The Rolex Yacht-Master is the quintessential professional sailor’s watch. Since its debut in 1992, the timepiece has charted its course for excellence and uniqueness. It is the world’s first regatta chronograph model fitted with a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory. This very sophisticated and modern device offers precise synchronization with the same vital starting sequence of a yachting race.
The Yacht-Master is one of Rolex’s iconic sports watches, a model developed and constructed for those who dream of taming the blue oceans. The timepiece was unveiled in 1992 and the first Yacht-Master ever produced was the ref. 16628 that came in 18 k yellow gold. Due to the high popularity of the timepiece, Rolex decided to make also a mid-size man’s version reference 68628 and a lady’s model reference 69628. The more sophisticated two-tone model was introduced in 1996. In 1997, the brand launched the Yacht-Master Rolesium version. Rolesium is one of Rolex’s clever patented terms to describe the special stainless steel and platinum construction. The dial and the bezel are manufactured from platinum whereas the case, bracelet and winding crown are made from stainless steel. In 1999, Rolex upgraded the Yacht-Master by adding a better movement and heavier full 18 k gold links.
In 2007, at the BaselWorld Show, Rolex presented its new Yacht-Master II. The first versions were available in yellow gold and white gold. Then in 2011, the brand launched the first steel and everose gold Yacht-Master II. The debut of the stainless steel Yacht-Master II took place in 2013 and it had a blue Cerachrom bezel insert and the updated Calibre 4161 movement. Until now every Yacht-Master II model had the Calibre 4160 movement.
All the Yacht-Master II models were produced with a 44 mm case diameter and with the blue Cerachrom bezel. The only exception is the model reference 116689 which is made exclusively from platinum. The innovative Cerachrom bezel is actually a very durable and resistant solid block of ceramic that has been created by using a special process. The platinum markers are added by using a patented technique and its surface is diamond polished. Cerachrom is corrosion and scratch resistant, and practically impervious to ultraviolet rays.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II is the world’s first regatta chronograph that was available with a programmable countdown fitted with a mechanical memory. Regatta is a term used to define a special type of watch that has been created for Yachting races. These are supposed to countdown to the start of a sailing race. The Yacht-Master integrates this function on its dial by using a ring command bezel that rotates through 90° and interacts with the inside movement to start and lock the countdown feature.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master I and II encapsulate the essence and emotion of yachting competitions. The evocative power, imposing size and unique design are used to conquer the oceans. This professional instrument is everything an experienced sailor or yachting enthusiast needs to start the race at the very moment the horn sounds.