Yema is constantly developing new watches. With a great eye for vintage charm and the will to constantly innovate, the French brand has certainly brought us some interesting models. The latest addition to the ever-expanding collection is the new Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT. This latest Navygraf introduces a newly designed case. On top of that, the Marine Nationale version features an attractive combination of colors, making this a very tempting offer from Yema. The brand’s Superman 500 GMT might have stiff in-house competition with the introduction of this new Navygraf. Time to find out more.

In the buildup to the release of the new Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT, I had seen the images on the brand’s social media, and I have to say that I was curious to find out more. Part of my interest was due to the incredible lume shots. But while lume is a nice feature, the actual design stood out. At first glance, the new Navygraf is a nice step up from the previous version. It comes with a more modern redesigned case and a dial design that has a ton of character. Add the color combination of navy blue and yellow, and it’s hard not to like the new Navygraf. Whereas back in the 1970s, the Yema Superman was the professional dive watch and the Navygraf was a simplified version of it, nowadays, they are equally impressive.

Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT

The new Navygraf case design

Let’s start by checking out the new case design. Yema redesigned the case to inject modern design features and add elegance to its overall presence. And I have to say that the design looks very good. The new stainless steel case measures 38.5mm wide rather than 39mm like the previous model. This case is 12mm thick with a 46mm lug-to-lug length and a 19mm lug spacing. It is also water resistant to 300 meters.

The case has a very slim case band, giving it a lot of character when looking at it from the side. As a result, the case back and the upper part of the case, including the bezel and the domed sapphire crystal, create a very nice layered, almost dramatic presence.

Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT

On top of that, the different layers feature a nice mix of finishes for extra impact. The case has a predominantly brushed finish with polished chamfers for variation. When you look at the face of the watch, the different layers of the construction also create a visual depth that works well. The vertically brushed finish contrasts nicely with the shiny bezel and sapphire crystal to create a nicely designed case overall.

On the right side of the case, the polished screw-down crown is a nice visual change, and it comes with the Marine Nationale crest embossed. It’s a well-executed detail that links to the partnership that Yema has with the French Navy.

The redesigned dial and bezel

The case is not the only element that was redesigned. Yema also chose to completely revamp the dial design. Gone are the exclamation-point hour markers of the previous design that linked back to the 1970s Navygraf I. Instead, the new dial references the Navygraf II from the late ’70s, a watch that Fratello’s own Tomas Rosputinsky owns and wrote about. The watch comes with a matte navy-blue dial that features applied hour markers in polished stainless steel filled with Super-LumiNova. As you can see, the 12 o’clock marker stands out as it almost looks like a play/pause button on an old tape deck. Furthermore, the combination of a triangle and rectangle for the 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock markers looks like the eject button.

While these references are obviously half-serious ones, they were also used for the classic Navygraf II and gave the dial a lot of character. The remaining indices are regular round markers with a date window at 3 o’clock. This window features a printed white frame and a white date disc with the numerals in blue. The dial shows the Yema logo in white with the characteristic Navygraf name executed in yellow. The lower half of the dial contains a mention of the GMT function and the depth rating in feet only. Lastly, the Marine Nationale name is placed in an arch that looks familiar, like the smiley-face dial of the Tudor Black Bay models. However, the placement of text like that is far from exclusive to Tudor.

The hands and bezel of the Navygraf

The pencil-shaped stainless steel hour and minute hands are straightforward in their design and filled with Super-LumiNova. More interestingly, the yellow “Navygraf” text matches the yellow central seconds hand and the open-worked triangular tip of the GMT hand nicely. I must say that the combination of white, yellow, and blue works very well. It feels crisp and classy at the same time.

Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT

Surrounding the dial is a bidirectional stainless steel bezel with a sapphire insert. The blue and white GMT bezel matches the dial nicely in color, and the white part is treated with Super-LumiNova that lights up brightly in the dark. In combination with the white numerals on the blue part of the bezel and the Super-LumiNova-filled hands and indices, it creates quite the visual spectacle at night. Overall, the combination of elements has a nice retro feel without seeming outdated. I like this much better than the previous version and must give Yema big kudos.

