The Yema Sous Marine is a modern dive watch from a mostly retro-inspired brandFergus Nash
Yema have been one of our favourite independent brands for a few years now, with a flair for vintage-inspired releases either from their own history or generally era-evocative. The French designs are easily distinguished from other watches in the same affordable price bracket, despite the retro dive watches in particular belonging to a highly saturated market. Now, in a collaboration with the renowned underwater photographer “Cayman” Jason Washington, the Yema Sous Marine ventures into modernity that retains the Yema character.
Most people associate Yema with their Superman dive watch that rose to popularity in the 1960s, and that was supplied to French Air Force pilots. The modern re-issues are loved by enthusiasts for their modest sizes and quirky vintage charm, so how have Yema approached designing a watch for contemporary tastes?
Straight away, you can tell that the case has bulked up. The lugs are wide and forgo smooth curves for aggressive angles, resulting in a much more rugged appearance than we’re used to seeing from Yema. Conversely, the dimensions are actually more compact than the 39mm edition of the Superman. The Yema Sous Marine’s diameter is 40.5mm, but the lug-to-lug is only 46mm which will wear like a dream on most wrists. The 12.2mm thickness is nicely controlled too, and it’s water resistant to 300m. Each version is available on a fitted beads-of-rice bracelet, or a colour-matched FKM rubber strap.
The dial and bezel have been heavily simplified compared to the rest of Yema’s catalogue, doing away with detailed printing in favour of bold lume-filled indices and minute markings on a white chapter ring. There’s also a sunken 12-hour ring dividing the dial into sectors, which adds a nice sense of depth even if it’s not all that useful. There are a total of five colour combinations ranging from classical to vibrant, The blue and black models are the most traditional and will blend in well for daily wear, and the khaki-green dial brings in an additional sense of adventure. The final two references have black dials and yellow or orange aluminium bezel inserts, granting a summery pop of colour.
The Yema Sous Marine is powered by the second generation of their in-house YEMA2000 calibre, which is going to be a huge selling point for any watch in this price range. The 4Hz beat rate and 42-hour power reserve are welcome if not all that surprising, but the movement is also adjusted in 4 positions to an accuracy of +/-10 seconds per day. This is the no-date version with automatic winding, and pretty impressive finishing. Unfortunately we don’t get to view the movement through Yema’s solid caseback, but the historic ‘Y’ crest is still impressive with its deep embossing.
Yema Sous Marine pricing and availability
The Yema Sous Marine is currently available for pre-order from their website, and will begin shipping from the end of September 2023. Price: US$890 (FKM strap), US$990 (steel bracelet)
|Case Dimensions||40.5mm (D) x 12.2mm (T) x 46mm (LTL)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Water Resistance||300 metres|
|Dial||Black, blue or green|
|Strap||Steel beads-of-rice bracelet or FKM rubber strap with steel pin buckle|
|Movement||YEMA2000, in-house, automatic|
|Power Reserve||42 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, seconds|
|Availability||Available now for pre-orders|
|Price||US$890 (FKM strap)
US$990 (steel bracelet)