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YEMA x Fans

Many of you have submitted your own design ideas via YEMA CoLabs that you would like to see in production… With the support of the watch media and our fans we have selected the best project of 2019 with the aim to create the first YEMA watch designed by one of our fans: Marin Ravenel’s Pearl Diver!

This first YEMA x Fans project offers YEMA fans the opportunity to discover the different facets of watch creation till the final design phase

Discover here below a detailed presentation of the first projects evaluated, the selection phase and Marin’s project evolution. Have a look at the drawings, design notes and interviews with the project creators.

Stay tuned for future updates, in the meantime join us on YEMA CoLabs Facebook group to continue the exchanges!

JULY 17th, 2020 UPDATE

Remote collaboration during confinement…

During the confinement period, we were luckily able to communicate remotely with Marin through several Skype sessions. Following the recommendations of our design teams, a few modifications and improvements were made to the Pearl Diver’s initial design. Our aim was to respect Marin’s original wishes while leveraging our watchmaking expertise from a technical and industrial perspective. Here below you’ll discover all modifications and progress made during the last couple of months.

Sketch & Design

Using Marin’s initial drawing as a base, our Design team made several drawings of the Pearl Diver so as to get a better impression of the different watch perspectives, the case, bezel, crystal, hands, etc.

Drawings are for designers the first step to physically materialize the different ideas around a watch project concept. The initial drawings lead to discussions among teams and set directions for the further design phases.

Sketch & Design

After numerous exchanges between Marin and our Design team, several adjustments were made in order to come to a final drawing.

Case: The case has been refined down to 14mm thickness so as to stay within YEMA’s dive watches usual vintage-looking proportions. The finishing of the lugs has also been slightly restyled so as to move away from the straight finishing of the Superman Heritage.

Dial: Following aesthetic reasoning and so as to obtain a perfect symmetry on a no-date dial, the Automatic mention has been placed at 6 o’clock along the Pearl Diver and 660 Feet mentions, now in perfect proportion with YEMA’s logo at 12 o’clock.

Hands: The original hands have been preserved, the only modification concerns the sweep seconds hand length right after the barrel which has been shortened.

Bezel: Marin wanted a thick, large bezel slightly curved, which is now perfectly visible on the final drawings.

Crown: The Pearl Diver’s “Big Crown” has been slightly modified while respecting Marin’s desired size and thickness.

Water Resistance (WR): Marin insisted on opting for a domed plexiglass instead of the usual sapphire. In order to meet current WR ISO regulations and requirements for a 660 feet WR dive watch we’ve been forced to opt for a “record” thickness of… 3,50mm for the double domed plexiglass! This technical constraint required a lot of technical drawings in order to achieve an aesthetic and functional result in terms of waterproofing. Our challenge was to accommodate a massive domed plexiglass 3.50mm thick into a case not exceeding 14mm in thickness, the whole thing not affecting the free movement of the hands on the dial while ensuring that the curved plexiglass portion visible outside the case remained consistent with the watch proportions. We finally managed to resolve this challenge and we thank Marin for his patience all along this back and forth process because it was not easy at all!

Following this, the Pearl Diver will offer a greater depth of dial than for the vintage Navygraf’s he got the inspiration from. This enhanced “dial depth” will be more visible once we’ll publish the 3D first prototype very soon.


We worked with Marin in designing a brand new steel bracelet from scratch, a vintage inspired steel bracelet with square central links.

These final drawings constitute the fundamental design stage right before the drawing of the technical plans (watch components including its dimensions, material, finshings, etc.). 

Soon we’ll unveil the 3D renders and the first clay prototypes, stay tuned!

MAY 1st, 2020 UPDATE

Since start of March, YEMA’s community and the general public were invited to rate Jean Buscher and Marin Ravenel’s watch projects based on 3 distinct criteria.

Thank you to thousands of participants all around the globe, now the time has come to announce the winner of the very first edition of YEMA x Fans…

Consequently it’s Marin Ravenel’s Pearl Diver watch project, inspired from the mythical Navygraf, that has won the first YEMA x Fans project!

Congratulations to Marin Ravenel and our warmest thanks to Jean Buscher for his original Superman “Red” watch project which might inspire us in the future 🙂

We are delighted to offer Marin the opportunity to discover the different aspects of watchmaking, from design to prototyping and final production in collaboration with our Morteau based team, we are looking forward to an exciting journey ahead!

Next steps: Our Design team will work with Marin on a final design of his Pearl Diver. Stay tuned for future updates, in the meantime join us on YEMA CoLabs Facebook group to continue the exchanges!

MARCH 6th, 2020 UPDATE

The 4 YEMA X Fans projects selected were all presented to the Jury made up of international watch media. The first few press articles have been already published in this regard:

Un nouveau projet Yema x Fans (Les Rhabilleurs)

Yema confie les clés de son bureau de design à 4 passionnés (The Watch Observer)

Quelle sera la premiere montre imaginée par un fan de la marque? (Men’s Up)

Yema × Fans Project Needs You! (Fratello)

The FIRST ROUND outcome is pretty tight and has resulted in the shortlisting of Jean Buchser’s Superman and Marin Ravenel’s Pearl Diver who will compete against each other during the FINALS.

Here are the different axis that were presented to the Jury as voting criteria and which will be applicable as well for the final vote by the fans:

–        Originality (design, innovation)

–        Relevance (catalogue / brand’s DNA)

–        Commercial viability (value proposition vs price point)

We would like to congratulate the runner-ups, Raphaël Chardon and Arnaud Branchereau, for their innovative projects that will surely inspire YEMA in future!

We proceed now with the FINALS by opening the polls to all fans. Rate both projects via below link before April 30th!

Begin May we will unveil the winning project. It will be our first YEMA x Fans project while offering a YEMA fan the opportunity to discover the different facets of watch creation till the final design phase!


