INTRODUCING: The Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor is a charming take on the integrated bracelet sports watchFergus Nash
One of the things that sets Yema apart from their competitors, whether you ever considered them a microbrand or not, was that they had their own affordable in-house movement. The YEMA2000 was definitely an improvement upon the off-the-shelf calibers from ETA or Sellita that we would expect to see, however its use was more of a novelty than the brand would have liked. As part of Yema’s quest to regain total independence as a watch manufacturer, the new Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor features an all-new, in-house movement called the Caliber Manufacture Morteau 20, CMM.20, for short.
Encasing the new calibre is the Yema Wristmaster Traveller — an extremely loveable take on the integrated bracelet sports watch formula that captures all of Yema’s quirks as well as their expertise. Instead of picking a number of sides for a polygonal bezel, Yema’s stepped bezel is a mostly round profile with incredibly slight clipping at the top and bottom to suggest an angled shape. The outer edge is chamfered and polished, and the inner edge has six evenly spaced indentations that add somewhat of a machine-like element. The outer shape of the case is surprisingly asymmetrical, with a curved flange on the left-hand side but a very sharp and flat profile on the right, allowing a cut-out to form rigid crown guards.
Considering naming conventions, the Speedmaster, Seamaster, Yachtmaster, and GMT-Master are all fairly self-explanatory with their monikers. The Wristmaster therefore is a bold statement, claiming to be the best possible watch for your wrist. Whether or not your tastes align with the Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor, their spot-on design has been matched by wrist-friendly dimensions. The 39mm diameter rides the perfect line of wearability, helped along by the 43.5mm lug-to-lug length. The thickness is only 9.2mm thanks to that micro-rotor movement, yet retains 100m of water resistance for swimmable peace of mind. The integrated bracelet is only 3mm thick, which helps the watch feel light and comfortable as well as looking elegant from a side profile.
The previous generation of the Yema Wristmaster Traveller followed a more traditional diving-style dial, but the new Micro-Rotor version has gone for a much more modern and versatile look. Bridging the gap between a waffle and a wave dial, the Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor displays gently-curving grooves that evoke the ripples of disturbed water. Because the new movement is time-only, there are no other distractions on the dial to displace the applied hour markers or printed minute track.
The text is kept simple, with an eccentric script font used for the “Wristmaster” logo above 6 o’clock. The hands are minimal too, echoing the rounded batons of the hour markers and an uncomplicated needle for the seconds. The Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor is available in three colour options, offering varying levels of professionalism and fun. The most versatile option is the black dial, with a nice deep blue and dark emerald green as safe colourful choices.
The calibre is really what has drawn so much attention to this watch launch, and the CMM.20 doesn’t disappoint in presentation nor specifications. It gives the Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor a generous 70 hours of power reserve, beating at 4 Hz. The balance wheel is made of non-magnetic Glucydur, and along with the hairspring is one of the only components that isn’t manufactured in-house by Yema in France, making the movement 80% French and 20% Swiss. It’s adjusted to have an accuracy of -3/+7 seconds per day, placing it very close to COSC timekeeping standards. From the sapphire caseback, you have a clear view of the CMM.20’s layout and the hypnotic micro-rotor made from solid tungsten. The surfaces of the movements are bead-blasted and then ALD-coated to match the dial colour, just giving you even more to stare at.
The Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor pricing and availability:
The Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor is limited to 1948 pieces, celebrating the foundation of the Yema brand. It launches on Kickstarter at a discount, with only 1 watch available per backer to prevent scalping. Price: €1,499 (Kickstarter Pre-Order) / €3,000 (Future RRP)