From in-house to factory caliber
You’re probably familiar with YEMA2000 and YEMA3000 calibersunveiled in 2020 and labelled “Grade Standard” on the brand’s website. These were not really new, as they were both derived from the MPB1000 caliber developed by the Ambre Group in 2011, just two years after the acquisition of the Yema brand, and mainly used for the Yonger & Bresson brand belonging to the Group. This technical link enabled parts to be interchanged while improving movement performance. But while these calibers were designed and assembled in MorteauYema remained entirely dependent on its Swiss colleagues for the manufacture of parts, preventing it from to move up to the manufacturing grade. The CMM.20 got the ball rolling, but it was with the CMM.10 that Yema really turned a corner.
An evolution overseen by Olivier Mory
Let’s start by talking about the notion of manufacture, which has become quite abstract. By definition, it means designing and producing a movement entirely in-house. But the reality is quite different. If you think of the barrel springat balance wheel with spiral springor even the escapement with its anchor. micron-scale machined parts are in fact rarely produced by major brands themselves. And that’s just as well, since this know-how is so specific. The analogy ofOlivier Mory with Michelin tires for the automotive sector illustrates this point very well: it’s better to go through the best than to do less well oneself. In fact, this is what made it possible for Yema to become a manufacturer. This true watchmaking genius has worked with some of the biggest names in haute horlogerie, including Audemars Piguet and Richard Millebefore moving on to movement industrialization at Sellita and then ValFleurier. He then set up on his own and decided to tackle all the major complications, from the perpetual calendar to the minute repeater, then the tourbillon, of which he has become a specialist.. With him, everything is designed to be simplified so as to be able to follow the same methods as the great industrialists in the field, with the aim of producing more reliable and affordable movements. And it was by the greatest of coincidences that this French naturalized Swiss approached the Mortuacian company and immediately admired its boldness.
Christopher Bôle’s initial request was for upgrade the YEMA2000 and YEMA3000 gauges to manufacture grade. Rather than start with a blank sheet of paper, Olivier Mory has advised them to keep some of the existing components that were goodthen change the rest to optimizing the architecture. But without straying too far from this, all keeping it evolvingthen adding a little stylistic signature. The central through-bridge is the most striking example. The idea was to create a base onto which complications could be grafted, but which could also be skeletonized. The Manufacture grade is therefore supported by the fact that Yema now manufactures bridges and plates of its movements, which constitute the bulk of the components. The rest is assembled and adjusted on site. The movements are designed in-house with the help of Olivier Mory, who directs them to the machines to be acquired. It’s worth noting that machines are purchased new by some of the most prestigiousand then bought back by the smaller ones. We can’t mention the names on these machines, but you can be sure they’re the stuff of dreams. On this unusual second-hand market, each beast has its own weight, in tonnes as well as in money. With costs approaching 300-400K€ per machineand knowing that Yema now has threeIt’s easy to see how big a gamble she’s taken. Bear in mind that the company, which remains an SME with a staff of around thirty, operates well but is far from having the liquidity of a major corporation. So it’s easy to see why the marqu
What about CMM.20 & CMM.30?
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself a pertinent question: if CMM.10 is the basis for Yema’s calibres, why is it released after the CMM.20 and CMM.30? ? Once again, it’s time to look at Olivier Mory. Let’s not forget that he’s a designer-clockmaker: creating movements and prototyping them is his business. If you could see his machines (which is our case), all very old and manual, these “unicorns” as he calls them, you’d be blown away. Thanks to a production license which Yema is the only one to have, it can produce its movements from Morteau and thus do away with the “made in Switzerland” aspect. The Wristmaster’s micro-rotor arrived so quickly thanks to this, enabling them to fine-tune industrial processes in order to structure a suitable team and then test the machining centres at a fairly large scale to ensure that the cadence would match that required for the CMM.10. The Yachtingraf Tourbillon Maréographe is much the same. The movement and complication are also by Olivier Morybut for the first time in the history of watchmaking, they have been brought together at Yema’s request. This latest test thus enables the teams at the French company to achieve one of the most demanding quality levels in the industry. Once they know how to do that, they can do anything.
CMM.10: the new Yema pillar
We were lucky enough to see it at the end of August in Morteau. The CMM.10 was encased in a bronze Superman with a transparent base. And to think we thought it was a prototype for test purposes… we were obsessed with the Yachtingraf Tourbillon Maréographe. Things have changed, and we’ll be telling you more about it very soon. What counts today is this famous caliber. At first glance, its bead-blasted finish might lead you to believe that Yema wanted to keep things simple. But the opposite is true. Unlike the cotes de Genève or the beading, which can hide the tiniest scratches, sandblasting leaves no room for error. In addition ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) treatment makes the task more difficult, as themicroscopic thickness added to the parts requires extreme rigor and infinitesimal adjustment. The technical characteristics of the CMM.10 are exemplary: a 28,800A/h (4Hz) operating frequency for a smoothly running second hand, a large barrel with a Nivaflex spring to offer a high level of precision, and a high level of reliability. 70 hours of power reservea daily deviation of -3/+5 seconds per day more precise than the COSC, the use ofnon-magnetic alloys to offer a non-magnetic property (notably the Glucydur balance wheel), a double-cone Incabloc system system for shock resistance, and an optimized exhaust system to maximize the use of the energy supplied by the cogs. On paper, this modern high-performance movement has absolutely nothing to envy the Kenissi movements. Which is amazing, considering Yema’s size. Just goes to show that Olivier Mory can work miracles…at least when he meets an ambitious team. In short: the letters of nobility of French watchmaking have finally been restored!