It was one of last month’s top stories, and one of the most important of the year for the French watch industry. With his new manufacture movement equipped with a micro-rotor, the CMM.20, the mortuacian brand took a huge step forward. But behind this first announcement, a question remained unanswered: which model would accommodate this caliber? The answer was unveiled shortly after, and Yema invited us on site for a preview to see for ourselves the progress of the brand and discover this new project in hand.
Yema goes into manufacturing mode from Morteau
There manufacturing concept has become increasingly opaque. It’s an open secret, but almost all of the watch brands partially or totally outsource the production of the components of their movements. For example, the subsidiary of Tudor, Kenissi, now produces movements for Breitling, TAG Heuer, Chanel, Norqain, Fortis and recently Bell & Ross. While some calibers are exclusive, all have a similar or even identical architecture. However, this does not detract from their quality, quite the contrary! Now back to Yema. Associated with Olivier Moryan independent manufacturer based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the brand is equipped with machines for machining the plate and the bridges, while the other components are sourced from across the border literally 30 kilometers away. Thus, this new movement designed in Morteau is 80% made in France and 20% in Switzerland. Exit the parts coming from Asia, the whole being assembled and adjusted in the brand’s workshopsjust like the in-house YEMA2000 and YEMA3000 calibers.
A sporty-chic watch revisited and improved
It is therefore the Wristmaster in its Traveler version that houses the new CMM.20 caliber. Relaunched in a crowdfunding campaign in 2021, this steel watch with integrated bracelet was designed by Christopher Bole, CEO of Yema. It draws its inspiration from the Wristmaster Adventurer produced in the 1960s but with a twist of design reminiscent of the 1970s. Compared to the first livery, this new version equipped with an automatic movement with micro-rotor, has been improved on several levels. First, its dial is embossed with a “smile” patterndesigned taking inspiration from the curves of the original Wristmaster font, then now sports elegant applied indexes which are reminiscent of those of the Royal Oak, not to mention new hands. Then, and this is the very purpose of the micro-rotor, its build has been refined to go from 12mm to only 9.3mm thick, while the chamfer has been greatly accentuated to give the watch even more character. Fortunately, the caseback is now transparent to allow you to admire the caliber treated with a color matching it on the dial. Then the bracelet has been refined to perfectly extend into the caseband. The devil is in the details and Yema knows it.
Our opinion on this new Wristmaster
It’s a radical upgrade for Yema. But it is also a logical choice, a key step demonstrating that the repatriation of know-how lost following the quartz crisis is possible. The model chosen is also the most logical when looking at the collections that make up the brand’s catalog. Our only small regret remains in the straight cut of the bracelet, which could have been refined towards the buckle. But it’s also a matter of taste. The embossing of the dial is a real success and has the great merit of being unique with an inspiration that goes back to the roots of Yema. We also really like thecombination of dial/movement colors which adds a nice touch of originality. This series which will not be produced only 1948 copiesin homage to the date of creation of the brand, will be offered on Kickstarter at 1800€ (instead of a public price of around 3600€). With such a promotion, it is undeniably a boon and for once a magnificent publicity stunt. And to prevent speculators from appropriating the project, only one piece will be available per person. Even if the mortuacian brand does not yet know what will happen to the movement after this series, it already knows that another manufacture caliber will see the light of day. We therefore wish them good luck in this great adventure because it is frankly deserved.
To learn more, visit Yema’s Kickstarter.
YEMA Wristmaster Micro-Rotor Watch / Features
- Case: 316L stainless steel / Polished & brushed finish
- Width : 39mm
- Thickness : 9.2mm
- Length : 43.5mm
- Photoluminescence: Yes / SuperLumiNova BGW9 Grade A
- Type of glass: Sapphire
- Case bottom: Transparent & screwed
- Movement : Automatic with micro-rotor
- Caliber: CMM.20
- Power reserve: 70 hours
- Bracelet : 316L stainless steel
- Loop : Butterfly deployant
- Water Resistance: 10 ATM / 100 meters
- Limited edition : Yes / 1948 copies
- Guarantee : 2 years