Hands-On With The New Yema Superman 500 Dato In White And Khaki
Yema is on a roll! The French brand has released a steady stream of new watches over the past few months. It’s only been five weeks or so since I had the chance to check out the brand-new Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT, and since then, we have also seen the debut of the all-new lineup of Urban Field watches. But the brand does not sit still when it comes to expanding its current collections either. Yema’s Superman 500 line was introduced around this time last year and has expanded rapidly. Now Yema is releasing the Superman 500 with a date function as well as two new dial colors. Time to find out more about the Yema Superman 500 Dato.
It’s quite impressive to see how many new watches Yema releases. Sometimes it even seems hard to keep up! Last year’s introduction of the Superman 500 collection marked a revamp of the French brand’s classic dive watch. The new watches come with an in-house movement and updated aesthetics. Daan reviewed the Superman 500 back in June of last year, and I had the chance to review the GMT version of the Superman 500 a couple of months later. Earlier this year, we saw two new colors of the Superman 500 GMT, and now there is a new date version of the brand’s popular dive watch. But that’s not all because the Superman 500 Dato also introduces a crisp white dial and a khaki-green dial with vintage-inspired lume. Let’s check these watches out!
The date on dive watches
The biggest update for the new Superman 500 Dato is the addition of a date window. Whether a date window belongs on a dive watch or not is always an interesting debate. Purists strongly oppose the presence of a date on a dive watch, while others who love everyday practicality want a date indication on their daily wearer.
So it only makes sense that Yema would bring a date complication to its popular diver. The first new version features a khaki-green dial with a black date disc and white printing. The second model features a crisp white dial, a white date disc, and black printing. The white date fits right into the crisp white background, creating a balanced aesthetic overall.
The choice of two sizes is an easy one
As always, Yema offers its Superman 500 models in two sizes. The new Superman 500 Dato comes in 39mm and 41mm versions. From experience, this is a no-brainer for me. The 39mm case is perfectly proportioned and fits nicely on wrists of different sizes, including mine at 18.5cm (7.25″) in circumference. So the choice of the right size for me is the 39mm model. We got in two 39mm models for this review, so they were the perfect size to wear for a couple of days. Although the difference is only 2mm in diameter, the overall design impact and the wearing experience change completely with the larger model.
First, let’s talk specs. Both the 39mm and the 41mm models are 11mm thick from the case back to the bezel. Add the thickness of the domed sapphire crystal, and you’re looking at a total thickness of approximately 13.5mm. The 39mm model has a lug-to-lug of 49mm and a 19mm lug spacing, and the 41mm model features a 49.5mm lug-to-lug and a 20mm lug spacing. While the 49.5mm lug-to-lug might not seem extremely big, it truly feels like a larger watch than the numbers suggest. The 39mm version wears very nicely with its slim overall profile and thin case band.
The two new dial versions
The white version of the watch features a dial with a sand-like effect. This grainy texture gives the dial some nice extra depth. Obviously, the crisp white color contrasts well with the black and red elements on the dial, bringing some fresh flair to the familiar Superman design. The unidirectional bezel features a black aluminum insert with a silver-colored diving scale. It gives the watch a bit of vintage charm and also works well with the white dial.
The bezel comes equipped with Yema’s famous locking system, which unlocks by unscrewing the crown. If you’ve read my previous reviews of the Superman 500 models, you know that I am not the biggest fan of the flimsy piece of metal that locks the bezel. In terms of quality, the lock leaves much to be desired. And while I understand the brand uses it as a design signature that adds character, but it’s also not that practical. It must be said, though, that with the new Superman 500 models, the quality was definitely better than with the previous generation.
The khaki dial has more vintage charm
The second model comes with a khaki-green dial with markers and hands featuring cream-colored lume for some vintage flavor. As mentioned, this version features a black date disc with white printing that corresponds nicely with the black bezel insert. The khaki-green dial with the beige lume gives off a completely different vibe than the white colorway. Of the two, I love the looks of the khaki version. It fits the retro design of the Superman 500 quite nicely.
A familiar bracelet style
Yema will deliver the Superman 500 Dato with its standard Superman 500 five-link bracelet, which Daan detailed here. I am not the biggest fan of this design, and I much prefer the brand’s H-link bracelet. Considering that the Superman 500’s case has a completely high-polished finish, the alternating finishes on the five-link bracelet seem like a bit of a mismatch. Additionally, I do not find the design as graceful in its execution as it could be.
The quality of Yema’s folding clasps is well documented on Fratello, and I hope the brand can develop better clasps in the future. The current clasps feel rather flimsy. Yema is constantly improving its offerings, and better bracelets and clasps would make the Superman 500 an even more tempting series than it currently is.
The YEMA2000 caliber
The Superman 500 Dato houses the date version of the in-house YEMA2000 movement. This automatic caliber operates at 28,800vph, has an accuracy of ±10 seconds per day, and provides a power reserve of 42 hours. It displays hours, minutes, seconds, and, of course, a date at 3 o’clock. Honestly, I am still on the fence about whether I prefer the date version of the Superman 500 for its practicality or the no-date version for its cleaner looks. The khaki model definitely looks good with the date, but I hope Yema also creates a version without a date.
Wearing the Yema Superman 500 Dato
The 39mm Yema Superman 500 models are very pleasant to wear. I love the combination of the slim-profile case and the retro-inspired design. It makes for a watch that has a lot of charm and plenty of character. On top of that, this case size is super comfortable, making any 39mm version a nice daily wearer. While I am not the biggest fan of the five-link bracelet and would replace that, it didn’t affect the wearing experience too much. I loved switching up both models to get a different experience in terms of colors.
In the end, the khaki version was the winner for me. The combination of retro looks and the chosen colors gives the watch a great presence. That’s not to say the white version is bad, not at all. Both colors will strike a chord with certain fans. As I already explained, the 39mm khaki version is the winner, both in size and color. It’s a very handsome watch in a new color for the Superman line. And I have to say, I think it’s the best color in the entire range.
The context of the Yema Superman 500 Dato
Essentially, these two new models simply extend the Superman 500 line. It’s always good to see a new addition as it reminds us what we love about a watch (or series) and what could be done to improve it. As I have said in previous reviews, I truly do love the presence of the Superman 500. The vintage-inspired charm, the thin case, and the balanced design create a very nice line of watches. With the addition of a date version, Yema caters to a large audience that loves the practicality of a date.
The Superman series wears great in my preferred 39mm versions, and they have that jangly, vintage character that I like a lot. Having said that, these modern pieces deserve a better bracelet and especially a better clasp. If the brand manages to improve those, this series would become even better.
Final thoughts about the Yema Superman 500 Dato
The most charming Yema Superman model for me is still the Superman FAF Search And Rescue Limited Edition that I reviewed last year. That watch’s great ’70s style and presence are simply hard to beat. But with the khaki version of the Superman 500 Dato, Yema has introduced a dial color that looks phenomenal. Combined with the vintage lume and the black bezel, it is bound to be a Yema fan favorite.
I appreciate that Yema is constantly adding new designs to its collection. Over time, I am sure that the brand will develop another bracelet that brings that same combination of comfort and great looks as the H-link does. For me, that would make the Superman 500 Dato an exceedingly tempting offer at its €1,249 list price. If you’d prefer an FKM rubber strap, though, Yema also offers these models with one for €1,329. Having said that, I would always choose the bracelet because it brings that great charm that I love about the Superman 500 line. It’s a charm that not too many watches out there can offer for the same money.
The Yema Superman Dato models are currently available for pre-order. Shipping will start at the end of June 2023. For more information on the Yema Superman 500 Dato, visit the official Yema website.