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Reissue of the iconic French diver watch YEMA Superman reference 53.00.16 initially released in 1970 as an indestructible measurement tool for diving professionals. With its distinct resolutely vintage design, this exclusive bronze edition is limited to 1948 collector’s time pieces so as to commemorate YEMA's year of foundation.
YEMA reinvents this historic tool-watch inspired from its heritage and +70 years experience designing accurate and reliable diving instruments. This unique bronze edition will develop a natural patina that will make each watch truly one of a kind.
Since 1948 YEMA’s main priority has been to craft accurate, reliable and solid tool-watches that can be passed from one generation to the next one as a legacy. That’s why we only use the finest components and materials available.
Known for its excellent craftsmanship, the French art of watchmaking has a longstanding tradition of excellence. It goes back more than six hundred years but it is in the 18th century that it takes off in Franche-Comté, the French region in the Jura mountains where YEMA's workshops are located, just a few miles away from Switzerland. Watchmaking was first and foremost a meticulous craft practiced in winter as a supplementary activity by farmers living in the Jura mountains. Today the watchmaking craftsmanship is preserved by historical Franche-Comté brands like YEMA and the recurrent exchanges between skilled watch experts across the border. Design, prototyping and assembling is manually and precisely taken care of by highly experienced French traditional watchmakers at our Morteau workshops.
Founded in 1948, YEMA is run by a third-generation watchmakers‘ family of Morteau, most employees averaging 30 years of service and having been trained in France's most prestigious horology schools located in our region. Over the years, YEMA has stood the test of time by specializing in luxury and high-precision mechanics made in partnership with the military, professional sportsmen and known scientists.
Our brand philosophy has always centered on creating timepieces which are truly French-made. Of course, not all components are available in France, but where possible, craftsmanship is French-owned when it comes to YEMA. And to this day, we continue to stay true to our heritage.
Delving into YEMA’s history, in 1963 YEMA produced the first Superman watch. Designed as an indestructible tool-watch to satisfy the needs of professional divers and France's Air Force pilots, its performance was revolutionary at that time. Then in 1970 YEMA released the iconic Superman reference 53.00.16. With its distinct black dial and round markers this mythical model became a collector's time piece over the years.
Last year YEMA launched the Superman Heritage lovingly recreating the Superman reference 53.00.16 using 3D modelling of each individual component so as to pay tribute to one of YEMA’s most emblematic time piece. This reissue has been acclaimed worldwide. In 2019 we are proud to collaborate with Hugues Vitry for an exclusive reissue in bronze that is proposed as a collector's limited edition.
Jean Paul is YEMA's Master Watchmaker and counts more than 40 years of service. Born into a watchmaking family for four generations, Jean-Paul has been immersed in the world of watchmaking since his earliest childhood: “ In my childhood, the Morteau Valley was the cradle of French watchmaking. Each small village was crowded with family businesses dedicated to horology and watchmaking. YEMA was one of the most renowned local watch brands and the leading French watch exporter at that time ”.
Jean-Paul leads YEMA's watchmakers team and plays a fundamental role in the design, prototyping and testing of each and every new YEMA model, including the Superman Heritage Bronze: “ What makes this exclusive time piece unique is not only the fact that is the first Superman made in bronze but also the first one with no-date and the first variant in 41mm, a truly collector's watch ”.
Hugues Vitry is a worldwide recognised professional diver & marine conservation activist responsible for Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization which studies the population of resident sperm whales in the Indian Ocean.
Since years, Hugues sees the animals being born and growing up, the sperm whales got used to his presence by their side and they have become a family for him. Hugues has given a name to each whale. Eliot, one of the sperm whales, has a very close history with Hugues: “ Last year he had a fish hook stuck in. Imagine a wild animal of several tons coming to see a human being to tell him that he has a problem, it is a fabulous contact ” explains the one known as “ the man who speaks to the sperm whales ”.
Hugues is a big fan of YEMA from a young age, his first diving watch was a YEMA Navygraf which he stills owns. Early 2018 he naturally approached us proposing to help us design a unique YEMA Superman dive watch to accompany him during his scientific mission MISSION MAUBYDICK.
Hugues Vitry's MISSION MAUBYDICK expedition studies the unique population of Indian Ocean resident sperm whales, starting September 2019. This expedition will include valuable environmental and scientific research that will help creating awareness among fishers, marine operators and local communities about the importance of protecting and respecting these creatures.
The idea of reissuing a Superman Heritage in bronze was brought forward by Hugues arguing is YEMA’s most iconic dive watch and that this metal alloy is more resistant to corrosion by salt water than steel, making it the perfect material to go diving with. Hugues was also seduced by bronze because its ability to patina making each watch truly one of a kind: “ Like fine wines, bronze watches do not age, they get better... The older they get, the better they get! Each watch will age differently according to its usage and exposure to diverse weather conditions ”.
The prototype used by Hugues during the 4 months testing phase was exposed to the most extreme conditions possible, it has been underwater almost on a daily basis supporting tropical temperatures and high levels of humidity. As a result of it, Hugues' watch has quickly developed a beautiful natural patina.
