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Yema Flygraf Pilot

Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

On the one hand, French watchmaker Yema is known for its dive watches, but it also has strong connections with aviation. Though the brand has made watches for the French Air Force, its newest is meant for civilians and developed in collaboration with an American aerobatic pilot named Sammy Mason. With a military-inspired design powered by an automatic movement — as well as attainable pricing, at $690 — the new Yema Flygraf Pilot should have broad appeal to aviation enthusiasts and beyond.

The Flygraf Pilot has military-inspired elements of field and pilot watches from several decades ago, but the brand adds its own modern design twists: a brushed bezel and crown guards give it a contemporary tool-watch feel, and 39mm is a comfortable modern case size that’s perfect for most wrists.

Inside, the watch is powered by the brand’s own MBP1000 automatic movement. While the term “in-house” is generally contentious, Yema’s movements are among very few being produced outside Japan about which it might accurately be used — and yet, the brand is charging well below $1,000 for automatic watches. The MBP1000 has, according to Yema, been “designed, manually assembled and precisely taken care of at our Morteau (France) workshops by highly experienced French traditional watchmakers.”

Like certain other Yema pilot watches, the Flygraf Pilot has the water resistance of a dive watch at 300m, promising extra durability. Available in black dial (M1) and gray dial (M2) versions on black canvas or black leather strap., Yema is offering a strong value proposition at $690.

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Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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