Yema’s latest release, the Skin Diver Slim CMM.20, celebrates the classic ’60s skin diver aesthetic in style. As a modern-day remake of the original Yema Skin Diver from 1963, the watch takes us back to the early days of the French brand. With the addition of a proprietary micro-rotor movement, we get the best of Yema’s vintage and modern sides. I had the opportunity to find out how the two sides of the brand match.

Over the past few years, we have seen multiple re-editions of Yema’s famous Skin Diver from 1963. In 2020, the brand released the Superman Heritage 63, the first of two models celebrating the style of the first Yema dive watch. The return of the Skin Diver turned out to be a huge hit for the French brand. The Yema Superman Skin Diver Limited Edition was unveiled roughly a year later. The watch capitalized on the success of the first release with a slightly different aesthetic. The most notable difference was the change from applied indices to painted hour markers. Additionally, the lume color changed from lime green to a more vintage-inspired beige/yellow color. Yema fans also like that second Skin Diver version a lot.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20

The next step in the Yema Slim series

Now, three years later, Yema brings back the Skin Diver. This time, the watch features a gray overall aesthetic and is powered by the brand’s in-house-developed Calibre Manufacture Morteau 20 (CMM.20). After the Superman Slim and the Navygraf Slim, this is the third model of the Yema Slim series with this caliber.

The celebrated micro-rotor movement displays Yema’s effort to keep pushing the envelope regarding technological development. Therefore, even if combining a dive watch and micro-rotor movement may not seem natural or necessary, this series is a great display of Yema connecting its past with the future. Plus, a slimmer dive watch can only be a good thing as long as it retains its water resistance.

The Yema Skin Diver Slim

Unlike many of Yema’s dive watches, this one is only available in a 39mm case. It’s a no-brainer if you ask me because, in general, the 39mm versions of Yema’s divers feel more visually balanced than the 41mm ones. This stainless steel watch also measures 47mm from lug to lug and 12.2mm thick, fitting various wrist sizes perfectly. The slim case has a 300m depth rating and measures 10mm thick without the double-domed sapphire, which makes it easy to wear.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20

The case is combined with the characteristic Skin Diver dial, including its trapezoidal hour markers. The larger markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock also display stylized Arabic numerals. This, however, is not unique to the Yema; we also know it from the discontinued Oris Diver Sixty-Five, which featured similar-style hour markers. Another watch in this particular gray color that comes to mind is Seiko’s original 62MAS. As we all know, skin divers shared a lot of characteristics in those days, but the 1963 Yema Skin Diver stands out with a lot of style and vintage charm.

Speaking of which…

I love Yema’s watches best when they crank the vintage charm up. It gives them character, and I appreciate that a lot. My favorite Yema watch is the Superman FAF Search And Rescue Limited Edition, which I reviewed in July 2022. That watch oozes ’70s style, setting it apart from many of its peers. This new Skin Diver Slim also has a similarly outspoken design that stands out in Yema’s collection. Both watches are more interesting to me than the Superman 500, for instance, which fits a more common design mold. Don’t get me wrong; I understand that is what many people love and want, but I like my Yema watches a bit quirkier and more visually striking.

I also adored that when I first got the watch out of the box. I love the vintage styling of the case, dial, and bracelet. It’s a combination that still looks super nice, even six decades after the watch came out. The lacquered dark gray dial on this new Skin Diver Slim is combined with applied markers filled with vintage-inspired beige Super-LumiNova. The numerals in the markers at the cardinal points are black and suit the design nicely. As you’d expect, the stainless steel hands are also filled with the same color of lume as the markers.

Moving to the bezel, we see that the sapphire insert matches the gray dial color and features numerals every 10 minutes, just like the original bezel from the 1960s. The two inserts used for the previous versions had a slightly different design that only featured numerals every 15 minutes. I prefer the design of this new version’s bezel a bit better, and a big bonus is the absence of Yema’s typical bezel lock.

