A first look at a new watch coming in a few days…

Yema continues their home run streak of watch releases with a new, updated version of a historical model for the company adding to an already competitive price point for diving watches.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial on the Tillington Distressed Leather in Grey - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

The New Yema Navygraf - What it does

As you have come to expect with Yema, this watch isn’t anything we haven’t seen in one form or another before. The name can be seen in use back in the 70s (examples can be found with Navigraf spelling) as well as another modern example already existing on the site with yellow touches, this new release has some reassuring history behind it along with a new direction for the model. This design comes from a time period when Seiko themselves owned Yema and used oversized hour markers.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

A rundown of the physical stats tells us we get a 39mm case width, 12.5mm thickness and a lug to lug distance of 47mm. Around 4mm of that thickness is taken up by the rotating bezel which Yema keep nice and simple with just stick markers for each 5-minute increment minus the 15, 30, 45 and triangle at 12. The case and bracelet are all familiar to regular fans of Yema as we see elongated lugs helping wrist presence and the H style link bracelet adding some unique style.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial on the Padded Sailcloth - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

The dial on this new Navygraf is what draws the eye in and boy does it do a good job. Purists rejoice at the lack of date as it will please the eye and keep the balance. It is a good job as well because the 3, 6 and 9 are lovely rounded hour markers with light tips to them.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Their presence almost hints at the start of a crosshair design but either way, the aim here is to draw the eye to the centre of the dial and it does a great job. Once at the centre of the dial you’re met by a simple yet elegant handset with the main start of the show being the burnt orange surround. To make this colour really impactful, Yema has adorned each hour marker with the same orange tone as well as the Navygraf text.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Powering this 300m diver is the new in-house calibre YEMA2000 from Yema. With 42 hours of power reserve, 28,800 vph, 29 jewels and a maximum variation of -/+ 25 s/d it really does give movements like the ETA 2824-2 a run for its money. As you might expect from these large hour markers and commanding hands, we see a lot of lume on the new Navygraf. In fact, we also get a pleasant surprise with lume present throughout the bezel as well for the ultimate level of legibility.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Watch Straps for the Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

The bracelet on the Navygraf is a perfect fit for the watch, it's slim, well made and incredibly comfortable. When it comes to changing it up on the new Navygraf there are plenty of directions we can take this clean, modern diver. However, it is worth highlighting the 19mm lugs of this watch which, although initially thought to be quite limiting, we do have some good options for odd lug width straps here at WatchGecko. Let’s get into a few.

Tillington Vintage Genuine Leather Watch in Distressed Grey

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial on the Tillington Distressed Leather in Grey - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

We’re not wasting any time here and we’re kicking things off with my favourite combination on the Yema Navygraf, the grey Tillington. To say this strap was made for this watch is a huge cliche, but they match in a huge amount of ways. Firstly the thickness. The Navygraf isn’t thick, but it is noticeable on the wrist so a strap with a maximum thickness of 5mm is perfect. Next, the leather used and the distressed texture is great at adding some depth to the watch. And last but not least, the use of grey allows the orange to jump out on the wrist.

ZULUDIVER Quick Release Sailcloth Padded Divers Watch Strap

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial on the Padded Sailcloth - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Next we take a look at the Padded Sailcloth on the Yema Navygraf. This is a combination for those keen to test the watch to its limits. The strap is actually made from PVC rubber, so although you don’t get the traditional rubber look you receive all of its benefits. A tough option for the Navygraf that is sure to be able to keep up.

ZULUDIVER Classic Bond Nylon NATO Watch Band

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial on the Classic Bond Nylon NATO - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

To round things up we have the Classic Bond NATO. This is a combination that time after time continues to impress. It’s a simple formula, just a nylon NATO in black and grey but simple is sometimes the most effective.

Specifications:

Case width: 39mm
Thickness: 12.5mm
Movement: TBC
Functions: hours, minutes & seconds
Power reserve: TBC
Case: Stainless steel
Water-resistance: 300m / 990 feet
Dial: matt black
Strap: H link metal bracelet, brown leather strap, Tropic rubber

Price: From $690 - $749
Availability: Available 30th November 2020 via the Yema website here.

Hands-on thoughts

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

This has been a satisfying time of on wrist action with the new Navygraf. Right off the bat Yema are winning in my eyes by dropping the date window and keeping this clean and balanced. I still love my watches with dates, but I feel once you have a few great date watches under your belt, it is time to have some fun with no daters. This is very much personal taste of course, but there is a clear benefit of no date in the form of the orange colour. By keeping the watch symmetrical, Yema has enabled greater cohesion between the pops of colour and wearability.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Maybe it's down to some of the strap suggestions, but the colour doesn’t feel overpowering on the dial. In fact, if any aspect of this watch could be referred to as overpowering, it would probably be the huge hour markers. This is certainly something that you’ll have to get used to if you’re directly comparing the watch to other divers. They’re very reminiscent of the Breguet 1646’s indices or how the Tudor snowflake hand can feel on the wrist for the first time.

The New Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial - Image Credit: WatchGecko Online Magazine

Other than that everything else you see here is what you’d expect from Yema. A balance between history, quality, personality and style. The Navygraf is likely to live in the shadow of the Superman for Yema but it does offer a little more uniqueness, a little more fun and some classic looks. Considering you can pick up this new Yema starting from $690 (around £500 approx.) and the fact you get yourself a stylish diver with an in house movement from a brand with history, that's not bad at all.

Click here to find out more about the new Yema Navygraf Maxi Dial which will be live and available on the Yema website on the 30th November 2020.