Both Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II belong to the Rolex Professional series, which also includes Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, Explorer, GMT Master II, Milgauss, Sea-Dweller and Submariner watches. As their names suggest, these luxury sports watches have been associated with sailing. Both of them possess their own distinctive features.
Rolex has been manufacturing high-grade water-proof watches since the introduction of Oyster case technology in the 1920s. In 1953, the brand introduced the iconic Submariner diving watch. Released in 1992, the first Yacht-Master model (reference 16628) featured an 18K yellow gold case with 40mm diameter and 100m water resistance.
Rolex Yacht-Master merges the outstanding characteristics of a tool watch with luxurious details. The first reference was inspired by the Submariner Date model ref. 16610 of the early 1990. Both used the same movement (caliber 3135), with a date indication at 3 o’ clock. The first Yacht Master 16628 came with 18K yellow gold rotating bezel, triple-lock crown, oyster bracelet and Cyclops lens over the date.
In 2007, the first Yacht-Master II watch was launched. Specially created for regatta competitions, it was the world’s first watch equipped with a programmable countdown function using a mechanical memory. For this professional regatta chronograph, Rolex developed the self-winding caliber 4160. This timepiece has a 42.6mm in diameter case.
In 2015, Rolex launched a Yacht Master rose gold model made of the proprietary alloy known as Everose gold. This variant is now available in two case sizes: 40mm and 37mm. The Rolex Yacht Master rose gold watch comes with an exclusively developed rubber strap known as Oysterflex. In 2017, Rolex unveiled the new generation Yacht-Master II in Oyster steel, with a 44mm diameter case and the caliber 4161.
The most recent addition to this sailing watch family is the Yacht Master 42 with the 3235 movements. This model is available in 18K white and yellow gold versions.
Yacht-Master Vs Yacht-Master II
Yacht-Master is presently available in 37mm, 40mm and 42mm sizes whereas the new generation Yacht-Master II is offered in a 44mm case. Both variants have the Oyster case architecture, featuring a monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown. Water resistance rating is the same: 100 meters. The screwed-down crown is provided with triplock triple waterproofness system. Both models are fitted with sapphire crystal glasses. The Yacht-Master has a Cyclops lens over the date whereas the Rolex Yacht-Master 2 does not have this feature.
The Rolex Yacht Master watch is available with bi-directional rotational countdown bezels. Made of platinum or 18K gold, the bezel features a raised 60-minute graduation and numerals. The Yacht-Master II watch comes with a bidirectional rotatable Ring Command bezel topped with moulded numerals (from 0 to 10) and Yacht-Master II inscription.
The bezel of Yacht-Master with its 0-60 scale can be used for calculating elapsed time and it operates independently from the internal mechanism of the watch. However, Yacht-Master II’s bezel is linked with the movement. Known as the Ring Command bezel, it can be utilized for operating the regatta chronograph function.
The dial of Yacht-Master is almost same as that of a submariner date watch. Quickly readable, it features shaped hour-markers (round, rectangular and triangle), three centre hands (hour, minute and seconds) and the date at 3 o’clock.
The dial of Yacht-Master 2 is more elaborate yet easily decipherable. It has five hands. Four are centrally positioned on the centre of the dial, and the seconds hand is off-centered. The watch displays the countdown minute with the hand featuring a triangle pointer and the countdown seconds with the long spear-shaped hand.
Because of the dissimilarity of the functional features, different types of movements have been employed. Both Yacht Master 40 and 42mm versions are equipped with the self-winding calibre 3235, which is the same movement used with Datejust 36 and Datejust 41 watches. It has a power reserve of 70 hours. The 37mm variant of Yacht-Master is driven by Calibre 2236, that is a self-winding movement with a power reserve of 55 hours. Both 3235 and 2236 have the same time display features: hour, minute, centre seconds and the date at 3 o’clock.
The Yacht-Master II is equipped with Calibre 4161. It is a specially developed self-winding regatta chronograph movement. In addition to basic time display, this caliber offers programmable countdown functions for calculating elapsed time during regatta sailing competitions. It has a power reserve of 72 hours.
(5) Operating elements
All Yacht-Master watches feature a single crown at 3 o’clock for manually winding the movement and for setting the date and time. On the other hand, Yacht-Master II has two push-buttons at 2H and 4H for operating the regatta chronograph function in addition to the crown at 3 o’clock.
Rolex Yacht-Master comes with the choice of Oyster type bracelet and Oysterflex strap whereas the Yacht-Master II is presently available with an Oyster bracelet only.
Rolex Yacht Master watches are available in 18K gold (Everose, yellow or white) and bi-metal (Oystersteel with gold or platinum) versions. Equipped with in-house self-winding movements, these luxury sailing watch models are superlative chronometers (certified by COSC plus Rolex certification after casing), with a superb chronometric accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day.
The hands and indices are enhanced with highly legible Chromalight, a proprietary luminescent coating that offers a long-lasting blue luminescence. Ideal for sailing and other aquatics activities, all Yacht Masters are water-resistant up to 100 meters.
Rolex is currently offering the Yacht Master 37 and 40mm models in Everose gold, Oystersteel with Everose gold and Oystersteel with platinum. The 42mm model is available with 18K white gold and yellow gold cases. Yacht Master is also available with diamond-set versions. The Yacht-Master II is offered in Oystersteel, Bi-metal (Oystersteel + Everose gold) and 18K yellow gold.