Fashion

Yema Watches: This legendary 1970s sports watch is back at an incredibly affordable price


The French are rightly praised for giving Daft Punk, Balenciagaand the accent in Timothée ChalametThe names of the world — but when it comes to watchmaking, they’re rarely loved. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t any French-made watches that deserve a place in your collection. Yema’s new Wristmaster Traveler, a 1970s-inspired sports watch with an in-house movement and sub-4 figure price tag, is exactly that.

If you’ve never heard of Yema until now, don’t sweat it. Despite being the largest French watch manufacturer in the 1960s, the brand didn’t have much of a presence on this side of the world until recently. However, now — along with a host of other zombie franchises that have resurrected over the past few years — Yema is back in the game and ready to show the world exactly how. formidable vraiment French watches can be.

In fact, the more you learn about Yema, the more you’ll wonder why it took so long for the brand to launch. In the 1960s, Yema created the Superman (no relation to the DC Comics superhero), a dive watch whose legendary durability made it the standard among French Air Force pilots. More than a decade after Omega’s Speedmaster boarded Apollo 11, Yema proved her mettle once again with the Spanationaute 1, a time-keeping plane aboard the Salyut 7 space station in the early 1980s.

Aside from these historical things, it is no secret that Yema watches are both stylish and powerful. In the case of the Wristmaster Traveler, that means an octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet — reminiscent of ’70s legends like Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, easily the two hottest watches in the world right now — made of high-quality 316L stainless steel. Other key features, like the Superman hands, lacquered dial and hour markers are painted with Old Radium SuperLuminova (for that perfect tropics”fauxtina”), giving it just the right amount of vintage detail.

In addition to its cup-worthy appearance, the Wristmaster Traveler retains its inner beauty thanks to the self-winding mechanical movement YEMA2000, designed and assembled at Yema’s headquarters in Morteau, France. In the hands of a major Swiss brand, a watch like the Wristmaster Traveler would easily cost a few thousand dollars, but Yema doesn’t play that game. Instead, they launch it on Kickstarter, where a pledge of €499 (about $570) gets you a Wristmaster Traveler in time for the holidays. With almost a million dollars in pre-orders to date, Yema Wristmaster is becoming the freshest French export since Randomly choose successful memory. However, unlike everyone’s favorite helmeted DJs, Yema is just getting started.



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