Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the new LED Kavinsky Watch from French watch brand Yema.
As its name suggests, the watch is a collaboration between Yema and renowned musician Kavinsky. With over 230 million Spotify streams on his hit single Nightcall (which was the movie soundtrack for the Ryan Gosling-led 2011 movie Drive) Kavinsky is a bona fide superstar, making this collaboration notable.
To be honest, I’ve never heard of Kavinsky before, though admittedly I’m not into EDM. Still, his genre makes the tie-in with a digital watch interesting.
In fact, Yema states that it was Kavinsky who approached the brand to “develop his own watch in line with the world of his character”, with the watch being “a must-have accessory of his wardrobe”. I agree – the red LED display complements his signature red logo well.
This isn’t Yema’s first digital watch – the brand released several popular models in the 1970s, and just did a reissue of it last year. Let’s see if the LED Kavinsky model is any good.
Yema LED Kavinsky – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the watch, do watch my Youtube review of the Yema LED Kavinsky below:
Yema LED Kavinsky – Initial Thoughts
Let’s start by touching on the specifications.
The watch uses a mineral crystal display, which is par for the course for watches at this price point, especially digital watches. It also has 50M of water resistance, so it should withstand rainy weather and spilled coffee – just don’t submerge it.
Yema states that the watch is powered by a “proprietary LED-Quartz movement”, though specifics on the movement is lacking. The watch displays hours, minutes (in both 12H and 24H format), seconds, as well as the date, month and year. The time isn’t always on though – you’ll have to press the side button to display the time. A second press will show the date, while a third press reveals the seconds. Personally, I would have preferred an “always-on” display – a la Apple Watch – though having the display on standby mode by default does extend battery life significantly.
The LED Kavinsky features an on-trend integrated bracelet design. Slim and brushed, the bracelet reminds me of the Oyster bracelets found on Rolex watches of yesteryear. It’s comfortable and refined – probably one of the best bracelets under the S$300 price point that I’ve seen.
However, no one buys a digital watch for its specifications. Make no mistake, the main draw of the LED Kavinsky is its avant-garde looks. It’s just an eminently striking watch. The watch features strong faceted angles with contrasting polished and brushed surfaces – the case finishing is one of the best I’ve seen at this price point. I love the integrated bracelet look, and appreciate the sharp taper of its bracelet. This is one sharp-looking watch.
I also like the engraved lines that flank the display. There’s an art deco nature to the lines that reinforces the striking nature of the watch. In addition, I find the octagonal display to be another smart touch – it mimics the faceted lugs perfectly.
For those wondering, the red button (Kavinsky’s iconic colours) allows the wearer to access the settings of the watch and swap the display to the 12H configuration – a feature Yema says was specially requested by Kavinsky himself.
The LED Kavinsky wears phenomenally on my 7-inch wrist. It has a diameter of 35.5mm and a lug-to-lug width of 42mm. Due to its integrated bracelet nature, the watch wears like it came out of the 1970s. It actually reminds me a tad of my Cartier Santos, which has a similar diameter and lug-to-lug length. Yema doesn’t specify its thickness, but I found the watch to be relatively svelte and able to slide under a shirt cuff with ease.
Overall, I absolutely adore the new Yema LED Kavinsky. You don’t need to be a fan of the DJ to enjoy the watch – the watch has more than enough going for it to stand on its own merits. I love the angular, faceted nature of the case, its retro-futuristic vibe, as well as how well it wears. With digital watches making a comeback recently – Girard Perregaux just reissued one – the LED Kavinsky would undoubtedly be popular, especially at its 196 Euros/ ~S$294 price point which undercuts both the Hamilton PSR and the Bulova Computron. If you’re looking for a fun watch that’s bound to be a conversation starter, the LED Kavinsky fits the bill very nicely without breaking the bank.
Back the Yema LED Kavinsky on Kickstarter here.
View the rest of Yema’s watches here.
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