Now that the 4 pre-selected YEMA x Fans projects have been revealed (see previous updates below), a jury composed by 9 renowned watch media journalists familiar with our brand’s history, will review and upvote each watch project.

This FIRST ROUND will help us choose the 2 best watch projects that will be upvoted by YEMA fans during the final. The results of this first round will be announced before the end of February. 

As from the month of March, YEMA fans will have the privilege to choose the winning watch project via a voting platform that will be put online! 

During the month of April we will announce the winning watch project. The project creator will then have the opportunity to discover the different facets of watch creation throughout the design phase till the final prototyping phase. Right after, the first YEMA x Fans watch project will be put into production!

PROJECT #4 :  Marin Ravenel’s Pearl Diver

YEMA Pearl Diver : An original dive watch!

Marin Ravenel is a young watch collector who first became interested in dive watches of all brands before setting his sights on a Submarine then a Superman 24.11.17 3 lines, the YEMA virus having had its effect. Subsequently, Marin becomes fond of a YEMA vintage model too often neglected due to his particular case: The Navygraf 2 which it’s also the greatest inspiration for his watch project.

YEMA Navygraf II 1977 (photo: Watch Free Fall)

As you will discover further below in the interview devoted to him, Marin explains among other things the reason why he has named his watch project “Pearl Diver”.

Discover here below the first drawings of the Pearl Diver made by Marin!

This is the drawing made in collaboration with Marin and our designers team:

• Matt black dial
• Black steel bezel
• YEMA’s in-house calibre MBP1000
• Domed plexiglass crystal

During YEMA CoLabs Event #2, Marin was interviewed by our team during which he revealed the background of his watch project and his particular story with YEMA.

English captions available

Thank you very much Marin for your Pearl Diver watch project, well done! 🙂

Have your say, come interact with YEMA’s online community and give your views on each watch project before they are upvoted by recognised watch media journalists in February 2020!

Arnaud Branchereau’s Yachtingraf Riviera 300

YEMA Yachtingraf Riviera 300 : New colourful look for a historic model!

Arnaud Branchereau likes to ride vintage motorbikes, he’s passionate about leather jackets and vintage jeans, he is also a renown watch lover! His personal story with YEMA starts in the early 90’s through an interesting anecdote which you can discover in the interview below.

Since then, Arnaud collects YEMA’s most beautiful vintage time pieces with a slight preference for the Yachtingraf. Today he’s glad to present his watch project taking as a base this iconic model which represents the Grail for many fans of the brand.

1960’s Yachtingraf Croisière

Discover here below the first drawings of his Yachtingraf nicknamed Riviera 300!

This is the drawing made in collaboration with Arnaud and our designers team:

• Mat white dial
• Blue steel bezel
• Chrono caliber ETA 7753
• Domed sapphire crystal

During YEMA CoLabs Event #2, Arnaud was happy to take time to present his project in front of the camera while expressing his passion for the brand and sharing a few anecdotes. Have a look!

English subtitles available

Thank you very much to Arnaud for his colourful Yachtingraf watch project which will surely resonate to many YEMA fans. Well done to him! 🙂

Next week, on January 3rd we’ll unveil the fourth and last project pre-selected. Stay tuned!

PROJECT #2 : Jean Buchser’s YEMA Superman

YEMA Superman : A timeless neo-vintage look!

Jean Buchser is a watch lover and above all a watch passionate! He developed an interest for YEMA only since a few years ago. Being an impulsive watch collector, his collection has quickly become important in terms of size. Today he presents his watch project involving YEMA’s most iconic model.

1970’s YEMA Superman 53 00 16

As you will find out a little later in the video interview, Jean’s proposal is to revisit YEMA’s Superman model by introducing a timeless style: A “washed red coloured bezel”, a “black tropical (aged) dial” and “creamy patina hour markers”. Here below the first drawing of Jean’s neo-vintage Superman:

This is the drawing made in collaboration with Jean and our designers team:

• Black tropical (aged) dial, no-date
• Washed red aluminium bezel insert
• YEMA’s in-house calibre MBP1000
• Domed sapphire crystal
• Creamy patina hour markers and hands
• “990 FEET” mention in red at 6 o’clock

During YEMA CoLabs Event #2, Jean was happy to take time to present his project in front of the camera while expressing his passion for the brand and sharing a few anecdotes. Have a look!

English subtitles available

Thanks a lot Jean for this interesting watch project, bravo to you! We hope that your watch project will create lots of excitement at YEMA CoLabs. 🙂

Next week, on December 27th we’ll unveil the third project we have pre-selected. Stay tuned!

PROJECT #1: Raphael Chardon’s YEMA Sous-Marine GMT

YEMA Sous-Marine GMT : Back to basics with a touch of innovation!

Raphael is a long time watch passionate and a member of YEMA Club founder’s team. While enjoying his vast watch collection, he got inspired for a new urban YEMA.

Raphael felt in love with the calligraphy used in YEMA’s Sous-Marine vintage models. This particular calligraphy is at the baseline of his project.

Yema Sous-Marine vintage

Discover herewith Raphael’s first drawing of the Sous-Marine GMT:

This is the drawing made in collaboration with Raphael and our designers team:

• 39mm steel case and bezel (polished)
• GMT caliber, date, small seconds
• Slightly domed sapphire glass
• Applied markers (polished steel)

During YEMA CoLabs Event #2, Raphael was happy to take time to present his project in front of the camera while expressing his passion for the brand and sharing a few anecdotes. Have a look!

Thanks a lot Raphaël for this work and your talent. Your project will surely trigger lots of reactions at YEMA CoLabs. Bravo to you 🙂

Contribute to the final design by joining the conversation on Facebook!