It is a collaboration that seems so natural that one would think that it was sealed during the golden age of scuba diving. Nevertheless, it is not the case. The link between Yema and the Navy goes back to barely two years ago, an alliance having given birth to the Navygraf Marine Nationale that we had reviewed, also declined in GMT version at the time. This same navygraf evolves with new assets that have something to appeal to fans of the French manufacture.
The case of this new Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT has been reworked to slim down to 38.5mm, against 39mm for the previous version. A downward revision which is also found at the level of the12mm thickness against 12.85mm previously. While the overall finish seems identical, especially at the level of the vertical brushinga novelty has appeared in the middle: a polished bevel which adds a touch of elegance to a watch that was almost confined to its role as a tool-watch. To add character to the piece, Yema changed the glass, which is no longer flat but displays a double domed shape, and still with this thickness of 2.5mm. Of course everything remains water resistant to 300 meterssomething to reassure lovers of divers.
The other novelty, much more obvious this time, is at the level of the bezel. Following the warm welcome from the watchmaking community for the two-tone inserts of the latest Superman 500 GMT, more recently completed with a new trio, the mortuacian house inaugurates this new chapter with an insert blue and white, still in sapphire crystal and marked over 24 hours. The difference between the day slot and the night slot is very striking and so logical. Who says white, also says SuperLumiNova, BGW9 Grade A to be more exact, in order to illuminate half of the bezel in the dark. A visual effect so successful that one wonders why more brands have not thought of it.
Let’s continue with the dial. Many would have confined themselves to declining the old dial, but this is far from being the case. Yema is inspired by the 1970s Nayvgraf II to revive more typed indexes. These are not printed as on the original model, but applied with a polished finish to add relief and thus give depth to the background. Each cardinal point, except at 3 o’clock where there is a date window, is adorned with a triangular index flanked by a rectangle, then two at noon. The result is superb, giving this piece a unique personality. Finally, the mention Navygraf loses its golden tone for turn yellowjust like the second hand and the GMT hand, dressed in a blue base and a skeletonized triangular tip.
Everything is offered on a steel bracelet, or on FKM rubber, then accompanied by a second Navy bracelet blue and yellow, of course. Finally an official version being that the original ones were made by the combat divers themselves, during the 1970s, from parachute straps. A nice alternative to the traditional NATO, also in a single strand but with a elastic and robust material. Thinner, this material also limits the extra thickness between the case and the wrist. What more can be said ? Yema never ceases to surprise us, and this time in the most beautiful way. The brand seems to have passed a milestone and that gives balm to the heart. Available at 300 piecesfor this first series at least, this Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT will be offered at 1,349-1,379€ then delivered from mid-June.
For more information, visit the Yema website.
CHARACTERISTICS – YEMA NAVYGRAF MARINE NATIONALE GMT
Case: 316L stainless steel – brushed finish with polished chamfers – 38.5mm wide x 12mm thick – double-domed sapphire crystal – screw-down crown marked with Marine Nationale stripes – bidirectional stainless steel bezel with sapphire crystal insert – solid caseback, screwed and engraved – 30 ATM water resistance (300 meters)
matt blue background – polished applied indexes – indexes and hands coated with grade A BGW9 Super-LumiNova – date window at 3 o’clock
Movement : mechanical self-winding – YEMA3000 caliber – 42-hour power reserve – 28,800 vibrations per hour – hours, minutes, seconds, date and GMT – stop-seconds function – daily drift -/+ 10 seconds
Straps: stainless steel – construction in 2 links – brushed finish – 19mm wide at the lug – black FKM Viton rubber option – second Marine Nationale bracelet in parachute strap
Information: in permanent collection – 2-year warranty – available now – €1,259 including tax on leather, €1,399 including tax on steel and €1,429 including tax on rubber