The Rolex Yacht-Master is known to be the brand’s most diverse luxury sports watch collection. It offers a range of case sizes, metals, bezel materials and bracelet styles. However, Rolex designed the Yacht-Master as a nautical-inspired sports timepiece. It was an ultra-luxurious take on the popular sports models within Rolex’s catalogue.
Over the years, the watchmaker upgraded the collection and introduced the Yacht-Master II with the functionalities best suited for competitive sailing. However, these Rolex watches are exceedingly popular and coveted because of their flawless quality and sleek design.
A Quick Look at the Rolex Yacht-Master’s History
Rolex’s association with sailing started in 1958 when this renowned Swiss watchmaker collaborated with the revered New York Yacht Club. However, this partnership was not surprising for people because Rolex was already famous for its exquisite waterproof timepieces and the ingenious Oyster case in 1926.
However, Rolex’s relationship with the sailing world became more intensive in 1966. A Rolex watch accompanied the exceptional navigator, Francis Chichester, the first person to voyage 29,600 miles around the world on his yacht – the Gipsy Moth IV. Interestingly, his few tools of navigation include a Rolex Oyster Perpetual timepiece.
In 1992, Rolex finally launched the modern Yacht-Master that you know today. The official name of the watch is Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master. However, what makes the Yacht-Master historically significant is the fact that –
It was the first-ever ultra-luxurious sports wristwatch that Rolex produced for the open seas. Rolex enlightened the watch’s luxurious tag by crafting it entirely of 18ct yellow gold. However, it featured a 40mm 18ct yellow gold case, bi-directional rotatable bezel and a matching yellow gold Oyster bracelet.
Rolex later expanded the luxury nautical watch series by adding a variety of metal and case size options. However, the Yacht-Master II regatta chronograph debuted after 15years of the first Yacht-Master’s release. Rolex equipped the watch with exclusive complications, including a programmable countdown timer and fly-forward and flyback functionality.
Another notable feature is that Rolex offered the Yacht-Master II only in 44mm. However, the Yacht-Master II is available in different alloys.
Key Features of the Rolex Yacht-Master
- Case Diameter: 42mm, 40mm, 37mm, 35mm & 29mm
- Metal Options: 18ct Yellow Gold, 18ct White Gold, 18ct Everose Gold, Yellow Rolesor, Rolesium, EveroseRolesor.
- Bezel: Bi-directional 60-minute timing
- Functionality: Time with running seconds and date display
- Bracelet: Oyster bracelet &Oysterflex bracelet
- Water-resistance: 330ft (100m).
Key Features of the Rolex Yacht-Master II
- Case Diameter: 44mm
- Metal Options: Stainless steel, 18ct Yellow Gold, EveroseRolesor, 18ct White Gold
- Bezel: Ring Command Bezel
- Functionality: Time with running seconds & adjustable countdown timer, mechanical memory
- Bracelet: Oyster bracelet
- Water-resistance: 330ft (100m).
Rolex Yacht-Master II – Significant Features & Options
The Rolex Yacht-Master II comes with a large, bi-directional rotatable ‘Ring Command’ bezel. Rolex equipped the timepiece with this bezel style to help users in timing out a regatta. However, the Yacht-Master’s ‘Ring Command’ bezel works in synchronisation with the timepiece’s latest movement.
If you rotate the bezel, it will unlock access to the programmable countdown timer. Thus, it is easy and quick to set during sailing competitions. The design is undeniable complex, but the aesthetics are minimalistic.
However, the most beautiful and appealing part of the Rolex Yacht-Master II is the bright blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel. The yellow gold, bi-metal EveroseRolesor and stainless steel models feature this blue Cerachrom bezel.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II debuted with the in-house Calibre 4160, followed by Calibre 4161 after a few years. The Calibre 4160 & 4161 are some of the most complicated Rolex movements to date.
The high-tech features include a countdown time, fly-forward and flyback functionality and on-the-fly chronograph synchronisation on a mechanical memory. However, the mechanism has a connection with the ‘Ring Command’ bezel. This enables the users to adjust and set the countdown feature easily and quickly on the motion.
Rolex’s engineers are known to take nearly 35,000 hours to develop and create this mechanism.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II sports a unique and sophisticated dial layout. The dial has various features like a countdown display that you can program anywhere from 1 to 10minutes. However, it displays the time through a red arrow-tipped hand.
The dial also has a running seconds sub-dial, the central flyback& fly-forward chronograph hand, along with the centre minute and hour hand. Moreover, the twelve luminous hour markers boost the dial’s legibility. Rolex offers the latest Yacht-Master II versions of the brand’s Chromalight display that glows blue.
There is also a noteworthy difference between the first generation and new generation Rolex Yacht-Master II dial. The first generation models feature baton-style hands and square hour markers. In 2017, Rolex introduced the Yacht-Master II with the famous Mercedes-style hands. Moreover, the dial flaunted a rectangular hour marker at 6 o’clock and a triangular hour marker at 12.