Another interesting aspect about bronze is that one can easily reverse the bronze watch patina in just a few minutes!
As an amateur of mechanical dive watches, Hugues emphasised the importance of privileging a classic and minimalist design while enhancing the essential diving features: Graduated bezel with main markers engraved, a luminescent triangle at 12 o’clock and the iconic arrow minutes hand should be made prominent yet refined.
We took the iconic Superman Heritage case as a model then we worked on several sketches. We imagined different finishings and opted for a radial brushed one which looked really class on bronze.
After a few design iterations we made a first prototype end 2018. Hugues then YEMA CoLabs community provided valuable feedback which allowed us to make some last adjustments and come with a final model that preserves the identity of the iconic Superman, its robust and indestructible aspect while ensuring high visibility during diving activities.
The final prototype has been extensively tested by Hugues during the first months of 2019. It has accompanied Hugues through over 50 diving sessions in the Indian Ocean and Caribbean waters, according to him “ This is a comfortable watch, rock-solid and perfectly sized for diving activities, once it develops patina it looks like a vintage time piece, a lot of people asked me how old the watch was! ”.
YEMA's in-house mechanical movement is mostly recognised for its reliability and is undeniably the heart and soul of the Superman Heritage Bronze. Skilfully created in 2011 by our expert watchmakers at our Morteau (France) workshops, YEMA's in-house movement required 2 years of R&D and an investment of € 3m. This workhorse automatic movement robustness has been widely proven during past 10 years, its deliberate standardised engineering design ensures easy servicing by any watch expert. Our French in-house movement contains an intricate series of tiny components working together to power the timepiece, the motion of wearing the watch provides all the power needed to wind it up and keep it running.
With 31 Ruby jewels, it beats at 28,800 A/h and offers a convenient power reserve of 45 hours. Following internal Quality Control procedures, our watchmakers team calibrate the mouvement right after assembling to +/- 6 sec/day accuracy.
More detailed info here: YEMA in-house caliber MBP1000
We used sophisticated 3D modelling technology to recreate an original 1970s YEMA Superman case, which has resulted in a watch with the same proportions as the vintage original i.e. a 39mm x 13mm bronze case with 19mm lug width, making of it the perfect scuba diving watch in terms of size.
For the first time in YEMA's history we have also designed a a 41mm x 13mm bronze case with 20mm lug width for those who prefer standard sizes.
The case architecture of the watch makes it sit comfortably on the wrist, the case back slightly elevated design serves to lift the watch off your wrist a bit such that the crown doesn’t dig into your hand. The main case is itself thin with lugs that curve gently downwards and hug your wrist, a feature that’s both aesthetically sophisticated and also increases comfort. The case and lugs feature a stylish brushed surface finishing reinforcing the vintage look. The case terminates on the right-hand side in two pointed crown guards that protect the screw-down crown.
The caseback beautifully displays YEMA's historic coat of arms, forged with a hydraulic press. Each time piece is individually engraved with a unique number from 0001 to 1948 making each watch exclusive. We have privileged stainless steel over bronze in order to avoid potential skin allergies.
The rotating bezel allows precise measurement of dive times. For safety, the bezel rotates only in one direction. The bezel is fully made in bronze with a radial brushed finishing. It has a 60 minutes graduation with engraved markers every 5 minutes. The overall bezel's design is minimalist yet stylish and highly functional to professional divers, as requested by Hugues Vitry.
To avoid inadvertent rotation during diving activities, the bezel can be locked with YEMA's iconic Superman Bezel-LockMechanism designed and trademarked in 1963. Over the years this unique bezel-lock has become a distinct feature of the Superman.
We reproduced the beautiful dial of the Superman Heritage with its printed cream coloured indexes. Hugues suggested we pick up a radial blue colour for the dial mirroring the intense blue colour of the Indian Ocean.
The watch hands are diamond cut in bronze and treated with Super-LumiNova. The iconic Superman seconds hand with its head shaped like a shovel is exactly the same used in the 1970's original model along the historic arrow-shaped minutes hand.
The Superman Heritage Bronze is made available with a sapphire double curved crystal. The anti-reflective domed crystal with light magnifying lens effect allows for better dial readability.
Premium watches like the Superman Heritage Bronze generally use sapphire crystal which is extremely hard (Moh’s scale 9 – Diamond is 10), and will resist scratching by most substances short of diamonds.
The YEMA Superman model was originally designed in 1963 as an indestructible dive watch. Rather impressively for the time, the original watch featured already a depth rating of 990 feet / 300m, an a unique bezel-locking mechanism that ensured the bezel couldn’t accidentally move under water, a design feature that differentiates YEMA’s Superman from other mechanical dive watches.
It's graduated rotating bezel comes also handy to scuba divers as it allows measuring diving time. Before beginning a descent, the diver turns the bezel until the triangle on the graduation is opposite the minute hand. This indicates the beginning of the dive and is visible in the dark. The duration of the dive is indicated on the graduation on the bezel by the minute hand. Since the bezel graduation triangle and the hands are treated with Super-LumiNova, scuba divers can read diving time also under poor light conditions during deep-diving and cloudy days.
