Hands-On With The Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor (Limited Edition)

Hands-On With The Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor (Limited Edition)

Integrated bracelet’ and ‘in-house movement’ have become buzzwords within the watch industry. The former is straight-forward: a seamless case-to-bracelet connection that lacks a conventional springbar system. The latter is much more nuanced; “in-house” is meant to – but sometimes does not – describe vertical integration of a watch’s mechanics. Yema accurately delivers on both definitions with the Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor. Inside the slimmed down case sits Yema’s micro-rotor Caliber Manufacture Morteau 20 (CMM.20): the brand’s first Manufacture Caliber. Securing the case is a brushed integrated bracelet with elegant polished chamfering. With a screw-down crown and 100 meters of water resistance to boot, this reimagined revival of the 1960’s Wristmaster is Yema’s flagship effort at an integrated bracelet sports watch. . . and it’s pretty great. 

Dial and Bezel Design: Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor

Yema Wristmaster Traveler Micro-Rotor Blue and green

When I picked up the watch, the first thing I noticed was the script ‘Wristmaster’ text. This playful typeface hails from the original 1960’s Yema Wristmaster. Both ‘t’s are crossed by one long line hugging the top of the “smiling” text. This vintage-inspired text matches the modern ‘Yema’ text and logo: all applied and embedded in the dial’s embossed ridges. The ridged dial comes in three colors: black, blue, and green. The lumed and applied hour indices keep things simple – they look good, they don’t get in the way, and they make it easy to tell time. Surrounding the dial is an octagonal bezel with six scalloped inlays. All three of the bezel’s surfaces share the same vertically-brushed finish as the bracelet. This vertical brushing provides nice contrast with the dial’s horizontal ridges. The Wristmaster Micro-Rotor’s dial and bezel combo is striking and intricate without being busy. 

Size and Wearability: Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor

Yema Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor in green on wrist

A lot of integrated bracelet watches wear larger than their listed dimensions. The 39mm Wristmaster Micro-Rotor is an exception; it feels true to size. This has a lot to do with its 43.5mm lug-to-lug measurement. Additionally, the “lugs” curve downward, preventing endlink overhang found on many integrated bracelet offerings. Thanks to Yema’s 3.7mm-thin CMM.20, this watch is only 9.2mm thick: ~3mm thinner than its non-micro-rotor predecessor. These are incredibly comfortable dimensions. The sub-10mm thickness, 43.5mm lug-to-lug, and integrated bracelet design makes for a wearing experience unlike most offerings in this price point. 

Yema’s In-House Micro-Rotor Movement (CMM.20)

Yema Caliber Manufacture Morteau 20 (CMM.20) through exhibition caseback

Yema is incredibly proud of this movement — as they should be. Crafted by watchmakers Oliver Mory, Patrick Augerau, Jean-Paul Boillot, and Nicolas Bailly, the CMM.20 is an incredible first Manufacture Caliber from Yema. Seen through the sapphire exhibition caseback is a tungsten micro-rotor amidst a sea of satin-brushed ALD coating. The movement’s ALD coloration matches the dial: black, blue, or green. Assembled and largely manufactured in Morteau, France, the CMM.20 is accurate within -3/+7 sec per day and has 70 hours of power reserve. The movement is 80% French-made: an important accolade for the brand. The other 20% — the balance wheel and hairspring — come from the other side of the Jura Mountains in Switzerland. The fact that Yema’s first Manufacture Caliber is a center-seconds micro-rotor with near-chronometer accuracy is, in a word, impressive. Pictured above is the sample from Time to Watches; it does not include the engraving found on retail models.

Availability and Final Thoughts

Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor butterfly clasp

The Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor checks a lot of boxes for enthusiasts while maintaining widespread appeal. For some people, this is a good-looking sports watch with ample water resistance. For others, it’s a token of modern French horology backed by more than half a century of history. I’m very impressed with this watch; I just wish it were more available. The Wristmaster Traveller Micro-Rotor is limited to 1,948 pieces, 23 of which are still available at the time of publishing. Yema first went to Kickstarter (as they tend to do), offering this watch half-off for $1,499. Currently, it's only available for retail pre-order on their site at the full price of $2,998. Despite the limited availability, this release is a huge milestone for Yema. Not only does it mark their first Manufacture Caliber (a very impressive one, at that), it displays Yema’s ability to combine capable specs with comfortable and handsome design. Despite the fact that it’ll soon be out of stock, this release is an exciting symbol for what’s to come from Yema.

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