A 500-meter depth rating is no small engineering achievement for a dive watch. Although the overwhelming majority of wearers will never use this kind of water resistance to its fullest extent, 500 meters of resistance is a powerfully evocative milestone in watchmaking and one that usually necessitates a bulky, heavily built design. Thanks to a massive factory modernization program and an emphasis on new, high-quality local partners to improve production over the past few years, Yema’s latest releases buck this trend entirely, bringing a massive 50 atmospheres of resistance to its cornerstone Superman dive watch line without sacrificing the series’ sleek, vintage-inspired charm. The new Yema Superman 500 watch series keeps the unique ‘60s-inspired French spirit of the Superman series alive, while adding new refinements, an in-house automatic movement, and impressive new capability to the mix.
Available in both 39mm and 41mm-wide sizes, the stainless steel cases of the Yema Superman 500 line keep the classic, stylized ‘60s diver lines of the Superman series intact. With long, flowing polished lugs and matching extended tapering crown guards, this design puts its own distinctive spin on the traditional diver silhouette with a uniquely handsome character. In contrast to the often blocky, aggressive forms seen in many 500-meter-rated divers, the Superman 500 series offers a lithe, skin diver-esque profile that wears far slimmer on the wrist than the 13.4mm-thick dimensions would suggest. Of course, the Superman line’s hallmark locking dive bezel returns for the Superman 500 series, but Yema adds a broad range of technical improvements to make this proprietary safety function more useful than ever. While the classically styled uni-directional dive bezel (available with inserts in black or ultra-deep Mysterious Blue) offers a full, easily legible scale, the lock at 3 o’clock gives the Superman 500 an added layer of security while underwater. For the Superman 500 line, Yema reprofiles this element with a more secure form to ensure better stability against the crown tube and adds micro-drilled segments to the case body intended to improve the feel of bezel operation and improve alignment.
By far the most impressive new addition, however, is the Superman 500’s ability to unlock the bezel while on the water’s surface. In previous iterations of the Superman, this was impossible, as unlocking the bezel requires unscrewing the oversized crown and compromising the watch’s water resistance. Thanks to a new joint and gasket system, the Superman 500 offers 30 meters of water resistance with the crown in the unscrewed position, allowing wearers to set the bezel while in the water before securing the crown and descending into a dive. This tremendous technical achievement makes the series’ signature locking bezel infinitely more user-friendly, without sacrificing the line’s unique tactile experience. Thanks to these innovations, along with reprofiled double dome sapphire crystals and newly reinforced solid casebacks, each member of the Yema Superman 500 line provides a massive 500 meters of water resistance, which should be enough to tackle any underwater adventure without resorting to the hefty case architecture of many other 500 meter-rated divers.
Like the cases, the dials of the Yema Superman 500 series keep the vintage style of the line alive while introducing new layers of modern refinement. Both the black and Mysterious Blue dial variants use a deep, mirror-like glossy dial finish that adds miles of visual depth to the overall composition while harkening back to the gloss-dialed dive watches of the ‘60s. The dial layout itself is clean, timeless, and eminently legible at a glance, with classic printed dive indices flanked by a bold outer minutes scale, a distinctive sword-and-arrow handset, and Yema’s famous shovel-tipped seconds hand with a pop of eye-catching signal red. The brand echoes this red accent color in the “500 Metres” dial text at 6 o’clock, but otherwise keeps things clean with simple white dial hardware. The black dial variant leans into the vintage-inspired aesthetic handsomely, complementing the classic base design with a generous fill of Super-LumiNova in rich khaki tan. By contrast, the deep midnight hue of the Mysterious Blue dial is accented with crisp white lume for a timelessly sporting look.
Inside the Yema Superman 500 series beats the brand’s own in-house Caliber YEMA2000 automatic movement. This is the brand’s second-generation flagship powerplant, and thanks to a host of technical improvements and optimized components Yema rates the YEMA2000 for a reliable +10/-10 seconds per day in accuracy. In addition, the YEMA2000’s 42-hour power reserve and smooth 28,800 bph beat rate help to ensure elegant and reliable daily-wear performance.
Yema offers the Superman 500 line with a trio of expertly matched strap options. The classic five-link stainless steel bracelet brings a touch of class and brilliance to the design on the wrist, with both mirror polished and smoothly brushed links for a premium feel that plays dynamically with changing light. An optional classic leather strap (black for black dial models, warm medium brown for Mysterious Blue examples) gives the design a more laid-back look, while more serious adventurers may want to turn to the available Viton FKM rubber deployant strap. This durable, sculpted modern rubber strap gives the already durable Superman 500 a hard-wearing sporty edge on the wrist, without sacrificing lightweight comfort.
With immense underwater capability, a uniquely attractive twist on classic diver cues, and a host of technical improvements throughout, the new Yema Superman 500 series seamlessly blends hardcore diver capability with a sleeker, more fashionable spirit to create a stunning testament to the brand’s newly revitalized capabilities. The Yema Superman 500 series is available now through authorized dealers. Starting MSRP for the Yema Superman 500 line stands at $1,049 as of press time. For more information, visit Yema’s website.
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