To be honest, the first tease photos published by Yema to promote the Kickstarter campaign for their newer Wristmaster were not very successful at convincing me to pitch in and back the campaign. I thought then that the case had strange proportions and that the bezel was making the dial too small and I could not understand what was going on with the indices.
Original photo from the Kickstarter campaign.
But then other photos were published, and I started to get it. What I thought was a bezel was just an illusion created by light refracting from the rim of a very tall box crystal made of acrylic. The strange proportions were normal and natural for a case that lacking a bezel was flowing smoothly from the dial to the lugs and the puzzling indices became interesting once I understood there was a black accent on each of them. And then there was the dial of course. Cream colored, divided into quadrants with the word “Wristmaster” written in the same longhand style my teachers at school in France took so much time to instill in me back in the 60’s. I was sold on the cream dial Wrismaster even before the announcement about the companion book, which I freely admit was of no interest to me at the time.
What I got was a cool retro looking watch that has a unique look despite sharing many design elements from watches made by Seiko during the 70’s and this is not surprising considering the history shared between Yema and Seiko. The solid case back has nicely executed heraldic engraving, similar to the one I first saw on their Superman. There is an argument to be made here for using a display case instead of a solid one since the YEMA2000 is nicely decorated and the Wristmaster has only a modest 100WR. The acrylic crystal is not an issue at all. On the contrary, I love the clarity of acrylic and its plasticity that allows for forming bold shapes. Scratches are either easily polished away or avoided by applying 2-3 drops of liquid glass occasionally.
I didn’t experience any delays in getting the watch and although the book was delayed and later saw its English version cancelled, I still consider this as one of the better Kickstarter campaigns I participated. There were also QC issues reported about the dial and the placement of indices and luminous dots, but as far as I can see my own Wristmaster is free of defects. So, it’s either “lucky me” or just the usual percentage of manufacturing defects blown out of proportions by social media. It's not to say that everything is perfect with my Wristmaster. The OEM strap was too stiff and too long for my preferences, but this is exactly why ColaReb created the Spoleto strap. YMMV of course. What’s less of a personal preference issue concern the YEMA2000 movement which is a pleasure to wind or set, with a very smooth and fluid action but it also exhibits a lot of drift and variances between positions. I own 3 YEMA2000 based watches and all of them are running fine face up but much too fast in 12 up position.
I'm a big fan of watches that are interesting because they are either unique, have interesting features, well designed or simply offer a great value for their price.