A great balance between retro appeal and modern execution

Yena made a great move in leaving the previous Navygraf’s design behind and creating a new and better version based on the Navygraf II. This one balances vintage appeal and modern-day design perfectly. This balance is one thing that I love about Yema. It’s something that I also love about the Superman FAF Search And Rescue Limited Edition. The brand uses that typical retro character as a great design starting point. And as a child of the 1970s, I love a good homage to that era’s design. It’s also why I love seeing this new Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT.

The watch comes on an H-link bracelet that tapers nicely from 19mm at the end links to 16mm at the clasp. Furthermore, it suits the overall design perfectly. If you have read my previous reviews of the Superman FAF Search And Rescue Limited Edition and the newer Superman 500 GMT models, you’ll know I much prefer Yema’s H-link bracelets over the five-link Superman bracelets. That’s why I was happy to see that the Navygraf still uses the H-link bracelet. It is comfortable, and it looks great.

Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT

As with other Yema watches, the branded clasp with its dive extension does not feel like the best clasp out there. In particular, the safety lock feels flimsy and rattly. Hearing it is not necessarily a sign of great quality. However, the bracelet looks fantastic, and in the few days that I wore the watch, I enjoyed its comfort.

The same caliber as in the previous version

Inside the 38.5mm case, Yema uses the same in-house automatic YEMA3000 that also powered the previous Navygraf GMT. This GMT version of the brand’s YEMA2000 movement beats at 28,800vph and has a 42-hour power reserve. The movement has been adjusted to an accuracy of ±10 seconds per day. It displays hours, minutes, and seconds centrally along with an independent 24-hour hand. This makes the new Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT a caller/office GMT that lets you set the GMT hand independently.

Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT

Wearing the new Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT

As I mentioned, the watch is very comfortable to wear. The 38.5mm case with its substantial lugs fits my wrist nicely. In combination with the blue, yellow, and white colors, it gives the watch plenty of wrist presence. And I actually prefer this look over that of the Superman 500 GMT. It simply has more character and originality. While both watches are rooted in the brand’s past, in the larger context of watches out there, the Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT feels more “Yema.”

In the days that I had the watch, I greatly enjoyed wearing and using it. It’s hard to fault the design and the comfort, and as some of you know, I love a good GMT. While it is not a much-preferred flyer GMT, it is a tempting offer at €1,349 on the bracelet and the additional elastic Marine Nationale strap. If you prefer the combination of an FKM Viton rubber strap and the elastic Marine Nationale strap, you will have to pay €1,379. The first 300 pieces are available for pre-order as we speak. I would definitely pick the version with the bracelet and the elastic strap. It’s a nice combination that lets you change things up nicely. Overall, this is a solid follow-up to the previous Navygraf with a well-designed case and a better dial design. So kudos to Yema for improving the Navygraf and celebrating the partnership with the Marine Nationale in style.

For more information on the Navygraf Marine Nationale, visit the official Yema website.

Watch specifications

Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT
Matte blue dial with applied luminescent indices
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
38.5mm (diameter) × 12mm (thickness) × 46mm (length) × 19mm (lug spacing)
Sapphire crystal
Case Back
Solid screw-down case back with Marine Nationale crest
YEMA3000 — automatic winding, 28,800vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve, 29 jewels
Water Resistance
300 meters / 990 feet
Stainless steel H-link bracelet with additional elastic Marine Nationale strap or FKM Viton rubber strap with additional elastic Marine Nationale strap
Time (hour, minutes, seconds), independent 24-hour GMT hand, date
€1,349 (stainless steel bracelet and elastic Marine Nationale strap) or €1,379 with the FKM Viton rubber strap and elastic Marine Nationale strap
Special Note(s)
First 300 pieces are available for pre-order now. Delivery starts in mid-June 2023.