First Look at the YEMA Superman Heritage Bronze

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French brand YEMA has introduced a bronze version of their Superman dive watch through a Kickstarter campaign. The Superman, you’ll recall, is distinguished through its bezel locking mechanism, which has been in action since 1963. It’s also an extremely technical dive watch with vintage charm and looks, and definitely hits a sweet spot for folks looking for something that calls to mind a very specific time period, but has all the comforts and conveniences of a modern watch. Let’s take a look at some of the details.


YEMA Superman Heritage Bronze

  • Case Material: Bronze
  • Dial: Blue
  • Dimensions: 39mm (featured here) or 41mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters
  • Crown: Screw down
  • Movement: YEMA’s in-house MBP1000 caliber
  • Strap/bracelet: Available with leather, nylon, or “tropic” rubber
  • Price: $1,300 retail, but available at ~$695 temporarily through Kickstarter
  • Expected Release: October 2019

YEMA had success with the reintroduction of the Superman last year by recreating the original in 1:1 fashion using high end 3D modeling technology. Each component of the watch was mapped in detail to achieve a likeness to the original that would satisfy vintage watch aficionados and pay tribute to a great timepiece from their back catalog.

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The new version takes the same approach, and the little details really jump out in the warm bronze tone. The case is brushed all around, and the finishing brings to mind purpose built watches of the ’60s and ’70s. Offered in both 39mm (featured here) and 41mm case sizes, the watch should easily fit a variety of wrists. The 39mm version, however, is almost 4 full millimeters shorter lug-to-lug than it’s bigger brother, and just seems to scream comfort and versatility with its compact and vintage-inspired dimensions. The deep blue dial and almost pumpkin colored lume look great against the bronze case.

Powering the Superman Heritage Bronze is what YEMA proudly describes as an in-house automatic movement, the MBP1000, with 45 hours of power reserve and accuracy of +/- 6 seconds per day. The movement is concealed through a solid stainless steel caseback that is attractively stamped with YEMA’s logo and additional information about the watch, but it is nicely finished with plenty of perlage.

YEMA is understandably fond of pointing out that the French watchmaking tradition goes back over 600 years (further back than the Swiss, by most historical records) and in large part the Superman is an attempt to honor that history through being deliberate with principles of design and craftsmanship. This is not a watch that was dreamt up in a corporate boardroom, but conceived by watchmakers with an eye toward history.

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With this release, YEMA is highlighting their partnership with noted conservation activist Hugh Vitry. Similar to the way Oris has promoted causes related to environmentalism and conservation of the world’s oceans with key dive watch releases, YEMA is taking the opportunity associated with the release of the Superman in bronze to bring attention to Vitry’s Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization, which studies the population of sperm whales in the Indian Ocean. YEMA’s kickstarter page describes how Vitry approached YEMA to design a dive watch for him to wear during his upcoming Mission Maubydick expedition in September of this year. There’s a lot more information about Vitry’s work on the Kickstarter page, and YEMA is even offering a whale watching dive trip as a high-end reward to a few generous sponsors of the campaign. As someone who reads and writes about watches, a wholly unnecessary luxury, on a daily basis, it’s genuinely gratifying to see areas where the industry is doing some good for a cause that is really worthy, and I think YEMA and Vitry are deserving of some credit in this regard.

This new iteration of the Superman is limited to 1948 pieces. More information on the YEMA Superman Heritage Bronze can be found on the associated Kickstarter page here.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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