With vintage looks, an in-house micro-rotor movement & tool watch capability, the Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 has a lot to offer With vintage looks, an in-house micro-rotor movement & tool watch capability, the Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 has a lot to offer

With vintage looks, an in-house micro-rotor movement & tool watch capability, the Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 has a lot to offer

Jamie Weiss

The Yema Superman has always stood out as one of the best-value dive watches on the market, but the new Superman Slim CMM.20 brings a new dimension to the range, thanks to the addition of Yema’s new manufacture micro-rotor calibre CMM.20, which features a beautiful tungsten micro-rotor on display through a new exhibition caseback.

 

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The case

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 crown

While superficially the Superman Slim CMM.20 looks identical to the standard Superman 500, Yema has completely redesigned the Superman’s 39mm case to facilitate its new in-house micro-rotor movement, slimming it down by 1 mm to 9.95 mm (11.95 mm including the crystal). It also features a more refined finish, going for an entirely vertically brushed look with polished bevels in comparison to the Superman 500’s combination of polished and brushed surfaces.

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 case profile

Another improvement the Superman Slim CMM.20 brings to the table over the standard Superman is that its bezel now features a sapphire insert rather than an aluminium one – a feature that Yema debuted on some of its Superman 500 GMT models but has hitherto not been available on a time-only Superman. However, the signature Yema mechanical bezel lock remains, as does the Superman’s very vintage and prominent double-domed crystal.

The dial

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 both colours

The Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 also debuts a new lacquer dial treatment, in two colours: black and blue. These richly lacquered dials are sumptuous and highly reflective, creating an interesting light play between the two convex sides of the double-domed sapphire crystal.

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 blue dial

The handset has also been slightly tweaked, with the hour and minute hands having been refined and made slightly smaller, while the Superman’s shovel-shaped seconds hand swapped out in favour of a simple stick hand, mimicking the OG Superman 53.00.16. It’s an extremely clean and uncontroversial design. All hands as well as the painted indices feature Grade A Super-LumiNova.

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 lume

You’ll also notice that alongside the printed logo, model designation and dial text, the Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 features the text “Manufacture Française” at the bottom of the dial near the rehaut at 6 o’clock. This reflects Yema’s increasingly French-made status, with the brand having internalized component manufacturing for its CMM calibres and casing watches locally in France.

The movement

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 movement

But now for the bit I’m sure you’ve been most keen to read about: the Yema Superman Slim CMM.20’s namesake new movement, the CMM.20. Named after the town Yema is based in (just a stone’s throw from the Swiss border), Yema says that the CMM.20 is the result of over 2 years of development, and explains that “the internalization of manufacturing and a sharp increase in production enable us to offer a highly performant and unique [micro-rotor] calibre at an extremely competitive price.”

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 movement closeup

Yema acknowledges that the CMM.20 was entirely designed and developed by top French watchmaker Olivier Mory in La Chaux-de-Fonds; the regulating organs are manufactured in Switzerland while the bridges and mainplates are manufactured by Yema in Morteau, with final assembly also taking place in Morteau.

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 watchmaking

Specificities of its origin aside, the CMM.20 is quite a pretty movement. Only 3.7 mm thick, it features a bi-direction tungsten micro-rotor, a Glucydur balance wheel and a 70-hour power reserve, with near-COSC accuracy. The CMM.20 is finished deceptively simply, with its bridges and mainplate featuring satin-brushing and micro-blasted finishes. This is all to say that it’s a pretty impressive movement that Yema haven’t cut any corners on.

The bracelet

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 bracelet

The Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 comes mounted on a ‘fish scale’ five-link steel bracelet, an iconic Yema design from the 60s. The bracelet has been slimmed down by 0.40mm to integrate with the thinner new Superman Slim case, and like the watch’s case, features a wholly vertically brushed finish. It boasts a double-security folding clasp with a diver’s extension, with the clasp itself a sleeker new design compared to previous Yema bracelets.

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 clasp

Alternatively, the Yema is also available on a vintage grained calfskin leather strap – less useful for diving, but more useful for dressier occasions (this new slim Superman fits under a cuff now, after all…) Both the strap and the bracelet feature pronounced tapers, with the bracelet tapering from 20mm at the lugs to 16mm towards the clasp.

The verdict

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20 box

While the sartorially fastidious (or pedantic) would say that you shouldn’t wear a tool watch in formal situations – that’s what dress watches are for – the reality is that the vast majority of all watch owners pair sports watches with everything. This is especially true if when you’ve only got one “nice watch”: how many businessmen have you seen wear Rolex Submariners in the boardroom rather than by the beach? There’s a reason we all joke about “desk divers”…

Yema Superman Slim CMM 20

In that sense, I think the Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 is perfect as that one nice watch. Yes, it’s technically and aesthetically very much a tool watch, but its refined proportions and strap options make it exceptionally versatile. It’s also an exceptional value proposition: there are few if any in-house micro-rotor watches at this price with this level of quality. The fact that it manages to pull this off while still managing 300 metres of water resistance is just a cherry on top.

Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 pricing & availability

The Yema Superman Slim CMM.20 is available for online preorders from Tuesday 20th February from 1pm EST / 7pm CET / 5am AEDT on the 21st, with shipping scheduled for May 2024. Price: US$1,990 (leather strap), US$2,490 (steel bracelet).

Brand Yema
Model Superman Slim CMM.20
Case Dimensions 39 mm (D) x 11.95 mm (T) x 48 mm (L2L)
Case Material 316L stainless steel
Water Resistance 300 metres, screw-down crown
Crystal(s) Sapphire front and back
Dial Lacquered blue or black enamel
Lug Width 20 mm
Bracelet ‘Fish scale’ stainless steel bracelet, double security folding clasp with diving extension or vintage grained calfskin leather strap
Movement CMM.20, in-house, automatic, micro-rotor
Power Reserve 70 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, unidirectional diving bezel with bezel lock
Availability Available for preorders from Tuesday 20th February 7 pm CET
Price US$1,990 (leather strap)
US$2,490 (steel bracelet)