The watch, inspired by a 1970s Navygraf reference, has a very vintage feel about it, particularly with the curved “smiley” line of text above the 6 o'clock position. I particularly like the fine red pip at the end of the seconds hand, which interrupts the otherwise two-tone agenda. Aside from being functional for a dive watch, it engenders a touch of sophistication. And, well, what can be said about a YEMA dome that has not already been lauded here and elsewhere?
Of course, the main talking point here is the YEMA3000 calibre at the heart of this piece. The in-house movement has made appearances in the Worldtimer and Hertiage GMT collections previously and allows the wearer—in conjunction with the 24-hour bezel insert—to track a total of three time zones. However, this caller-GMT has never been used in a 50BAR watch before. In fact, this combination of water resistance and GMT function place the Superman 500 GMT among small school of fish.
In the early 1970s, YEMA began equipping the French Air force with a dive watch. This might seem a bit pessimistic on behalf of the nation’s flyboys, but the watches were intended for a specialized group within the Search and Rescue branch: the Aviation Rescue Swimmers. The watch in question was YEMA’s historic Superman, reference 24.11.17. This marked the beginning of a decades-long collaboration.