Except for a couple of watches that stood out from the crowd, such as the Wristmaster with the in-house micro-rotor movement, the French brand Yema is all about utilitarian, professionally oriented watches. The Superman dive watch, the Navygraf for navy crew or the Flygraf for pilots… They are all built for a specific mission. However, with its latest collection, Yema is about to answer a request from its community for a watch with a less tool-ish style to be worn all day, every day. And it takes the shape of a field-inspired time-only model available in multiple colours and in two sizes, the Yema Urban Field Collection.
Compact (or not), thin, with a focus on the essential, still sporty with a vintage vibe yet wearable on a daily basis, and offering, as always, a nice combination of features and price, the Urban Field is a classic with a contemporary vibe. Moving away from traditional sports watches such as divers, pilot’s chronographs or navy-themed models, it relies on military inspirations to introduce a less rugged design. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a dress watch either, and it has an adventure vibe, but it is nevertheless a watch that can be worn at the office – a great consensus between style and adventure.
It all starts with a 3-part classic case, with a thin bezel and solid lugs. Entirely polished and made of steel, it is available in two dimensions to fit most wrists: 37.5mm and 40mm. Equipped with a large crown, which makes it easy to set the time and wind the movement, the watch is nicely finished. The 100m water-resistant case has a domed sapphire crystal on top for a retro look and a sapphire crystal on the back to check the movement. And better still, it’s also a thin watch, with a 7.80mm height without the crystal and well below 10mm with it.
As you can see on the wrist shots, size matters. Being a time-only watch, the most compact of the two cases is, in my opinion, a wise option for anyone with a wrist up to 17.5cm. Otherwise, the 40mm case will make more sense, except if you deliberately want to go vintage. The white and green models above use the smaller case, while the ochre (light brown) version has the large case option. Keep in mind that the lugs are relatively long (45mm for the small case, 48mm for the large case), something that you want to consider when choosing the right size for you.
The field inspiration is obvious when looking at the dial. Available in five colours – white, black, green, blue and ochre – the dial has a very pleasant and pronounced sandblasted-grained surface, adding depth and reflections. Legibility is great, though, thanks to the contrasting minute scale and bold markers. The hands are quite thin, but their polished surface and luminous inserts provide enough contrast. All elements of the dial are coated in SLN, so no issue at night either. It’s all pretty straightforward, but ultimately, it works well. There’s enough going on on the dials to make the watch interesting.
Powering the Yema Urban Field models is the well-known, tried-and-tested Sellita SW210-1b. A clone of the ETA 2801, this thin hand-wound movement will perfectly do the job with a 4Hz frequency and a decent 42h power reserve. It is presented here in élaboré grade and adjusted to +/- 7 seconds per day.
The collection is delivered with a choice of two steel bracelets. The first option is the multi-link steel bracelet you can see above. Entirely polished, solid and modern looking, it’s closed by a folding clasp. The other option, which can be seen on the light brown watch, is a so-called Bonklip bracelet, available in 20cm and 23cm, bringing a much more utilitarian and vintage look. In any case, all watches are delivered with an additional leather strap and a tool to swap.
The Yema Urban Field collection is now available to order on the brand’s website; deliveries of the first 300 pieces are expected at the end of June 2023. Both diameters are priced identically, meaning EUR or USD 1,099 on the Bonklip bracelet and EUR or USD 1,249 on the multi-link bracelet. For more details, please visit yema.com.