You might know Yema, the most famous French watchmaker, for its emblematic dive watch, the Superman. But there’s more to the brand than the Superman. In recent years, Yema has undergone an impressive change and has developed a large collection of accessible sports watches. With the Urban collection, however, it’s no longer about ultra-focused watches but about offering daily beaters. And the watch that best summarises this strategy is this new Urban Traveller, a model that has already been teased with two limited editions: the Wristmaster Traveller and the Wristmaster Micro-Rotor.
With the 2023 Urban Traveller collection, Yema is making one of its recent signature designs available as part of the permanent collection. What we can say about this model is that it basically represents the brand’s vision of an accessible sporty-chic watch with an integrated design. And talking about design, this new Urban Traveller should look familiar to some of you, and for good reasons. Its shape and bracelet were indeed already used in two past models, an affordable watch with a vintage vibe launched on Kickstarter and a higher-end version that was used as a vessel to introduce an in-house micro-rotor movement made on French soil.
Now, the octagonal design with compact dimensions comes back as a standard collection, renamed the Yema Urban Traveller. Measuring 39mm in diameter, with a decent 11.4mm thickness, the case is most notable for its short length of 43.5mm – meaning that it can easily be considered a unisex watch. The shape of the 100m water-resistant case is that of an asymmetrical octagon, with every single angle executed with the same set of alternating brushed and polished finishes. It is topped by a bezel inspired by a Sous-Marine quartz model from the 1980s and is made from a single piece of stainless steel. Angular, quite robust and distinctive, this case is protected by a 2.2mm sapphire crystal on top and a solid steel back that is screwed (the watches you see here had a non-final back).
On the wrist, the Yema Urban Traveller wears like a charm. Not too small when it comes to its presence, it does, however, remain unobtrusive and the bracelet, with its integrated design and short articulated links, is pleasant to wear. It is closed by a double-folding clasp. The overall quality of the watch is quite satisfying, considering the price.
Traditional for the category, the Urban Traveller features textured dials. A stylised honeycomb pattern has been embossed on a plate that is available in silvery-white with darkened hands and applied markers, in light blue or in light salmon – these two feature silvered markers and hands as well as a white seconds hand. A no-date watch, the dial remains sleek and legible, including at night, with a decent amount of luminous material.
Inside the case is the calibre YEMA2000, an in-house automatic movement made in France and destined to replace ETA and Sellita engines. The brand says it has optimised some of the parts for better accuracy, resulting in a reported accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per day. The movement beats at 4Hz and stores up to 42h of power reserve. A stop-seconds mechanism allows for precise time-setting.
Now available from the brand, the new Yema Urban Traveller collection is priced at EUR 870, which makes it a highly recommendable alternative in the ever-growing segment of accessible sporty-chic watches with integrated design (such as the Tissot PRX or the Nivada F77). For more details, please visit yema.com.