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Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition Watch Review

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition

While a lot of the conversation surrounding European watchmaking centres around Switzerland, Germany and (certainly in our case) Britain, France is determined to have their seat at the table. From interesting microbrands like Beaubleu to trendy labels like Baltic, to historic brands that have recently reinvented themselves like Yema there’s a lot going on. It’s that last that we’re focussing on today as they’ve just launched the Skin Diver Slim CMM.20, which we have here for review.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition

Strapping on the Scales Slim bracelet (a design first introduced on the Superman Slim CMM.20), the watch wears incredibly comfortably. Also, it looks awesome, which is important too. The compact links of the bracelet create a great connection between the watch and the skin, sitting snuggly in place without much unwanted jiggling while moving.  The case of the watch itself is also svelte enough to slip under any cuff easily at a size of 39mm diameter x 10mm thickness.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition

That size places the Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 squarely within the bounds of the popular retro revival trend that has so far dominated the watch world in 2024. Plus, there’s the fact that its style is based on the skin diver archetype of dive watch, which was popularised during the 1960s. The term skin diving refers to forms of diving and swimming that don’t require a wet suit or additional diving gear, so essentially free diving and snorkelling rather than scuba.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition

It’s actually an important distinction in watchmaking because a skin diver can have a lower water resistance rating because it’s specifically design for use around the surface of the water instead of in the extreme deep. However, while a 200m rating would be acceptable for a skin diver, the Yema does feature a more robust 300m water resistance rating, which is impressive given the small size.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition

Aesthetically, the watch is suitably retro as well. It has a “faded ghost” bezel, which is an alternative term for tropical (although tropical is almost exclusively used for dials), which in turn is a term that means discoloured or faded by age and exposure to sun. The insert is made from sapphire and it has a unidirectional rotation with 60-minute timer scale. I really like the style and design of it, especially because with the thinness of the case, the bezel feels quite tall allowing it to be gripped and rotated easily.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition

The faded grey of the bezel is then matched by the colour of the dial. I do think it would look more striking in pure black, but the grey also works well. You can imagine it being worn day in, day out by a diver or sailor at a sleepy marina on the French Riviera, slowly aging under the bright sun. The same is true of the beige coloured hour markers, which glow with green luminescence. Their shape also feels retro with the chunky wedges adorned with stylised, angular numerals at 12, 3, 6 and 9.

Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition

Turning the Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 over reveals the exhibition caseback displaying the in-house CMM.20. It’s their landmark ultra-thin movement built in their Morteau workshop. The last few years have seen a major push from Yema to become a fully fledge manufacture brand producing their own movements and no longer relying on third-party movements as they have done in the past – and thank the heavens they did because it’s a stunner with a micro-rotor and 70-hour power reserve. Although the lack of hacking seconds is noticeable.

Priced at £1,699 in a limited edition of 500 pieces, it’s a seriously cool piece of French watchmaking. Whether you’re cruising the Riviera or heading to Paris for the Olympics, this could be the ultimate low-key dive watch for summer.

Price and Specs:

Model: Yema Skin Diver Slim CMM.20 Limited Edition
Case: 39mm diameter x 10mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Lacquered dark grey
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Yema calibre Morteau 20, automatic, Micro-Rotor, 33 jewels, 190 parts
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Stainless steel Scales Slim bracelet
Price: £1,699, limited to 500 pieces

More details at Yema.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.