A Closer Look At The YEMA Superman French Air Force Steel Limited Edition

A Closer Look At The YEMA Superman French Air Force Steel Limited Edition

Built for air and sea maneuvers, this limited-edition military spec diver is available to civilians, but you have to act fast to get one.

By Rhonda Riche

When the French watchmakers YEMA brought back its storied Superman watch in 2018, it also helped revive the brand. It quickly became the company’s flagship model, and soon, the Superman grew into its own collection – including the Superman Heritage 63.

This past spring YEMA added two new models designed in collaboration with the French Air Force to “meet the requirements of their diver rescuers and fighter pilot’s personnel.”

These air and sea timepieces have been a sleeper hit among civilians too. So we made it our mission to learn more about these timepieces.

Air Reborn

When it debuted in 1963, the original Superman was one of the first divers to feature a 300-meter depth rating and a locking bezel mechanism (a distinctive bracket placed at 3 o’clock held in place by the screw-down crown).

On top of its impressive abilities as a tool watch, nothing is more desirable to collectors of military watches than a legitimate association with the armed forces. Fortunately for them, YEMA has been partnering with the French military since the 1970s.

Back then, the first YEMA French Air Force timepieces were designed to equip the Air Force Diver Rescuers team. Specifically, these early Superman models were used during helicopter-borne missions but were soon adopted by fighter pilots, making of the Superman a unique SEA-AIR military-grade tool watch. 

Now officially renewing their partnership with l’Armée de l’air, the brand has created non-limited and limited-edition Superman timepiece based on those classic 1970s-era models and designed for action in the air as well as the sea.

Flight of Fancy

While the Superman French Air Force collection is built for fighter pilots and military search and rescue operations, like all things French, these watches also have style to spare. And one aesthetic hallmark of the Superman French Air Force collection is its monochromatic palette.

The dial is a matte black with raised luminous markers to provide ultimate legibility as well as a smart, sporty appearance. It also lends the pieces an air of seriousness, but the red, white, and blue of the French flag found at the 6 o’clock marker and on the crown provides a pop of tricolor. To further reinforce the military connection, the French Air Force logo can also be found on the dial and the caseback.

There are two editions of this timepiece – a quartz model and a limited version kitted out with an in-house MPB1000 automatic movement and a 45-hour power reserve. The non-limited quartz version quartz comes in a 39mm case size, which because of its rugged construction, works well on any wrist size. The limited-edition offers a choice of either 39mm or 41mm case sizes.

Prices start at $499 for the non-limited quartz version and $999 for the YEMA Superman French Air Force Steel Limited Edition. As we mentioned earlier, these watches were launched in April. So, if you want to sign up for one of the 1,948 limited-edition timepieces, you’ll have to act fast.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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