You know me – if Yema introduces a new model, I’m going to want to talk about it (and likely angle for a loaner to review). Over the last year or so, I’ve really become enamored with what the brand is producing, and their latest – the Yema PearlDiver – is no exception.
The Yema PearlDiver started off as a watch inspired by their Navygraf II of the 1970s. Then, via their collaborative platform, fans were able to suggest changes to the watch. What came out? Well, frankly, it looks to me like what we’d get if Steve Laughlin (of Raven Watches) redesigned the watch – and that’s a very good thing.
To my eyes, the Yema PearlDiver has a very recognizable case profile – a bit smaller here at 38mm (a very nice size for most wrists) while still giving it some dive watch “heft” with a 14mm thickness – the better to fit the movement (more on that in a moment). The dial is very recognizable as a diver, with the triangles and circles, done up here in black and cream.
The bezel of the Yema PearlDiver also keeps that old-school diver feel going, as it’s an aluminum insert. What I like here is that the compass points are blocks – and not just another set of lines. It gives us another bit of geometry on the watch, and mixes things up just a bit (shame there’s no lume pip on the triangle there, though).
So, for that movement – the Yema PearlDiver is the secondwatch that we’ve seen get their new in-house YEMA2000 calibre (the first being the Superman Bronze we reviewed here). I think it’s great to see brands start to own more of what they’re producing, so I like seeing the movement pop up more – just so long as it doesn’t automatically require a watch to be sent back to France for maintenance.
Speaking of that Superman Bronze, the Yema PearlDiver has the same handset here as well. A bit different from what we’d normally see on a dive watch, but you do have that broad arrow making it clear where your minutes are. On one hand I like that they’re finished in black (with the tan lume), but it also – visually – makes the hour hand feel a bit undersized due to it’s apparent stubbiness. If that’s the finish here, perhaps some “maxi” hands are in order.
Last, but not least, let’s talk about the bracelet of the Yema PearlDiver. Here, we’ve got a sort of geometric woven look (not sure if you want to call it a 3-link or 5-link) that again mixes up a basic design, and echoes the squares on the bezel. I think it’s a solid look for a steel sports watch – though part of me would like to see those squares with a bit of polish (either full polish or polished bevels) to get just a bit of flash in there. But that’s me.
So, yes, from what I can see, there’s a lot to like about the Yema PearlDiver. There are a few things that could maybe be tweaked in future iterations (or, the bracelet polishing, an owner could try themselves), but frankly, at $749, it’s well-sorted. You can head on over to Yema and get your pre-order in; if you do so before the 25th you’ll get a free tropic strap (and free shipping) thrown in as well. For us, we’ll see if we can’t get a loaner in to show you how the watch is in the steel. yema.com
Tech Specs from Yema
- Diameter: 38 mm
- Thickness: 14 mm
- Lug : 20 mm
- CASE: Brushed 316L stainless steel
- BEZEL: Aluminum rotating bezel with black insert
- CROWN: Screw-down crown, vintage Y YEMA logo engraved
- Hesalite superdome crystal
- 3.50 mm thickness
- WATER RESISTANCE: 20 BAR / 660 Feet / 200 m
- DIAL: Matt black dial / Creamy printed markers / Super-Luminova C3
- FINISHING: Brushed stainless steel divers bracelet
- MATERIAL: 316L Stainless Steel
- BUCKLE: Diver extension folding clasp with secure-lock and minted Yema vintage logo
- YEMA2000 In-house Caliber
- Self winding with ball bearings rotor
- 29 Rubies
- 28 800 A/h
- MOVEMENT: Automatic
- FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Daily Rate +/- 10 seconds per day
- Maximum Rate +/- 25 seconds per day
- Adjustments and checks made before and after assembly by our watchmakers
- POWER RESERVE: 42 Hours
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