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This is a short review of the black dial Yema Seaspider 200m diver watch, model YM 161. This is a French watch manufactured around 10 years ago, when Yema was actually owned by Seiko. For details check: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yema
The Yema Seaspider is very much a Seiko diver as I'll try to demonstrate below, but let me just add - to pique your curiosity - that this atypical watch uses a high-grade Seiko 4S15 automatic movement. But let's begin with a wrist shot of the beast:



I have had this watch for about two years now and I have come to appreciate its many qualities. It's a watch I am pleased to wear when I go out for a walk, or even at home. It's also a special watch for me, for the following reasons:

  • It has a unique design.
    The dial is legible and aesthetically pleasing.
    It uses the 4S15 automatic movement (antishock and 28800bph), which hacks and hand winds. The seconds hand moves smoothly.
    There are two crowns at 2 and 4 o'clock, and both are properly guarded. The 4 o'clock main crown is of the screw down kind. The 2 o'clock crown is used to turn an internal bezel, similar to Seiko Alpinist watches.
    It feels quite comfortable on my medium sized wrist, it's not too heavy or too light. The watch is well balanced.
    The solid steel links bracelet is properly polished and does not pinch my hair.
    The lume is very good.
    The bezel turns smoothly unidirectionally with a proper click (120 clicks per full rotation).
    It looks and feels like a quality watch.
I bought the watch used for around $350. I have changed one of the spring bars. It keeps time within a few seconds per day (I haven't checked exactly, but it seems to be within +/- 10s / day).
I'll comment on the points above.

The design is vaguely reminiscent of the european sea spider ("araignée de mer" in French, or more precisely the maja squinado - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maja_squinado). These crabs are quite commonplace in France, but in a different context:



;) (the picture above borrowed from Flickr)

The case shape reminds me of other Seiko divers. The watch is not too tall on the wrist and as I wrote above, wears comfortably for extended lengths of time. I assume the crystal is mineral glass or Hardlex. Mine is scratched, showing the watch has been well worn. The lugs are not drilled. The weight, with the bracelet adjusted to my medium size wrist, is 136g.



The clasp sports the Yema logo and the word "SEASPIDER" is very faintly engraved on the security lock. The original bracelet is 20mm at the lugs and tapers down to 18mm at the clasp.



The crowns have the same quality feeling as one has come to expect from other Seiko diver watches, and both are properly guarded. They don't protrude too much and don't "dig" in my wrist skin.



The lume is excellent, typical of the Seiko divers:



The Yema Seaspiders are difficult to find nowadays but if you can get your hands on one, imho they are definitely good watches and worth the investment.

Yeoman has recently posted a catalog of the Yema Seaspiders on his blog: http://yeomanseiko.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!3318BA07329CD633!3840.entry

Andrew
 
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