Founded in 1948 and in continuous operation since, Yema Watches is one of the great sports watch brands of the twentieth century. From one of the first dive watches with a locking bezel, to patented yachting timer displays, to riding along with Mario Andretti on his famous Indy 500 win, their rich history is studded with amazing watches and moments. This is all the more impressive when one considers that they are also one of only a few notable French watch brands to ever exist, and that they survived the Quartz crisis that shuttered many brands.
While in continuous operation, up until recently Yema was more of a vintage curiosity in the mind of the US market, as modern Yemas simply weren’t available. That has all changed, and since relaunching the Superman dive watch with its original design and specs in 2018, Yema Watches has been on roll, reestablishing themselves in the minds and watch boxes of collectors worldwide.
Today it is with great excitement that we announce that Worn & Wound gets to join the history of this great brand with the launching of our first collaboration, the Superman Maxi Dial LE.
The Yema x Worn & Wound Superman LE is available now at the Windup Watch Shop.
The Yema Superman first debuted in 1963 sporting 300 meters of water resistance and a novel method of locking the bezel in place. Always one for innovation, these details set Yema apart from their competitors and cemented the Superman’s significance in the history of the dive watch. Over the years since, many versions of the Superman were created, including the Superman II, which boasted some of the largest dive markers to ever grace a dial, earning it the “maxi” designation. Quirky, yet oddly appealing, it’s this watch that served as a source of inspiration for our collaboration.
Bold and muscular, these oversized markers dominate the dial, immediately giving the Superman diver a more aggressive presence. We wanted to play off this by pushing the LE into more military-infused territory. First, we modified the dial with a subtle two-tone design, playing a dark gray inner circle off of a black edge. We then added a contrasting bounding circle and cross-hairs pulling the eyes in towards the markers. To further preserve symmetry, the date was removed, allowing for all 12 maxi-markers to shine – or glow absurdly bright, as the case may be.
“Working with Zach on this ultra-Limited Edition of the iconic Superman model has been an enjoyable experience both personally and professionally. I was pleasantly surprised by Zach’s deep knowledge of YEMA’s history and his design skills, he’s not just a watch enthusiast but above all a gifted designer!” – Christopher Bole, CEO, Yema
For the bezel, we wanted to further the aggressive theme and add a contemporary edge. Inspired by some of our favorite military watches of the mid to late 20th-century, we added an edge-to-edge black bezel with lumed 12-hour markers. Of course, we kept Yema’s signature locking mechanism. Otherwise, the case remains largely the same, with the classic 39mm Superman design in fully brushed steel with a double domed sapphire crystal. At 13mm thick and with a 48mm lug-to-lug length, it’s a great size for a 300m diver that should fit most wrists, be comfortable all day and easy to wear on adventures.