An exclusive hands-on look at the latest release from Yema...
Say hello to your new summer watch. As of the 6th July 2020, Yema are releasing two brand new watches in two of their expanding ranges. The first is the new Yema Superman 63 that looks back to the original version of the watch (more on this here) and the second is this, the new Yema Flygraf Pilot.
Experience the watch for yourself...
What it does - the Yema Flygraf PilotYou may be mistaken for thinking Yema only create the Superman Diver. Sure they have the quartz Superman, the GMT, French Air Force limited edition, bronze versions and even one with a maxi dial. However, Yema is far more than just the elegant diver we recently took a look at.
Yema also offers motorsports inspired watches such as the Speedgraf as well as space and aviation watches such as the Zero-G and now this, the Flygraf Pilot.
Coming in at 39mm wide with a thickness of 12.9mm and a lug to lug of 48.1mm, this watch takes the basic dimensions of the 39mm Superman, adds a little bit of thickness to the case rather than the crystal and also takes on a more clean simple aesthetic with an emphasis on legibility.
The Flygraf Pilot was first designed for today's flight crew so it naturally has a focus on being efficient and reliable. The primary characteristic of a watch is to tell the time, which is why this new Flygraf sports an ultra-readable and refined dial, inspired by military aviation watches from the 1960s. Water-resistant to 300m, this new watch has been designed to accompany the pilots in all circumstances. The Flygraf Pilot is equipped with the in-house movement MBP1000 and is available in black dial (M1) and grey dial (M2).
The case is finished in a brushed finished for the most part with the only visible polished areas when wearing the watch being the edges of the bezel. Speaking of the bezel, here we see a vertically brushed steel bezel which sets this watch off fantastically. In a world where most brands are going for rotating bezels with information all over them, it’s a refreshing change to see Yema go for a subdued look.
Undisturbed legibility is what greets us as we move to the dial on the Flygraf Pilot. Through the sapphire crystal, we see both 12 hour and 24-hour indexes with the latter sitting in the centre of the dial (like a proper pilots watch should), easily distinguishable hands (with a red tip on the second's hand for good measure) and a beautifully light, vertical brushing finish to complete this look.
The legibility is further enhanced as white lume fills the dial on this piece. The benefit of this is, of course, increased visibility when the lights go out, but you also get to enjoy the simplicity of the white lume on that grey dial backdrop when the lights come back on as well.
This watch strikes a fantastic balance between modern wearability and appeal combined with the little reminders of history throughout it. A plane motif at 6 subtly hits at that history along with the words automatic and 990 feet.
The Yema MBP1000 in-house automatic calibre powers this new Flygraf. This is a movement developed in France and boasts 45 hours of power reserve, 28,800 vph and 31 jewels.
We have only spent a short time with the Flygraf Pilot and there are already a few key points that make this watch a winning formula. To start with the size, as mentioned in our Superman review the 39mm size is fantastically versatile. The lug to lug distance really helps to give this watch presence. It didn’t take long for me to become obsessed with the brushing on the bezel on this piece. It’s incredibly distinctive and clean, especially when it plays with the light with thanks to the polished on the bezel edge.
As someone who normally wears a diver daily, I’ll hold my hands up and say that sometimes it feels a bit over the top. Sure it's nice to be able to align the bezel to the current time so you can keep track on how long you’ve been somewhere, but it can feel a little un-necessary every day. A simple, honest dependable time only watch gets the job done just as well. If you’re looking for something a little less in your face, the Flygraf Pilot is a cracking option.
Although simple in its design, its attractive looks and universal appeal really help it steal the show, all while being legible and understated. It’s sporty without the need to shout about it.
Watch Straps for the Yema Flygraf Pilot
As we only had a few days with the Flygraf Pilot we didn’t have too long to explore strap options however the following choice really jumped out as a combination that levelled up the Yema Flygraf Pilot. Oh, and before you ask the watch has a 19mm lug width.
Radstock Vintage Genuine Leather Watch Strap.This strap added a lovely level of warmth to the watch. However, we’ve deliberately gone for the Radstock as the brown option is a vintage dark brown so it won’t overpower the watch. Check out the Radstock here.
The Yema Flygraf Pilot hits quite a few sweet spots. Firstly the modern design with vintage reminders throughout is just right. After my short time with the watch, I would say it feels more modern with vintage rather than vintage with modern. Another sweet spot this hits, is the price point.
For $690 you get a watch from a brand with real history, that takes a more unique approach to the pilots watch. If you were looking for your summer watch this year, I think you might have just found it…
We'd like to thank Yema for sending this new release to us on loan, to find out more about this upcoming release click here.