Yema is a French brand that has been around for a while. Their contemporary pieces are masculine and affordable. They all feel like cartoon versions of activity watches given their size and friendly demeanor. I wanted to review this Ref. YMHF0310 Dive watch because it is a funny piece that I think will bring a lot of people joy. It isn’t perfect and has a few quirks, but is loveable nonetheless. The official name of the watch is the “Sous-Marine Snorkeling.”

At 47.5mm wide, this steel PVD black watch is large (there are also non PVD versions in polished steel). Though the design of the case and the wrapping lugs makes it comfortable on even smaller wrists. A lot of this is thanks to the comfortable bracelet and the micro-adjust features in the deployment. I call this watch the “digital diver” because it has the case of a more traditional dive watch with a digital quartz movement. The movement has some useful features, including a dive computer. The watch automatically detects when you are underwater to track dive times and depth. In addition to the time, the movement has a number of other useful features such as an alarm, stopwatch with lap timer, countdown timer, calendar, and second time zone. What I really like is not just the features, but the overall operation of the watch.

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The user interface is designed a bit like Suunto watches, but I find this watch to be more pleasurable to use. That isn’t cause of the movement per se, but because of two other factors that you might not understand from my discussion, but you’ll know what I mean if you handle the watch. The case has four pushers on it, and each has a smooth, long action to them. You get a really satisfying and loud beep when you push one down to do activate or adjust something on the watch. The pleasure of using the springy pushers and the responsive beep are two subtle factors that make the watch one of the most pleasing digital watches I’ve ever operated. It also helps that the movement is very responsive to commands. This is in contrast to watches with tiny pushers that require your finger nail and frustrating jabs to get down. Use the watch and you’ll see what I mean.

Use of a negative LCD screen makes the watch look better, but in high light situations the dial can be hard to read. There is a backlight for viewing the dial in the dark. The digital numerals on the dial are large and easy to read in most instances. The case is water resistant to 300 meters – which is good. The crystal is mineral, but doesn’t bother me too much for this watch. Also like the labels on the flange ring next to the dial that tell you what the pushers do – that makes using the watch even easier.

Easily the most quirky aspect of the watch is the rotating diver’s bezel. All good dive watches have a rotating diver’s bezel, with the digital diver being no exception. However in this instance, the bezel doesn’t do anything. Such bezels are used with analog hands or other indicators, and this watch has none of that. The bezel is actually bi-directional, and has a nice action to it, but is here merely for fun and show. The strange part is that I like having the bezel there – and I am not sure why. Sure it is vestigial at best, but it helps complete the them for me, and I still like playing with it.

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Yema adds in a bit more color with blue rings on the pushers. The chunky case is 15.4mm thick, and wears tall on the wrist. The steel case uses some older manufacturing techniques and the steel links for the bracelet are folded rather than solid metal. While they wear nicely and look fine, they don’t exude ultra-high quality when you move the bracelet links around in your hand. Yema includes an additional rubber strap with the YMHF310 watch, and a handy extra set of pins as well as a changing tool.

For all the little quirks it has I am very fond of this watch. It makes for a good sport piece, daily beater, or watch to be worn when you want something cool, but not terribly conservative. Retail price is $865 on YemaUSA’s website – but not really. They most always run promotions, so you can usually get the piece for half of that – which is about $430 bucks. It won’t be as nerdy as a lot of  Casio watches are, and it won’t be as stuffy many other watches are. If you are the type of guy with a good sense of humor and like living a little large, I can’t see this Yema digital diver disappointing you.

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