Thanks to the expertise of skilled artisans this exclusive edition is provided with 3 distinct high-quality and unique YEMA straps. Our straps are marked by an exceptional softness and an unquestionable resistance to torsion. Not only are they extremely comfortable products, but also remarkably durable. All strap buckles are made of bronze and are engraved with YEMA's historic Y logo.
For daily use we designed a YEMA brown vintage leather strap (200mm x 19mm) with a superficial patina that enhances the Superman Heritage Bronze overall vintage look, it just perfectly fits the bronze case natural patina. The leather is exclusively obtained through traditional methods, as no chemicals and artificial products are employed.
For diving activities we have reissued the popular rubber Tropic strap from 1970 (200mm x 19mm). These were much appreciated because of their comfortable and vintage look. The perforated design was proven very useful to scuba divers as it allows natural evacuation of water and heat. The light rubber material makes sure the strap adapts perfectly to all wrist sizes. Overall it's an extremely comfortable dive watch strap.
Here's more info about YEMA'S Tropic straps history
We also propose a classic Navy blue NATO strap (280mm x 19mm) for daily and scuba diving usage. When underwater, the high-quality nylon fabric absorbs water quickly and is fully saturated immediately. Upon return to the surface, the nylon dries out in just a few minutes. It's bronze buckle gives it a distinct retro look and the Navy blue colour chosen perfectly complements the blue dial of the Superman Heritage Bronze.
We do believe that every detail is important in order to rend this Limited Edition as much as exclusive as possible, and in this sense, the packaging certainly plays a fundamental role.
We have teamed up with expert artisans to create an elegant and durable commemorative high-quality collector's box made of fine leather. Not only do we deliver a remarkable and unique collector's time piece but give birth to packagings that unequivocally recall the tradition of skilled manufacturers.
A YEMA bronze medal celebrating our +70 years French watchmaking tradition is graciously embossed into the collector's box.
The accompanying documentation is made of an Owner's User Manual which includes scuba diving usage tips and a word on YEMA's history and it's dive watch tradition, a stylish patina leather YEMA Warranty Card (all our watches come with a 2 years International Warranty), and a collector's leaflet describing Hugues Vitry's MISSION MAUBYDICK and its involvement in the design of the Superman Heritage Bronze.
Along your exclusively engraved Superman Heritage Bronze Limited Edition time piece, you'll also receive the brown vintage leather, black Tropic rubber and blue Navy NATO nylon straps.
UPDATE: Stretch Goals #1 + #2 unlocked!
We're thrilled to announce that all backers will receive a YEMA Spring Bar Toolkit and a YEMA Drybag as a gift.
We wish to reward your loyalty by offering the following YEMA essentials to all backers provided we reach the following goals:
Stretch Goals #1 + #2 unlocked!
- 1,250 watches: This goal has been met! All backers will receive a YEMA Spring Bar Toolkit + YEMA Drybag (3L)
Stretch Goal #3
- 1,500 watches: YEMA Watchmaker Kit to manipulate your precious time pieces
This project is designed, managed and fully executed by YEMA Watches of France team. We are not dependant of third parties, the Superman Heritage Bronze follows exact same product lifecycle as any other new YEMA model. As such we fully guarantee delivery of your time piece only 90 days after finalisation of this campaign.
YEMA's signature #TimeofHeroes dates from 1970. It reflects the history and values of the brand and what it stands for. It tells the adventures of remarkable sportsmen and explorers who have achieved the extraordinary under the most extreme conditions, with a YEMA watch on their wrists. YEMA was the first French watch sent into space and worn by a Western-European astronaut in partnership with the National Center for Space Studies (CNES – the French NASA), the first French diving watch going under 300m, first French watch on a North Pole pedestrian trek worn by French explorer Jean-Louis Etienne on his 800km North Pole track, the official watch of France's Air Force One pilots and renown transatlantic sailing champions and the iconic chronograph worn by Formula 1 driver Mario Andretti during his historic win at Indianapolis 1969.
With your purchase you automatically join YEMA's loyalty program YEMA PRIVILEGE. Enjoy exclusive offers, 24/7 Customer Service and other benefits like free shipping and promo codes. All Yema watches carry a 2 Years International Warranty.
HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK?
1. Back our campaign between June 1st-30th, 2019 by choosing a Reward. If you are new to Kickstarter you will be asked to create an account.
2. & 3. On June 30th, 2019 provided this project reaches its funding goal your credit card will be charged.
4. Immediately after you will be asked to confirm your Shipping Details i.e. the exact address to where we should deliver your watch.
5. On October 2019 we'll ship your watch over to you :)
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Risks and challenges
This project is designed, managed and fully executed by YEMA, a French watchmaker founded in 1948. We are not dependant of third parties, the Superman Heritage Bronze follows exact same product lifecycle as any other new YEMA model. As such we fully guarantee delivery of your time piece only 90 days after finalisation of this campaign.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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