Today, YEMA released their latest novelty for 2023—a hybrid inventive it calls the Urban Field. Indeed, the watch is a crossover between a traditional, military-inspired field watch and a that of a casual dresser. Designed, no doubt, for those who patrol the urban jungle more often than they do the backwoods, the YEMA Urban Field treads an interesting—and versatile—line.
The watch is available in two different sizes: 37.5mm (green dial featured here) and 40mm (black & yellow dials in this review). And its 316L stainless steel case, in either iteration, is a truly svelte 7.8mm—especially considering the mechanical movement inside. The finish is predominantly polished with a straightforward design. The lug to lug on the smaller model is tidy 45mm, while the larger watch stretches to 48mm. Both designs, however, taper nicely into a 20mm lug width.
On the underside, there is a screw down display case back, through which we can see the lovely hand wound, Elaboré-grade Sellita SW210-1b. Decorated in finely rendered Geneva stripes and blued screws, it promises a daily rate of +/- 7 seconds.
The dial draws inspiration from the military watches of yore with a combination of bold Arabic numerals and circular plot markers on the hours. There is also an inverted triangle at twelve and a starkly contrasting minute track in the chapter ring. Beyond the brand name and logo, there is very little text, but for the French “Mécanique” in the bottom half above six. The only other element is the cross-hair design (used in the brand’s Wristmaster line from the 70s) that divides the real estate into quadrants. The dial itself has a unified, sandblasted texture that is available in 5 different colour variations. Aside from the black, green, and yellow, featured here, it is also offered in blue and white.
Each variant is equipped with a 1.80 mm thick double-domed sapphire crystal, as well, enhancing the vintage appearance and providing better readability. In addition, the dauphine hands and indexes are generously treated with Grade A BGW9 Super-LumiNova, for a long-lasting glow after dark.
For the Urban Field, YEMA is offering a combination of bands. You can get the watch on a classic Bonklip or a Beads-of-Rice steel bracelet, with an additional hand-crafted leather strap.
The Bonklip is a military-style stainless steel bracelet used by the British Army until the 80s and is very similar to the Forstner Klip; however, the adjustment system has been redesigned for easier manipulation. The Beads-of-Rice bracelet is a contemporary interpretation of the 60s staple, polished to match the case, and employs a push-button, deployant clasp.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
45/48mm Lug to Lug
20mm Lug Width
Screw Down Display Case Back
100m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Domed Sapphire Crystal|
Grade A BGW9 Super-LumiNova
|Movement||Sellita Elaboré SW210-1b|
42-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Bonklip & Leather Strap or,|
BOR & Leather Strap
YEMA Urban Field
Part of what attracts me to YEMA watches are the little touches that suggest a movement toward vertical integration and a celebration of all things French. Here, for instance, the hand-crafted straps come from ateliers in the Franche-Comté region of France, a stone’s throw from the watchmaker’s own shops. The straps are thick, yet supple with an embossed, cross-hatched pattern and topstitching. The keepers, in particular, and strong and flexible. I also like the use of French on the dials, which began to resurface last year on the brand’s Superman 500 line, and seems to have stuck in subsequent offerings, as we see in the Urban Field.
While the watch is rated to a more than acceptable 100m of water resistance, it would be great to see it with a screw down crown. This is not a quibble, so much as it is a wish.
The YEMA Urban Field is a military-inspired sports watch with a touch of elegance. On the one hand, its 100m of water resistance and utilitarian dial layout—its lume—make it a decent tool watch. But, on the other, its polished case and textured dial elevate it somewhat. At 7.8mm, it slides easily beneath a cuff, and on bracelet, it would look great at the office. On leather, it becomes an adventure companion.
The YEMA Urban Field is available at an introductory offer of $1099 with the Bonklip and leather, or for $1249 on the Beads-of-Rice and leather. Once the offer ends, pricing will be $949 on leather, $999 on Bonklip, and $1229 on the BOR. For more information, please visit the brand website.
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 “Off the Cuff: YEMA Urban Field”
Sector dial layouts are super rad..
The watch, plus that movement?! This one deserves a gold star sticker, much like every other Yema
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Glad you like it
Its sharp enough to leave cuts, yet the texturing and bracelet allows it to have a style that’s quite versatile. A GADA piece for sure!
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