It appeared in the 60’s and was directly aimed at professional divers. Visibility and watertightness were the guides and objectives to be reached in the development of the initial project.
Some fifty years later, Yema returns to this field of expression with the Superman 500. If the Superman 500 black dial and the Superman 500 Mysterious Blue look like their predecessor, their differences are hidden in the details and their innovations.
The package arrived, the box is opened and I discover the two versions of the Superman 500. With its vintage look, it is only the absence of scratches that allows me to say that this watch was born in 2022.
Knowing the people at Yema, I know from experience that they didn’t just reissue this piece, born in the 60s. What is this watch hiding from us?
A quick look at the data sheet and I have the answer to my question. It all starts with the 50-bar indication: the water resistance is pushed to 500 meters. For a brand that offers technical watches, this is a success.
But this indication has a double effect. The first is to be surprised by this number and this depth. I’m not used to reading it on the data sheets of the watches I handle. The second is to look out the window. Here I am, sitting at my desk, and behind this glass there are 40 meters before the ground. What a paradox to talk about a diving watch from such a height.
Achieving this water resistance was the guide and the motivation of Yema’s teams. Achieving such depth is in line with the history of the brand, but also with the important investments that have been made by the Ambre Group. To bring Yema back to its level of worldwide recognition in the affordable technical watches requires the teams to surpass themselves and to propose products that meet technical challenges.
The other effect of this water resistance lies in the case back: compared to the previous versions, it is now 2.2 mm thick instead of 1.5 mm. A greater thickness removes the risk of deformation of the material and therefore of poor water resistance. The weaknesses of a watch lie in the bezel, the crown and the case back. It is through these parts of the watch that water or dust can enter and affect the proper functioning of the mechanism.
Yema’s teams have thought of everything! If you use this watch for diving, you may need to position the unidirectional bezel to establish a reference point and determine the duration of your dive. This operation can now be performed on the surface of the water. And what impressed me the most is that even with an unscrewed crown, the watch remains water resistant up to 3-bars. This shows the level of detail and attention that has been given to the watch, it perfectly meets the needs of the diver, even though we know the majority of future owners will not be deep sea divers.
Yema offers technical watches, regardless of the clientele.
The last time I was dressed to dive was 10 years ago during a diving initiation. I was able to go around a reef at a depth of 10 meters. I am far from 500 meters!
In my daily life, I rarely have the opportunity to participate in projects or meet people who dive to such depths, but one should never say never. The chance of life could make these encounters happen one day.
As I analyze my daily life and observe the Superman 500, I am forced to conclude that its use as a tool does not correspond to my needs. Yet, in making this observation, I am reminded of Henry Ford’s phrase, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said: faster horses.” My needs should not be a brake on innovation. Exploring the limits of technology gives rise to innovations that will meet some of my needs. This is why Formula 1 exists, as well as Haute Horlogerie and Toolwatches.
It is true that in my near future, I am not likely to dive to 500 meters. Yet, having a watch with this capability on my wrist puts a smile on my face. It’s like admiring the 250 km/h on your speedometer. There is little chance of reaching it, but it’s there. The possibility, this open door to a new world, that’s what this indication represents to me. Like a ticket out of one’s comfort zone, the Superman 500 will not limit me in my daily life.
If I had to choose between the black dial version and the Mysterious Blue, I would choose the Mysterious Blue. Its look is modern while keeping the stylistic codes of the first Superman. Among these codes, we find the “shovel” second hand and the SuperLuminova loaded hour and minute hands. Considering the size of my wrist, I will lean towards the 39 mm version.
So, the Superman 500 is not just a watch. Its release includes a hidden message that can be seen in the improvements made to the water resistance, but also in the use of the second-generation in-house caliber, the Yema2000. We can see the first fruits of the investments and the in-depth work carried out by the teams. The success of the technical improvements should strengthen the teams and push them to work more on other parts of the watch. The movement could be part of the work that will be completed in the coming weeks or months.
What do you think Yema should improve in the future?
Finally, I’d like to add that I’m happy to see these improvements. The Superman 500 is a good example of the hard work the teams have put in, and while I’m not about to dive that deep, just the fact that I’m not limited by my watch gives me ideas for adventures.