The Rolex Yacht-Master first hit the market in 1992 as a “premium” (or an “upgraded”) version of the Rolex Submariner, targeting wealthier (potentially yacht-owning) clients. The first-ever Yacht-Master stood out from the rest of the Rolex line up with its solid 18k yellow gold case, bezel and bracelet. It had a classy appeal despite its rough-and-ready sportiness and was well-favoured due to its unique aesthetics.
It certainly wasn’t designed to be a diver’s watch because of its relatively low water resistance (100m) compared with counterparts such as the Rolex Submariner (300m) and Rolex Sea-Dweller (1,220m). The Rolex Yacht-Master was meant to be a lifestyle timepiece rather than a tool watch; it was fated to spend most of its days on deck rather than underwater.
With hopes to stoke passions for the Yacht-Master collection, Rolex launched a new and potentially controversial Yacht-Master in 2015. One of the key highlights was its never-before-seen rubber strap, the Oysterflex – this makes the Rolex Yacht-Master of 2015 the debut of Oysterflex. The Yacht-Master Everose had a beautiful Everose gold case, a matte black dial and a Cerachrom bezel; in hindsight, it was the perfect formula for success. This drew tonnes of attention to the now-growing Yacht-Master line up; many dial variants (blue, rhodium, chocolate) and some case material combinations (Steel and Everose).
Following up on this 2015 success, Rolex has yet again released another Yacht-Master fitted on the Oysterflex bracelet. This time, it is nothing like what we would have ever expected… it is made of white gold and the case diameter has been scaled up to 42mm, which is a first in the Rolex Yacht-Master family. The white gold case is luxurious and beautiful, giving off a warm and radiant hue while maintaining a remarkably low-profile. The size will certainly appeal to those with larger preferences and/or sturdier wrists
It sports a black “maxi” dial (with large lume markers) similar to those found on modern Submariners and Sea-Dwellers. In this iteration, Rolex has omitted the red “Yacht-Master” text, which was a standout trademark of all previous Yacht-Masters. This gives a monochromatic effect due to the lack of any colour, other than silver and black.
The new Rolex Yacht-Master features a bi-directional white gold rotating bezel and a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom bezel insert with a matte black base and raised markers and numerals. This matte bezel is something unique to the Yacht-Master collection, and it certainly adds a sportier flair and a much more aggressive look. It also pairs nicely with the Oysterflex bracelet.
Inside sits the automatic calibre 3235, boasting the latest Rolex innovations and technology, including the Parachrom hairspring and the Chronergy high-efficiency escapement. The movement is reliable and accurate, keeping time well within chronometer specifications, by COSC standards (-2/+2s a day ).
The Oysterflex strap is comfortable yet robust, structurally reinforced with titanium and nickel alloy metal blades. It features a longitudinal cushion system on the inside of the strap that enhances stability and comfort by acting as a channel for heat and moisture to dissipate. One new upgrade lies within the Oysterlock folding clasp, which now has the Glidelock function for easy strap adjustments.
Overall, this is a handsome looking watch that embodies rich heritage and design elements that showcases Rolex’s relationship with the marine world of sailing and yachts.
Movement Self-winding Rolex Calibre 3235 with date; 70-hour power reserve
Case 42mm white gold case; water resistant to 100m
Strap Oysterflex rubber strap