My YEMA Collection
When the outspoken design and bright colors of the 70's are elements you are looking for in your vintage watch collection, the French brand Yema and their watches are definitely pieces to hunt down. In the 60's and 70's they produced several watches connected to auto and motor sport, diving, sailing and flying.
Both automatic and handwinding and powered by French Ebauches (FE) or Swiss Valjoux movements.
Collecting Yema watches
There are a lot of vintage Yema collectors out there who do not hesitate to build there own Yema vintage watch of the parts they have available. So, beware of matching dials, hands and bezel when you go and buy yourself your first vintage Yema. Besides photos on Instagram and Pinterest, a reliable source for reference is LeClubYema. A French site on Yema only, both vintage and modern watches. They are also active on Facebook.
When you like the vintage Yema models, but you are hesitant to buy on old watch, then you are in luck. Most of the models are being reissued by Yema France. Check out their website to see the brand new Superman, Rallygraf, Navygraf watches.
Dating your Yema watch
Yema did not use serial numbers on their watches. Sometimes numbers were embossed on the case back. These were for the After Sales Department and refer to the used crystal - used seal - used crown on the watch so that they could easily replace it at service. On some you can find the reference number on the inside of the case back. Therefor it is difficult to determine the production date of vintage Yema watches. Sales brochures, print ads and of course the movement used (Ranfft) can give you an indication from which year the watch is. Another indicator is the Yema logo that is used on the dial. There is a sequence in the evolution of the logo used through certain periods in time as the picture below shows. The transition between the first two seems to have taken place in 1976.