Thanks to the chap who posted his YEMA Superman Heritage last week, I spent a very enjoyable 6+ hours researching the company, chatting with their Customer Service online, and eventually ordering the watch. After some very amicable dealings and ease of ordering, the watch arrived safely today.
I cannot emphasize enough how pleasant this transaction has been, from dealing with Nicolas to Chronopost, the company responsible for shipping the watch.
"Yema has achieved a faithful reissue of the 1970's Superman 53 00 16 by 3D modelling each individual component."
"Designed to be an indestructible diving watch, it was subsequently chosen to equip France's Air Force pilots in the 1970s."
Lots more info and history on the YEMA website:
This is an amazing little watch! It is actually even nicer than I expected. Craftsmanship is better than expected, it fits beautifully and is really fun to wear. The crown/bezel-lock mechanism seems a bit awkward at first, but it works exactly the way it is supposed to. That said, the bezel is super tight to turn, although the 120 clicks are super precise, and I imagine it would stay pretty much in place even without the lock. The bezel can only be turned when the crown is unscrewed, but the whole mechanism tightens up and locks into place assuredly, with no fear of the crown ever loosening on it's own. The hands are unique, especially the shovel shaped seconds hand.
Compact size is 39mm, 14mm thick although that includes the 2.6mm domed crystal, 19mm lug. Water resistant to 30bar/990ft/300m with screw-down crown. The crown is large and easy to grip, and it is unsigned. This is not to save money, rather to replicate the original. Movement is standard ETA manufacture 2824-2. I like that, as the watch is from France, but can easily be serviced locally.
That's about all to say for now. Just want to share some photos I took this afternoon, after the watch arrived. I ordered mine with a plexi crystal and vintage leather strap. Judging by the quality of the watch, I imagine the stainless steel bracelet would be tops as well. Strap is great quality as well. Thick at the lugs, thinning out towards the ends. I especially love the highly domed crown, which causes very cool distortion. And, of course, the narrow bezel:
YEMA logo nicely engraved on the case back. I like that far better than sapphire display back:
Comes in a sensible, small zippered leather travel case:
It is really difficult with modern technology to replicate the finishing details of times gone by. YEMA manages to do this beautifully, without manufacturing flaws. I would expect the original watch would have looked much like this one. I hope that I am explaining this properly, but it really is a joy to be able to think that this is so much like the original.
Thanks for looking at my review.