Much like a handful of other new French brands and heritage reboots, Yema has been on a bit of a roll, of late. Leveraging the brand’s broad historical catalog, and tapping into current collecting trends in the quasi entry-level watch collecting space, the brand has carved out a respectable following. Expanding on their Heritage collection, today marks the unveiling of a new Superman Heritage GMT, in both Pepsi and Blue Gray bezel configurations. Both references were fired our way a few weeks back for review, giving us a chance to take a thorough first-hand look at the two references.

Starting with the numbers, you’re looking at an all brushed stainless steel case with drilled lugs, measuring 39mm across, 48mm from lug to lug, and 13.7mm thick. Lug width is 19mm on these references, however the metal bracelet extends out to the outer edge of the lugs, giving the Heritage GMT a broader/more substantial visual presence. That said, the lug width is proportional to the case, and thus swapping to conventional rubber, canvas, or NATO straps don’t seem the least bit out of place. Like others in the line, the Superman Heritage GMT is rated for 300m of water resistance, and is fitted with a screw-down crown. The crown also engages Yema’s bezel locking mechanism, though it’s less of a functional feature on account of the bezel being used for tracking the GMT hand. It’s a firm 120-click unidirectional bezel with no play to speak of, so even without the locking mechanism, and even if the bezel was being used for dive timing, there wouldn’t be any kind of concern of inadvertent movement while “in action”.

The choice of bezel colors for this new release come as little surprise, considering the Coke bezel fitted on the prior Maxi Dial version of the Heritage GMT. While the Pepsi bezel plays off of the look popularized by the Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi, the Blue Gray reference is a bit different. On one hand, it does lead one to imagine how a bezel would have faded, had there ever been a vintage reference of the Master II Batman reference. On the other, it does a good job of standing on its own as a sharp bi-color bezel that is quite different than most options presently on the market. As with past references, the bezel inserts on both of these watches are made of aluminum, with luminous indices throughout. Personally, I’d likely pick the Blue Grey over the Pepsi reference on account or originality, but the popularity of Pepsi in the present market is entirely understandable.

Powering the new references is the YEMA3000 automatic caliber, which is designed, developed and assembled in the brand’s workshops in Morteau, France. The component manufacturing is not completed in Morteau, though at the price point this reference is offered at, we cannot expect it to be otherwise. The Yema series calibers are not an ETA clone, as their specifications vary a modest amount. You can read more about their calibers here, as well as in this lengthy Watchuseek thread on the topic. The short answer here is that they’ve been holding up well in the market so far, and appear to be reasonably built for the price point. This is not a category in which we expect grand hand finishing, considering you don’t get that in watches that are four or five times more expensive (Tudor, anyone?).

On the wrist, the Superman Heritage GMT wears quite comfortably in 39mm guise. For reference, my wrist circumference is 6 ¾ inches, and a 48mm lug-to-lug measurement suits me just fine. The narrow profile of the lugs and narrow caseband help shed excess weight nicely without making the watch feel dainty in the least. The bracelet is pretty much as you’d expect out of a brushed Oyster-style bracelet, and it tapers down nicely to its locking clasp with four increments of microadjustment. The bracelet clasp also has a diving extension, which adds about a link and a half of extra length. I will say that the lock on the clasp is quite stiff, and requires a bit of fussing to open, though it’s likely something that will break in over time.
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All told, these new references are easy to love. Some will likely say that they’d prefer a ceramic insert over an aluminum one at this price point, or perhaps take issue with the aforementioned GMT-Master II design influence, but these references are geared towards a specific subset of the collecting community, and also aren’t meant to be an extremely “mass market appeal” release in the first place. Yema is sticking to their guns with their design direction, and that’s not a bad thing at all. These new watches have just hit the market, with a retail list price of 1,190 Euros.

Learn More About The Yema Superman Heritage GMT Here