Sometime back, we did a review on a couple of Yema watches. We were rather positive with a few of their watches, considering its price point and the value that it offers.
Recently, Yema has launched a new collection of watches, dubbed the Wristmaster. How does this watch stack up in the competitive space of microbrands, and does it maintain the sort of value proposition that got us excited with the brand in the first place? Let us find out!
The Wristmaster Adventurer is priced at €399 (approximately S$613) for the Kickstarter phase.
The Wristmaster Adventurer is a neo-classic timepiece, inspired by the same watches that Yema had produced in the 1960s. There are many vintage cues on this watch, with the most obvious traits being its case and dial design. This is a remake, with modern movement and production techniques. Basically the best of both worlds, and a treat for collectors who like the classic looks without having to compromise on reliability issues of old watches.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
The Wristmaster Adventurer, as mentioned, is a timepiece that was inspired by the older watches that Yema had produced in the past. This is well represented by a classic 37mm stainless steel barrel-shaped case, which features a vertically brushed finish and a thin round bezel. It is also fitted with a rather thick but cool double domed hesalite crystal. These traits are emblematic of the quintessential 1960s design, and we have seen quite a few microbrands opting for these features In many cases (pun not intended), it worked rather well. This Yema is no exception either.
One of the things that we really like about the case is its profile. At 37mm wide and 12mm thick (in which the thickness is substantially driven by the thick hesalite crystal), the watch feels rather well-sized and fits rather nicely on our wrists. We like how relatively smaller watches are making a comeback, and we think that this is especially great for dress watches and vintage-inspired pieces. This is especially true for the latter, if the aim is to replicate the timepiece as faithfully as possible.
Moving on, we have the dial. Notably, the watch features two different colours for the dial: Beige (as reviewed) or Blue.
The dial is also another component that features vintage cues heavily. The cream dial has a large crosshair pattern , and it is flanked by a series of raised silver indices with black markings. The crosshair and indices are a throwback to the yesteryear, and there is a certain appeal to that. This is further accentuated by the cursive fonts used on the “Wristmaster” label, which really completes that classic look of the watch.
Notably, the watch is also fitted with luminescence, with plots beside the indices and on the hands. The lume is decent, and it helps to tell time in the dark.
Finally, the watch is paired with a pair of stick hands. It is, again, a faithful reproduction from the original variant.
Overall, we like the execution of this piece. It is simple, with a charming design that is difficult to dislike. It also works very well for those with smaller wrists, which is a plus point.
The Movement: YEMA2000
Powering the Wristmaster is the in-house YEMA2000. This is a self-winding movement that has been produced since 2011 by the brand, and it hopes to combine manufacturing simplicity and efficiency with sound performance at a competitive price point. This is also the same movement that is seen in other Yema watches, such as the Superman.
The movement is notably simple, but it is functional. It boasts some important functions such as a quick-set date, hacking seconds, and a power reserve of around 42 hours. It has an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds a day as well. In terms of finishing, we are unable to ascertain the level as the caseback is solid – but we reckon that at this price point, we are not expecting anything fanciful.
On the note of the caseback, the Wristmaster features the historic crest of Yema. The crest is produced via a hydraulic forging press, and the inclusion further reiterates the history of both the collection and brand.
The Yema Wristmaster is a compelling option, especially for someone who is looking to add a casual neo-vintage watch into the collection. The price point is reasonable, and the value proposition is rather excellent.
However, it is important to note that the scene is getting quite saturated with many similar pieces – each with their own subtle differences and merits. For Yema, its focus lies perhaps more on its history and movement. Having said that, it is getting more and more difficult to compete within the space. Manufacturers would have to do more to stand out against its competition, and we reckon that there are only so much more remakes that the brands can do.
Yema has done well thus far, and we have been rather impressed with its offerings. We just hope that the brand can maintain its unique selling point, and perhaps go further with products that are more bold and slightly different from the rest. This can help the brand to further cement their brand for the long-term, and carve a niche in this space.