These Killer New Automatic Yema Watches Are Under $600

The Wristmaster collection packs a hell of a punch, and even more so considering Kickstarter pricing.

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If you know French watchmaker Yema, you're most likely familiar with their popular Superman dive watch that was resurrected in 2018. Tracing its history back to 1948, however, the brand offers potential for even more cool reissues via its back catalog. The Wristmaster collection is the latest model to get the revival treatment, and with its relatively dressy 1960s vibes — and even a sportier "integrated bracelet" model — it helps expand Yema's otherwise mostly tool-watch-laden image. They offer a strong value, as Yema always does, but are even more attractive at their current Kickstarter prices.

The Wristmaster was a varied collection back in the day, and it returns with a couple quite different-looking models straight off the bat: The first is called the Wristmaster Adventurer — a 37mm watch with some strong '60s character. It debuts with two versions featuring blue or cream-colored dials, a crosshair motif, raised indices and box-style Hesalite crystal. You almost want to call it a dress watch, but it probably wouldn't have been viewed as such in its time, and the angular case is reminiscent of skindiver watches of the same era. (Whatever it is, it's pretty damn cool.)

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The other model in the Wristmaster collection is called the Traveler, and it takes the '60s-'70s funk to another level. With a brushed 39mm case, prominent notched bezel and the ever-popular integrated bracelet (which is integrated into the case design), this is the brand's take on the genre of sport watch pioneered by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. (It's meant to offer a sporty-but-elegant style more than it's actually intended for rough use.) Instead of an eight-sided bezel, however, the case itself is octagonal, and is sure to polarize opinions — just as the funky "Wristmaster" font on the dials will.

While the Adventurer uses a Hesalite crystal, the Traveler's is sapphire, and all the new Wristmaster watches are 100m water-resistant. They also offer lumed dials and indices, as any sport watches should. The watches run on the brand's own YEMA2000 automatic movements which were designed and assembled in-house. (These movements were introduced in 2020 and offer an 42-hour power reserve, but actually help make the watches more affordable — unlike so many other companies offering their own proprietary or in-house movements.)

To add to the watches' story and remind you that Yema is about more than just the Superman dive watch, the new Wristmaster watches come with a hardcover book on Yema's history from 1948 to present called Time of Heroes. The final retail price for the Adventurer will be about $675 while the Traveler will be around $900. Starting today, however, you can back the watches on Kickstarter and get them for circa $455 and $570, respectively. That makes them look even better.

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