French watchmaker YEMA re-emerges with its new Heritage collection , celebrating 70 years in the business.

Founded in 1948, the brand began with Henry Louis Belmont, a student of the National Watchmaking School of Besançon and pioneer of automation in the manufacture of watches.

Today, YEMA still has its own workshops in the small town of Morteau in the Jura Mountains, France. They are run by a third-generation watchmaker’s family nonetheless, most employees averaging 30 years of service. Within their Morteau workshops, design, prototyping, and assembly takes place, handled by highly experience French traditional watchmakers.

YEMA’s family coat of arms engraved on the case-back of all YEMA's timepieces​

Over the years, YEMA has stood the test of time by specializing in luxury and high-precision mechanics. Their brand philosophy has always centered on creating timepieces which are truly French-made. Of course, not all components are available in France, but where possible, craftsmanship is French-owned when it comes to YEMA. And to this day, they continue to stay true to their heritage.

Heritage Collection

The Heritage collection pays tribute to YEMA’s iconic timepieces, made in partnership with the military, professional sportsmen and known scientists. Delving into YEMA’s history, in the 1960s they produced the Superman watch which satisfied the needs of French Air Force pilots. Subsequently, the YEMA Yachtingraf was associated with professional sailing, while the Rallygraf was worn by Formula 1 driver Mario Andretti. Going even further, in the 1980s YEMA embraced a partnership with the National Center for Space Studies (CNES – the French NASA) and designed the first French watch to go into space, as worn by Jean-Loup Chrétien. And to top it all, YEMA was behind the first French watch worn by French explorer Jean-Louis Etienne on his 800km trek to the North Pole.

Watchmaker YEMA has established itself as a tool-watchmaker, having satisfied many criteria. Collaboration with notable partners is a tradition for the brand, one that they intend to continue as part of their #TIMEOFHEROES project. In a bid to bring their vintage timepieces back to life, the Superman, Yachtingraf and Rallygraf all make an appearance in the Heritage line-up.

YEMA Superman Heritage

YEMA Superman Heritage is inspired by the robust diving watch chosen to equip France’s Air Force pilots in the 1970s. Encased in 316L stainless steel with uni-directional steel bezel and steel bracelet, the Superman reissue emotes vintage diver style. The dial is black, featuring round hour markers and a triangular marker at 12 o’clock, all coated in Super-Luminova C3. The “shovel” seconds hand is based on that used in the original, with its head shaped like a shovel. Within, beats the ETA 2824-2 movement, powering the date function visible at 3 o’clock. The unique Superman bezel-lock mechanism also features, with the entire construction allowing for 300m water resistance. Available from U.S. $949.00

YEMA Yachingraf Heritage

Moving onto the Yachtingraf Heritage, YEMA has produced an almost identical piece to the 1969 Yachtingraf Croisière original. This chronograph carries the ETA VALJOUX 7753 movement, housed in 316L stainless steel. Its distinct black dial features 3 stand-out sub-dials – hour and minute counters, regatta start timer countdown, as well as a 1/5 second central timer. The dial also features a distinct white arrow-shaped seconds hand, a staple for all YEMA vintage chronographs. Again, the dial markers feature Super-Luminova C3. The crown is guarded with two elongated horns for additional protection. The Yachtingraf comes on a camel vegetable leather strap, which will naturally patina over time. It’s also water resistant to 100m. The first 1948 watches are numbered. Available from U.S. $2,249

YEMA Rallygraf Heritage

The Rallygraf Heritage by YEMA is based on the legendary 1974 piece, with its resolutely vintage features. It features a brownish dial, beige brass chrono sub-dials and distinct tachymeter markers, reminiscent of a vintage car dashboard. A bi-directional bezel sits on top of the case, both constructed out of 316L stainless steel. The date window sits neatly at 6 o’clock and the classic arrow-shaped second's hand makes an appearance, as does Super-Luminova C3 on the index markers. The Rallygraf also runs on the VALJOUX 7753 ETA movement, providing 44 hours power reserve. The accompanying strap is vegetable tanned leather. The first 200 watches are numbered. Available from U.S. $2,249

Finally, the YEMA Flygraf Heritage, which is not currently available, also features in the Heritage collection. It is set to be launched on October 1st. All watches measure 39mm in diameter (the same as the originals) and are available in two crystal options, mineral or domed sapphire.

10% DISCOUNT FOR ALL WATCHUSEEK MEMBERS

For Watchuseek members, YEMA is offering a 10% discount, which can be claimed using the promotional code WATCHUSEEK10%.The offer is valid until December 31 2018.

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