Check Out the Watches Made for France's Newly Merged Air & Space Forces

Yema is again outfitting France's military pilots.

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It's hard to beat a military connection for making a watch feel purposeful, tough and imbued with a sense of adventure. French watchmaker Yema has worked with several of its national military services historically as well as right up to the present day, partnering with the country's air force as well as its space program. But France recently renamed its air force to include celestial defense with a space command — and Yema wasted no time outfitting them with wristwear.

The new service is called the Air & Space Force (Armée de l'air et de l'espace), for which Yema is introducing a range of watches in its Flygraf collection. (Civilians can also buy them.) Five models make up the current series: two versions of an automatic GMT watch and two quartz chronographs each come in steel and black PVD coatings, and a fifth watch marketed for women features a white bezel and blue mother-of-pearl dial.

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The Yema Flygraf Air & Space Force Automatic GMT watches come in plain steel and black PVD versions
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Watch guys will likely be most attracted to the automatic GMTs: Measuring a pragmatic 39mm wide, they feature the brand's own in-house-developed-and-assembled movement. The 41mm chronographs, on the other hand, offer a more affordable option, using a Seiko VK64 mecaquartz movement. All feature the excellent construction and personality we've come to expect of the brand.

While the look of the watches hints at their intended use, the military connection is overt in the case back engravings as well as on the nylon straps, which feature the French Air & Space Forces' logo and are in addition to the included steel bracelet (mesh for the chronographs). As seen on other Yema watches for the Air Force, the service's red-white-and-blue insignia is inlaid into the crown, adding a pop of color to an otherwise serious-looking pilot's watch. (Yema donates 12.5% of sales of its Air Force watches to the French Veterans Foundation.)

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All the new Flygraf Air & Space Force watches come on bracelets and include nylon straps with the Air & Space Force logo.
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For an automatic GMT watch with all the cool factor that comes with a military tie-in, the asking price of $1,049 (in steel; +$100 for black PVD) is highly attractive — and places it among the most affordable GMT watches we know of. The chronograph offers strong value, too, with the additional stopwatch functionality for $399 (+$50 for black PVD), while the 34mm women's version costs just $349. All are available now directly from the brand.

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