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Military timepieces have captured the interests of watch collectors worldwide for their rich heritage built throughout great world wars as an indispensable tool for military personnel. When it comes to steadfast military performance, the French Navy has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, being among the largest and most powerful naval forces in the world. In an effort to create a military-grade timepiece for French marine professionals that could handle the unforgiving seas, YEMA collaborated with the French Navy, or Marine Nationale in French, to design a special iteration of the Navygraf dedicated to the French Navy.
|Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale
We all are familiar with countless exceptional watches made by the Swiss and Japanese that are dominating the market. Nonetheless, the French also displayed excellence in the fine art of watchmaking with the creation of many beautifully decorated haute horlogerie pieces and complex movements. While YEMA may not be a name that the masses are entirely familiar with, it is a brand synonymous with the production of fine French-made timepieces and an incredibly rich heritage. Founded in 1948 by French watchmaker Henry Louis Belmont, YEMA has demonstrated remarkable mastery in watchmaking with the creative integration of innovative designs to their ever-dependable tool watches.
Drawing inspiration from 70s vintage Navygraf models, the YEMA Navygraf Marine Nationale retains its distinctive case design seen throughout the Navygraf line up. The stainless steel case measures in with a tasteful diameter of 39mm, a lug to lug distance of 47mm and a thickness of 12mm. With these dimensions, the watch evokes an appealing retro character that sits extremely comfortable on the wrist. Finishing is immaculately executed to a high level of precision, presenting fine satin brushing throughout the case. The excellent brushing blends harmoniously with the refined case size that makes for an overall sporty and elegant look ready for any occasion.
|A distinct signature of the 1970's vintage Navygraf model|
Although the navy blue unidirectional diving bezel may appear rather simple at first glance, it packs some serious punch with a sapphire bezel insert that offers superb protection against scratches. The reflective surface of the insert catches the light beautifully, exhibiting a charming appearance similar to bakelite or acrylic bezels popularly used in the past. Moreover, numerals and markers on the bezel come alive in the dark with stunning blue BGW9 luminous treatment.
Standing apart from the familiar black dial and striking yellow hands of the classic YEMA Navygraf Heritage, the matte blue dial of the Navygraf Marine Nationale proudly showcases the official colours of the Marine Nationale alongside with the ‘Navygraf’ script font printed contrastingly in gold. The white hour markers are printed in the iconic exclamation mark shape, a distinct signature of the vintage 1970s Navygraf. At the 6 o’clock position lies the distinguished logo of the Marine Nationale, an honorable mark of this astonishing collaborative timepiece.
|Screw-down crown. French Navy's vintage anchor embossed.|
With the absence of a date window, the dial is kept clean and symmetrical, drawing most attention to what really matters - time reading legibility. When it comes to night time legibility, the Navygraf Marine Nationale boasts exceptional readability even in the dark with generously coated BGW9 SuperLuminova lume lighting up the hands and markers emitting a bright blue glow. On top of that, the dial is protected with a thick 2.50mm piece of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that grants this piece a substantial water resistance of 990 ft (300 meters).
Water resistance is uncompromised as a result of its screw-down crown and screw-in case back which are beautifully embossed with the French Navy’s vintage anchor and the crest of the Marine Nationale. This incredible dive watch is supplied with a 19mm sporty 316L brushed stainless steel bracelet, equipped with a diver’s extension set for your underwater diving adventures. In the box, YEMA provided an additional single-pass Marine Nationale official parachute strap in blue with a beige central stripe. Crafted from military-grade elastic parachute webbing, this is an extremely comfortable strap that will fit just about any wrist size with its adjustable ladder buckle design.
|Super-LumiNova offers perfect readability in low light conditions|
The Navygraf Marine Nationale is powered by the in-house Caliber YEMA2000 automatic movement, a stepped-up variation of the MBP1000 Caliber. This magnificent movement yields slightly enhanced precision and durability with optimized components, giving the movement a healthy power reserve of approximately 42 hours. This 29 jewel movement beats at a rate of 28,800 beats per hour with thorough accuracy checks by YEMA watchmakers. On top of that, the movement is gorgeously decorated with stripes and stunning perlage finishing that reflects on their fine craft in producing an in-house movement.
This sensational partnership between YEMA and the Marine Nationale has demonstrated both the beauty and performance of the Navygraf with strong vintage inspiration, impeccable French watchmaking and robust modern mechanics. Being the new official timepiece for the Marine Nationale, the Navygraf Marine Nationale perfectly forges a connection between two performance-driven organizations to create a solid dive watch offering that will go down in history.