The YEMA Superman was first released in 1963, as a professional-grade dive watch. The now iconic Superman bezel-lock at 3 o’clock was one of the first efforts to address the problem of accidentally disturbing the bezel while diving. Many iterations and later, and we find ourselves looking at the latest release from the brand–the Superman 500.
The beefed-up heritage diver will come in two colourways, Black and “Mysterious” Blue. And, as has been the case with most contemporary Superman models, it will be made available in both 39mm and 41mm references. Both will come standard with the brand’s inhouse YEMA 2000 calibre–a 4Hz, 29-jewel movement, now in its second generation. The first 200 samples, which are officially released this Wednesday, June 29th, will be engraved from 001 to 200.
So, what’s new? Well, the bezel clamp, for starters. Since its original release almost six decades ago, the criticism has been that while functional, the bezel clamp was not practical, as it could not be altered while in the water. This new design not only ensures better stability in the crown tube, but also makes it possible–through a new joint layout–to adjust the bezel lock even when the watch is wet. This is achieved with the addition of a 3BAR seal in the unscrewed crown position. In addition, new micro drilling in the case construction now allows for improved rotation of the bezel click spring and more accurate alignment of the insert.
Then, of course, there is the increased water resistance. The 300m standard set by all previous Superman designs has been bolstered to 500m in this latest model–as the name suggests. YEMA have achieved this through two new technical developments. The first is a slight widening and flattening of the sapphire dome. While the crystal remains 2.6 mm thick, its new shape will make it much more resistant to atmospheric pressure, with very little visual change to its Superman roots. The dome, for example, will only be .3mm shorter and .6mm wider. The caseback represents the next modification. It will jump from 1.5 mm to 2.2 mm in thickness. Together, these developments will usher in the new specs.
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The new dome design should also increase readability. Aiding with this will be a generous application of Grade A Super-LumiNova on the hands, indices, and the luminescent bead zero-mark at 12 o’clock. And don’t worry, that lovely shovel-shaped seconds hand–a feature since the 1970s–remains the same.
The YEMA Superman 500 will be available on vintage leather, fitted rubber, or a stainless steel bracelet with clamshell clasp and diver’s extension.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
19/20mm Lug Width
Screw Down Caseback & Crown
/w Bezel Lock
500m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Domed Sapphire Crystal|
Black or “Mysterious” Blue
Grade A Super-LumiNova
|Movement||YEMA 2000 In-House Calibre|
Date at 3 o’clock
42-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Available on Vintage Leather, Fitted Rubber,|
or a Stainless Steel Bracelet
YEMA Superman 500
YEMA has been moving steadily from win to win in the last few years, often taking advantage of their considerable back catalogue. With the recent development of their own inhouse calibres, and technical advancements like we see in the Superman 500, the brand is throwing down a gauntlet of sorts. Retailing for $1049 to $1219USD, depending upon your strap choice, the YEMA Superman 500 is priced very competitively vis à vis its specs. With the Superman 500 you get iconic design language, deep dive watch history, and–on paper, at least–serious dive chops.
You can expect a full-length, hands-on review in our “Off the Cuff” section in the coming weeks. However, as it stands, I find the Superman 500 to be an ambitious offer from a great heritage brand.
About the author
Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.
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4 thoughts on “On Spec: The YEMA Superman 500”
Yema is one of my favorite brands of military instruments with history, super interesting review I loved it.
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Great specs, for sure. Thanks for stopping by!
That’s killer. Classic watch with history, 2 sizes, and design elements that everyone can get behind….I’m in
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