Off the Cuff: YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60

One of the greatest sleeper hits of all time—and a personal favourite of mine—has to be the 1976 film, Rocky. Shot on a budget of less than $1 million dollars, the movie—which initially opened to mixed reviews—went on to gross more than $225 million worldwide. It garnered ten Academy Award nominations and took home three—including Best Picture.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60 @calibre321

But as much as I like Rocky, I have a nomination of my own in the category of Greatest Sleeper Hit—the YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60. Like the young Stallone, the Sous Marine punches way above its weight class and harkens back to that era with serious vintage vibes.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Retro design language @calibre321

To call the Sous Marine R60 a reissue might be misleading. Certainly, the watch references those quirky dials made so popular in the 60s and 70s, not only by YEMA, but by others like Omega, Zenith and Bulova. But really the R60 is a reinterpretation, and possibly a reinvention of the Sous Marine.

Part of what makes the Sous Marine so funky is the clear use of racing cues on what is essentially a dive watch. Tearing a page from their own Meangraf Super Chronograph Series, YEMA have maintained the same design language in the visually fetching minute rehaut which references the checkered flag pattern, not to mention what looks like the use of racing stripes and a nod to the Citroen rally car livery. YEMA fans will also be quick to catch the Daytona-styled crown. Even the case shape is the same—minus the pushers, of course.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Bold colourway @calibre321

But make no mistake, the Sous Marine R60 is a modern timepiece designed for all-terrains. The case, in particular, is a minor marvel. Constructed from 316L stainless steel, it measures a lissom 39mm in diameter and only 45mm lug to lug. It is 11.6mm thick, but once you take into consideration that glorious sapphire dome, the true height is closer to 14mm. It has polished sides and a generous bevel along the mid-case, but is satin brushed across the top. The case back and crown are screw-down and with the addition of a helium escape valve, the watch offers a solid 300m in water resistance.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Bi-directional friction bezel @calibre321

But it’s the bi-directional diving bezel and the manner in which it is incorporated into the case which is most interesting. Partially seated within the case itself, the bezel is shrouded on four corners, while remaining easily manipulated. The result is attractive and functional at the same time, protecting the friction mechanism from bumps and knocks. The aluminum insert is also special, being lumed and then capped in sapphire for a real sense of depth.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
30ATM of water resistance @calibre321

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yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Partially shrouded bezel with 2.6mm sapphire dome @calibre321

The 2.6mm sapphire dome is the piece de resistance, though. With so much happening visually underneath, it creates beautiful distortions from all perspectives, and yet, because of the placement of the applied indices on the inner portion of the dial, it manages to increase legibility by extending those markers several millimeters at sharp angles.  

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review

I really like how the designers have used asymmetry to balance the dial, with the offset logo to the left and the red-rimmed date window at three, divided by the use perpendicular red lines. The bold use of colour is a two punch.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Powered by the YEMA 2000 @calibre321

The hands, markers, and bezel indicators have all been treated with BGW9 Super-LumiNova, which offers a satisfying laser-sharp blue glow.

Powering this little gem is the in-house YEMA2000—increasingly the brand’s go-to for three-hand watches—beating steadily at 28 800vph, with a reported accuracy of +/-10 s/d and a power reserve of 42 hours.   

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
BGW9 Super-LumiNova @calibre321

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Specs

Case316L Stainless Steel
39mm Diameter
45mm Lug to Lug
11.6mm Thick (14mm with dome/bezel)
20mm Lug Width
Screw Down Caseback & Crown
/w Bi-directional Sapphire Friction Bezel
300m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalDomed Sapphire Crystal
/w AR
Applied Markers
BGW9 Super-LumiNova
MovementYEMA 2000 In-House Calibre
29 Jewels
28 800bph
Date at 3 o’clock
42-Hour Power Reserve
StrapAvailable on Vintage Leather or FKM Rubber
Viton Band /w Stainless Steel Dive Clasp

YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60


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yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Racing design cues @calibre321

Of Interest

The R60 has a somewhat more subdued sister watch in the Sous Marine Y60–perhaps a little more Renault than Citroen in its colourway, but offering the same vintage rally styling. If the R60 is too “in your face” with its brash use of stark white and red, but you still want that retro flavour, perhaps the quieter hues of the Y60 are for you.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Wrist presence @calibre321

Quibbles

Some might find the height of the Sous Marine R60–once you take into consideration the generous dome–on a watch of smaller proportions is a bit top heavy. Ultimately, you just have to own it.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
Beautiful crystal distortions and asymmetrical dial @calibre321

Final Thoughts

A rally car must be sturdy, agile, and versatile–quick and doughty enough to suffer the shocks and impacts of offroad racing. They are bold, little vehicles with big engines and big dreams. The funky YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60 resembles those remarks. There was not a lot of fanfare around the release of this watch; however, with 300m of water resistance, a helium escape valve, in-house movement, and innovative case design, it’s one tough customer. But while you’ll appreciate the specs, you’ll ultimately want it for the offbeat design. Like I said, it’s a two punch. But it’s more really. As with Rocky, it’s a knockout.

The YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60 retails for $999USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.

yema meangraf sous marine r60 dive watch review
YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60 @calibre321

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.


On Spec articles refer to upcoming projects and rely upon available information on Kickstarter, the brand website, and promotional materials provided by the watchmaker. An On Spec article does not preclude a future full-length review in our Off The Cuff section. If you would like your project to feature in On Spec, please contact us here.

Please understand that using any links to products on this site might result in us making money.

One thought on “Off the Cuff: YEMA Meangraf Sous Marine R60

  1. Pingback: Off the Cuff: YEMA Superman FAF Search and Rescue – Calibre321

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