dial, if you had a glossy surface, it would be reflecting a lot of light. Instead, the light catches the ripples, but it’s not bounced back at your eyes. That lets you then more quickly pick out the bars-and-pips applied indices, as well as the hands rotating over the dial. Speaking of the hands, I really like what Yema has done here as well. You’ve got the recess on the hands which have the luminous paint – but they also painted the outer edge in white as well, giving a wider, more uniform look.
Now, if you recall from the prior article, or by looking at the specs below, the Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G has 19mm lugs. Not terribly difficult to find alternative straps, but you’re not likely to have that size handy. Which means that the stock strap being a good one is a bit more critical here. Here, you’ve got a heavier-weight canvas on the upper surface, with a leather backing on it for comfort against the wrist. For me, I thought the strap fit the style of the watch quite well, and was quite comfortable. Not only that, the signed buckle is quite a nice touch.
To be sure, going into this review, I was definitely curious about the Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G, but I did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. While the dial design drew me in, it’s compact sizing and almost un-chronograph design language is what won me over. The even better news with this very clever design is the fact that the watch is really quite affordable. You can get the version we reviewed here for $399 (in a blue or black dial with matching strap), or you can get a PVD-finished one for $449 which is quite the deal for a watch with true space-agency connections. yema.com
- Brand & Model: Yema SpaceGraf Zero-G
- Price: $399 ($449 for the PVD version)
- Who’s it for? You love all things space-related – or you just want a compact quartz chronograph
- Would I wear it? Surprisingly (given my views on chronographs) – yes!
- What I’d change: I wouldn’t mind the hands being a touch wider
- The best thing about it: The dial – the textured surface adds visual interest, and the applied indices and handset keep things cleanly legible
Tech Specs from Yema
- Diameter: 39 mm
- Thickness: 13 mm
- Lug: 19 mm
- CASE: 316L Steel
- 316 Steel
- Tachymeter scale engraved
- CROWN: Push Crown
- CRYSTAL: Domed Mineral Crystal
- WATER RESISTANCE: 10 BAR / 330 Feet / 100 m
- CALIBER: Epson YM90A Caliber
- Frequency: 32,768Hz
- Antimagnetism greater than 1600 A / m (DC magnetic field)
- Hour, minute, 1/5 second chronograph
- Chronograph minute counter at 6 o’clock
- Textured blue matt dial
- Minutes/seconds track with 2G zones in white and Zero-G zone in red
- White domed markers
- Super-LumiNova C1
- MATERIAL: Canvas (fabric) with leather lining
- CLASP: Pin buckle
- Logo Y YEMA engraved