Cultural: News, Travel & Trendsetters

We’ve Never Seen an Affordable Dive Watch With This High-End Feature Before

two dive watches seen from the front and rearYema

Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn more

We’ve Never Seen an Affordable Dive Watch With This High-End Feature Before

Yema’s new Superman is more super than ever.

Over the past several years, we have seen the rebirth of a number of once-dormant watch brands, most of which had been either killed off or put on life support during the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s and ’80s. Some of these brands go the lazy route, simply shoving off-the-shelf movements into recreated designs from 50 or 60 years ago. But other brands continuously strive to improve the products they’re putting out, fully embracing the trailblazing ethos of their forebearers as opposed to just using their name and stealing their valor.

Yema belongs in this more exciting category of watch brand revivals. The French brand was most popular in the 1960s and ’70s on the back of popular sporting models like its Superman dive watch and Rallye motorsports chronograph, the latter of which was famously worn by racing legend Mario Andretti. And the modern incarnation has found success in bringing back those and other historic models. But Yema also takes some big swings with its reborn models, like with its newest model: the Superman Slim CMM.20, a dive watch for less than $2,500 powered by an in-house micro-rotor automatic movement. Say what?

What is a micro-rotor movement?

In a traditional automatic movement, the rotor or oscillating weight is centrally mounted on the rear of the movement and is about half the diameter of the movement itself. When wearing the watch, the rotor spins and winds the movement as you move your wrist. It’s the very thing that makes an automatic watch automatic. The drawback to this setup is that the addition of the rotor to the back of the movement adds thickness to watch.

A micro-rotor movement solves this thickness problem. It utilizes a much smaller rotor that is sunken into the mainplate of the movement, meaning it doesn’t add any thickness to the movement. Micro rotors are usually made from heavier metals, such as gold, in order to spin and wind efficiently at their smaller size. As such, they are almost always seen in high-end luxury watches where extreme thinness is the goal, such as Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo line and the newly revived Piaget Polo 79. A notable exception is Baltic’s MR01 dress watch, which uses a Chinese-made micro-rotor movement and retails for less than $600.

A traditional rotor, as seen on Yema’s CMM.10 automatic movement.
The micro rotor of the Yema CMM.20 movement sits within the movement itself without adding additional thickness.

Yema, quite impressively, has its own in-house micro-rotor movement in its calibre CMM.20 movement, which it debuted last year in a limited-edition version of the Wristmaster sports watch after funding the movement’s production on Kickstarter. The movement, while lacking the fancy decoration commonly seen on micro-rotor movements, still boasts some pretty impressive specs. It beats at a traditional 4hz, has an impressive 70-hour power reserve and claims a solid accuracy rating of -3 /+7 seconds per day. Most notably, thanks to its tungsten micro rotor, the movement measures just 3.7mm thick.

The Yema Superman Slim CMM.20

Micro rotor movements are rare to begin with. Micro rotor movements in a dive watch are far rarer. And micro rotor movements in an affordable dive watch? Well, that’s basically unheard of. Yet that’s exactly what Yema has cooked up with the latest rendition of its flagship Superman diver. The Superman Slim CMM.20 is obviously powered by its titular micro-rotor movement, which allows the watch to clock in at a svelte 11.95mm thin, including the 2mm-thick domed sapphire crystal, while still maintaining 300m of water resistance. By comparison, Yema’s standard Superman 500 diver is 13.4mm thick. The movement of the Superman Slim is even visible through a sapphire caseback, another impressive feat for such a thin diver.

dive watch caseback showing movement
The micro-rotor movement is visible through the Superman Slim’s sapphire caseback.

In addition to the micro-rotor movement, Yema made some other changes to the Superman format for this slim edition. The case has been completely redesigned, there’s a new simplified handset and a slick enamel lacquered dial, and the distinct “Scales” bracelet has been slimmed down by 0.4mm to better match the slimmed-down case. That’s the kind of thoughtful attention to detail I love to see in a watch release.

Now, onto the best part: the price. There’s pretty much no competition out there when it comes to micro-rotor dive watches, especially any that compete in Yema’s price bracket, unless you want to shop for a vintage Universal Genève Polerouter, meaning Yema gets to basically set the market. And the brand has done so at the reasonable price of $2,490. That is pricey compared to most other Yema watches, but given the high-end nature of the movement and the novelty of seeing it — literally, through the sapphire caseback — in a dive watch makes it worth it in my book.

Pre-orders will open up for the Superman Slim CMM.20 on February 20, with the watches expected to ship in May.

dive watchYema

Yema Superman Slim CMM.20

Powered by Yema’s in-house CMM.20 micro-rotor automatic calibre, the Superman Slim is the only affordable dive watch on the market with this movement type — making it ideal for those looking to stand out from the crowd.


Case Size 39mm
Movement Yema CMM.20 micro-rotor automatic
Water Resistance 300m


  • No other divers in this price range with this type of movement
  • Decidedly thin


  • Movement is new and therefore unproven
  • Unique snake-like bracelet isn’t for everyone

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy