A change of straps for the Superman

The main issue that I had with my steel and bronze Superman was the huge gap created by the long lugs. These thin and long lugs are an integral part of the original 60’s vintage design and Yema rightfully decided to preserve them, despite the problem inherent to their 19mm span and the gap that they created with the tropic strap with which it was sold.

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This gap was so ridiculously bad that it earned the Superman the nickname of the Supergap and almost caused it to desk dive into a drawer, never to resurface from it again. What saved the Superman from an early demise was my discovery of Erika’s Originals MN straps and their ability to mask the gap. Being single pass they did add a bit of a bulk under the watch, but the Superman is slim enough to handle it and the other advantages of Erika’s straps with their comfort, their customization options, and their infinite adjustability more than made up for the single mm or so that they added under the watch and between my wrist.

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But I was still curious about how the Superman would look like if it was fitted to a strap that took into account the unusual lugs and worked with them seamlessly, which is the reason why I was interested enough by the announcement of Yema to buy one of their new integrated tropic straps designed specifically for the Superman.

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What caught my attention once I removed the MN strap was the presence of metal inserts molded into the ends of the new FKM strap. I don’t have any other experience with integrated straps and therefore I have no ideas about how common these are, but it doesn’t look like something which is trivial or cheap to implement and therefore there must have been a reason for them.

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Or maybe not. I admit that I didn’t check if these inserts extended to the spring bar’s holes, therefore they may not be the source of the problem that I had with the spring bars that were supplied with the strap. The first one proved too thick and got stuck halfway in, requiring me to use a set of pliers to pull it out and mangling it completely in the process. Maybe I was sent the wrong spring bars, but it certainly would have been better to see quick release bars pre-fitted in the strap to save me this bit of a hassle.

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On the plus side getting the strap in was a breeze once I used the original spring bars, and the strap fits well between the lugs and to the case. Both the shallow angle of the ends and the flexibility of the FKM rubber allow the watch to remain flat on the table.

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Here I think that I must remind that FKM is very different in feel to both silicone and vulcanized rubber. It’s almost as soft as silicone but it won’t attract lint or accumulate sweat like silicone. It does however feel a bit weird to the touch.

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Flipping the Superman belly up shows the two notches that allows to compress the spring bars and to get them inside the lugs, as well as the molded 1948 which is there to commemorate the year that Yema was established. Not shown in this photo is the signed brushed steel buckle that match the finish of the case, but it’s there and it’s also quite nice.

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However I’m not 100% sold on this strap. It does have its advantages versus the original tropic strap, both in comfort and in looks, but I’m not convinced that it’s better than the MN strap from Erika’s Originals. One of the reasons for this is the way that the integrated strap seems to over exaggerate the length of the lugs, and another is that the MN straps are simply more comfortable on my wrist (YMMV of course).

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Your rubber fits great. I have the same lug problem with my Hamilton Khaki Field. Don’t think a rubber will suit that watch but even I don’t particularly like Natos I have used that and now lately testing an Erica copy.

Looks great on your Superman. I received my blue FKM strap from Yema today and was excited to try it, it was just what I needed for my bronze Superman. Sadly, it doesn't fit!

It was supposed to fit all Superman models since 2018 apart from the Superman Slim CMM.20 but it appears to also not fit the 2021 Bronze GMT Superman.

A lovely strap, but a shame it won't fit!