As the most French of French brands, it’ll come as no surprise that Yema has a long-standing and strong connection with many French military forces. For instance, the brand recently announced its partnership with the Marine Nationale (the French Navy), resulting in this collection, as well as this vintage-ish model for the Search And Rescue team of the Air and Space Forces. The story of the new models, which have just been made available today, is slightly different, as it should have remained a military-issued watch only intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a submarine team. But the public has decided differently, and here are the two new and rather different Yema Navygraf FSM Watches, in steel or bronze.
Behind these two new models, dubbed Navygraf FSM, is a collaboration with the Strategic Oceanic Force (FOST for Force océanique stratégique), the French Submarine Forces commanding the squadron of nuclear attack submarines. Set up in 1972, when the first French ballistic missile submarine (SLBM) named Le Redoutable began its patrol, it is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To highlight this milestone, the squadron asked French brand Yema to create dedicated watches to honour its members. In response, Yema produced two Special Edition models limited to 50 timepieces each, offered exclusively to the personnel of the Marine Nationale. Except that the public saw them on the brand’s Instagram account and… asked for it too.
Both watches are based on the Navygraf, a more modern take on the dive watch, maybe slightly less emblematic than the all-time favourite Superman, but a watch that is also more focused, more streamlined and, in the end, perhaps more suited to action. Rather compact and not equipped with the signature bezel-lock system, it’s a straightforward watch designed to get the job done. And the commission for Marine Nationale’s FOST was not for one but two models, one in bronze and one in steel. And it’s not just about a different case material, as they are quite different overall.
The Navygraf FSM Bronze
First in line is a rather curved and warm take, the Yema Navygraf FSM Bronze. As indicated by its name, the 38.5mm case is entirely (except for the caseback) made of bronze, including the unidirectional bezel with its 60-minute scale engraved directly in the metal. Classic, retro elements are found all around, such as the pointy crown guards or polished bevels on the side of the lugs. This is a serious dive watch, with a 300-metre water-resistance, and it comes equipped with a thick, highly domed sapphire crystal adding charm.
The dial of this bronze Navygraf FSM, with its glossy black surface and hands and markers treated in colours that are reminiscent of the case, is unique to this edition. The markers, with their elongated, pointy design and the hands are generously coated in Super-LumiNova. Inside the case is the brand’s in-house automatic calibre YEMA2000, a French alternative to the likes of ETA and Sellita, with a 42h power reserve, a 4Hz frequency and regulated to -/+ 10 seconds/day. This model is a no-date version.
The Yema Navygraf FSM Bronze is offered either on a Marine National parachute elastic strap, on a vintage leather strap or on a tropic-like rubber strap. It is priced at EUR 1,190 and isn’t limited, with the first batch of 400 watches shipping end of October 2022. Next batch available in spring 2023.
Quick Facts: 38.50mm x 11.30mm – brushed bronze case with bronze unidirectional bezel – double-domed sapphire crystal – screw-down crown – 300m water-resistant – glossy black dial, lume on hands and markers – YEMA2000 calibre, automatic, 42h power reserve, 4Hz frequency, no-date – black rubber strap or parachute strap – first batch of 400 watches shipping end October 2022, next batch available in spring 2023 – EUR 1,190
The Navygraf FSM Steel
The other model for the FOST, the Yema Navygraf FSM Steel, has a rather different design and is more modern and technical than its bronze counterpart. The stainless steel case is brushed, without the polished bevels, and it has a slightly larger diameter of 39mm. The more technical design continues with the bezel, which has a flat black sapphire crystal insert with the 60-minute scale highlighted in luminescent material. The top of the watch is flat, with a 2.5mm sapphire crystal and the screw-down crown and caseback guarantee the 300-metre water-resistance.
The dial of this Navygraf FSM Steel follows the same direction with a matte black surface and an entirely different shape of the markers, which are shorter, bolder and more contrasted. Still a no-date watch, it also has a few coloured accents, such as the red seconds hand. Upon request of Marine Nationale military staff, all inscriptions of the Navygraf FSM have been darkened to blend almost completely with the dial. Inside is also the French-made automatic calibre YEMA2000.
This steel version of the Yema Navygraf FSM is offered either on a rubber strap, on a leather strap with patriotic red-white-blue stitching, or on a stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp and diving extension. Prices are EUR 790 on strap and EUR 849 on bracelet.
Quick Facts: 39mm x 12.15mm – brushed stainless steel case with sapphire bezel, lumed 60-minute scale – flat sapphire crystal – screw-down crown – 300m water-resistant – matte black dial, lume on hands and markers – YEMA2000 calibre, automatic, 42h power reserve, 4Hz frequency, no-date – steel bracelet, black leather or black rubber – first batch of 400 watches shipping end October 2022, next batch available in spring 2023 – from EUR 790
For more details and orders, please visit yema.com.