Over the last year, we’ve been fortunate to go hands-on with quite a number of the models that Yema has in their catalog. You may have caught word that they recently launched another one on Kickstarter as of late, and we got to spend some time with a prototype of the Yema Superman Bronze.
Now, to start with, this watch will feel very similar to any other Yema Superman model you may have seen or handled, like the one we reviewed, the Yema Superman GMT. Frankly, this new release really solidifies the Superman line as a platform from which the brand can make tweaks and adjustments.
Frankly, the Yema Superman Bronze is a prime example of that. Here, they’ve mixed things up and put a bronze bezel onto the case, as well as a bronze crown and bezel retainer. I like this, because then you don’t have to worry about a fully-bronze case turning your wrist green, while still getting to play around with the patina that will develop (or removing it).
Complimenting this bronze, you’ve got a gilt handset on the Yema Superman Bronze, and either a green (which we reviewed) or grey dial (the sold-out GMT comes in blue or black). The green I knew would look sharp against the bronze (and it did) but I was surprised by how much I liked the look of the grey dial in the photos I saw.
This is all window dressing, however. One of the highlights of these new Yema Superman Bronze watches is the movement inside. Rather than relying on an outside source, Yema is producing movements that they’re labeling as in-house (and I’m not wading into the definition wars with this, just reporting it along). Here, in the three-hander, it’s the YEMA2000 caliber keeping time (the GMT uses a 3000-series movement).
In my time with the watch, the movement worked just fine, and I did not notice any issues with it speeding up or slowing down. Then again, that’s hard to keep an eye on in a review cycle, as it really shows up over a longer timeframe. So, what does that mean for the general buyer? Well, with a new and unknown movement, unless you’ve got a really confident local watchmaker, you’ll be sending this back to France for maintenance.
For the watch geek, though, this means (at least to me) that Yema is signaling that they’re taking greater ownership over what they’re producing with the Yema Superman Bronze. Sure, they’re buying components, but everything they’re doing is built by them, to their specifications, for the design they want to produce.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Yema Superman Bronze is fully funded at the moment, and runs until October 31, 2020. While the two GMT models are sold out, there are still earlybird slots available for the three-hander, starting at $532 which is about a 54% discount. Delivery is anticipated to begin in December – though the other reward levels state it being February 2021, so it may be next year. Check out the details – and get your pledge in if you like – over at the campaign page.
- Brand & Model: Yema Superman Bronze LE
- Price: $532 (earlybird) / $1,169 (MSRP)
- Who’s it for? You like the idea of bronze on a watch, but don’t want to deal with the tarnishing (on the watch or your wrist) of a fully-bronze case
- Would I wear it? It was an interesting look – but if I had my druthers, I’d go for the sold-out blue GMT version
- What I’d change: Something with the numerals on the bezel just felt a little too unfinished to me. Perhaps beefing them up and polishing just the numerals would help
- The best thing about it: It shows how versatile the Superman platform has become for Yema
Tech Specs from Yema
- The new YEMA2000 Caliber is YEMA’s second-generation in-house movement.
- Powered by optimized components yielding slightly better performance than similar calibers, the YEMA2000 Caliber offers a Daily Rate of +/- 10 s/d and a power reserve of 42h.
- Bezel: Stylish sand-blasted bronze bezel. Unidirectional rotatable 60-minutes graduated bezel acting as a count up timer to measure diving time
- Diving bezel lock mechanism: The unique Superman bezel-lock at 3 o’clock proprietary design has proven very useful to professional divers and is found on all Superman models since 1963
- High contrast gilt dial: The dark green dial with white printed indices and the gilt hands ensure high readability and a warm shade of bronze
- Iconic “shovel” seconds hand: The 1970’s iconic sweeping second hand with its head shaped like a shovel adds a distinct touch to this historic reissue
- Double domed sapphire crystal
- The Superman Steel Bronze features a high-quality 2.60 mm double domed sapphire crystal offering better readability, enhanced resistance and a resolute vintage look.
- Premium watches like the Superman Steel Bronze generally use sapphire crystal which is extremely hard (Moh’s scale 9 – Diamond is 10), and will resist scratching by most substances short of diamonds.
- Vintage leather: For daily use we designed a brown vintage leather strap that enhances the Superman Steel Bronze overall vintage look and perfectly fits the bronze case natural patina
- Tropic dive: Inspired from the 1960’s tropical style rubber straps, this second-generation Tropic strap design will please vintage watch collectors but also those who are looking for the perfect strap to wear during aquatic or physical activities
- Limited Edition: The 316L Steel caseback proudly displays YEMA’s historic crest, beautifully embossed with a hydraulic press, and a LIMITED EDITION mention engraved with a unique number from 0001 to 1948 (Gray and Green dials).
- Super-Luminova: The hands, dial markers and bezel graduation are treated with Swiss Super-LumiNova C1 so as to offer perfect readability in low light conditions
- Steel case – bronze bezel: The Superman bronze bezel and crown offer a stylish contrast with the brushed steel case. Because its ability to patina, each watch bronze bezel will age differently according to its usage and exposure to diverse weather conditions, adding character to the watch and making each timepiece truly one of a kind. The best thing of patina on bronze is that you can easily reverse the process anytime and bring your bronze watch back to a healthy shine in just a few minutes.
- Case sizes – 39mm and 41mm
- We used sophisticated 3D modelling technology to recreate an original 1970s YEMA Superman case, which has resulted in a watch with the same proportions as the vintage original i.e. a 39mm diameter case with 19mm lugs width.
- Those having a wrist size over 7 inches / 18 cm and those preferring larger standard sizes might privilege the 41mm case with 20mm lugs width variant.