Calibre Manufacture Morteau 20

Inside the case, you will find the in-house Yema caliber CMM.20. The automatic micro-rotor movement consists of 190 parts, operates at 28,800vph, offers 70 hours of power reserve, and has an accuracy of -3/+7 seconds per day. It’s a slim, modern movement featuring a bidirectional tungsten micro-rotor, Incabloc shock protection, and a Glucydur balance wheel. The caliber features satin finishing and a micro-blasted treatment on the mainplate and bridges. Furthermore, it is coated in black using ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) technology. This modern finish contrasts with the style of the watch for an interesting combination of elements.

So, how does the new Skin Diver Slim hold up on the wrist? Let’s start with the stainless steel Scales Slim bracelet. It has a fully brushed finish and comes with the familiar flip-lock Yema folding clasp. While the bracelet’s vintage style is nice and perfectly complements the watch, the quality is decent at best. Daan and I have mentioned it here on Fratello, but the stamped clasp is not up to today’s standards. While the build quality of the bracelet feels sturdy, the rattly clasp, unfortunately, turns out to be a nail breaker.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 on wrist

Wearing the Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20

After sizing the bracelet, it wraps perfectly around the wrist thanks to its distinct and flexible scale-link design. And once on the wrist, the watch shines brightly. It is a nice celebration of ’60s style that I quickly grew to love. The design feels visually balanced, and the oversized crown on the right side of the case is visually interesting and easy to use.

Because the gray dial/bezel color is slightly more subdued than, for instance, black or blue, the Skin Diver Slim has a nice and distinguished look on the wrist. This helps the watch blend in nicely with many different outfits. On top of that, the gray hue is a nice change from the usual ones, and it perfectly complements the prominent lume color on the huge markers.

Final thoughts on the Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20

Overall, I love the watch’s style, and it wears like a charm. But after wearing the watch for a bit, I noticed some inconsistencies in the overall finishing. While the case and the bracelet are nicely finished, inspecting the watch with a loupe uncovered some questionable finishing on the hour hand. We had a prototype in for review, and I am sure Yema will up its game for the production models. With a list price of €2,249, I expect nothing else from the French brand.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20

The list price leads to the question of whether you would pick this new Skin Diver Slim over one of Yema’s less expensive dive watches. One reason to try to get your hands on one of these 500 available pieces is that the Skin Diver is not a regular-production model. Another would be that you prefer the brand’s CMM.20 micro-rotor caliber over the watches powered by the “regular” in-house-developed movements. Those are two legitimate reasons if you are a fan.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 lume shot

The vintage charm and micro-rotor movement come at a premium

I would add the historical relevance and the style of the Skin Diver Slim. They make this my second favorite Yema watch after the Superman FAF Search And Rescue Limited Edition. However, that watch was €1,199, and the current Superman 500 is €1,149 on the bracelet. Add the stiff competition from other brands, and it leads to a bit of a conundrum about where to spend your money. The answer to that conundrum is highly personal. We have seen brands step up their game tremendously in terms of overall build quality. I feel that Yema should also take the next step regarding its bracelets and clasps, especially with the higher price of this Skin Diver Slim.

But the retro charm and the micro-rotor movement make this an interesting watch targeted at Yema’s fans. Many of them love the brand’s traditional Skin Diver, so I do not doubt that Yema will find 500 happy buyers for this new Skin Diver Slim CMM.20. It is a nice-looking watch. There is simply no denying that.

Visit the official Yema website for more information or to buy the Skin Diver Slim CMM.20. In the comments section, let us know your thoughts on this release.

Watch specifications

Skin Diver Slim CMM.20
Lacquered dark gray with applied trapezoidal hour markers filled with beige Super-LumiNova
Case Material
Stainless steel with sapphire bezel insert
Case Dimensions
39mm (diameter) × 47mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.2mm (thickness with crystal)
Double-domed sapphire
Case Back
Stainless steel and sapphire crystal, screw-in
Yema Calibre Manufacture Morteau 20 (CMM.20): automatic micro-rotor movement with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 70-hour power reserve, 33 jewels, -3/+7-second daily accuracy
Water Resistance
300m (30 bar)
Stainless steel Scales Slim bracelet with folding clasp and flip-lock
Time (hours, minutes, seconds), 60-minute unidirectional bezel
Five years
Special Note(s)
Limited edition of 500 pieces, available for pre-order now with the first batch of 100 watches shipping in September 2024