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The Rolex Yacht-Master collection embodies the relationship that Rolex has formed with the world of yachting. Precision and excellence are essential when navigating the open seas, and the Yacht-Master’s reliable, waterproof, and robust qualities make it the perfect timepiece for the sport.
While the original Rolex Yacht-Master is a stylish and ultra-luxurious accessory for boating enthusiasts, the Yacht-Master II brings together the best of Rolex technology to accurately time regatta races. Whether you’re lounging on a boat, or racing one, there is a Yacht-Master watch for your every need.
The Rolex Yacht-Master is the brand’s most diverse collection of sports watches, available in a wide variety of sizes, metals, bracelets, and bezel materials. Explore our wide selection of Rolex Yacht-Master watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.
Although the Yacht-Master collection was not introduced until 1992, the relationship between Rolex and the world of sailing dates to the late 1950s.
With the invention of the Oyster, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch case, Rolex had already built a reputation for making excellent waterproof watches since the 1920s. In 1958, Rolex entered a partnership with the prestigious New York Yacht Club, a social and boating club which sponsors an annual regatta.
By 1966, Rolex solidified its ties to the world of sailing when Francis Chichester – one of the world’s pioneering aviators and solo sailors – became the first person to sail around the globe, all while wearing a Rolex on his wrist. He sailed on his yacht, the Gipsy Moth IV, from August 1966 to May 1967, taking him 29,600 miles around the world. What made his journey even more impressive is that he had limited access to tools in navigating his journey, having only a few nautical charts, a sextant, and a Rolex Oyster Perpetual to keep time.
Even with its proven success at making watches suited for sailing, Rolex never got around to creating a watch specifically for this category. The brand did make a prototype of the Cosmograph chronograph with the name “Yacht Master” on its dial, but they ultimately decided not to bring it to market. Only two known examples of the Cosmograph Yacht Master are known to exist, one of which was owned by singer Eric Clapton and sold at auction in 2003.
Almost three decades later in 1992, Rolex finally introduced the modern Yacht-Master - the brand’s first luxury sports watch built for the open seas. Whereas Rolex’s previous sports watches had utilitarian themes – the Submariner for diving, the Daytona for racing, and so on – the Yacht-Master was focused on aesthetics and luxury. To drive this home, the first ever Rolex Yacht-Master was forged in solid 18k yellow gold, from its bi-directional rotating bezel to its Oyster bracelet.
Over the next few decades, Rolex gradually expanded the Yacht-Master collection to include larger sizes, new metals such as steel, platinum, white gold, and Everose, and incorporated new materials like the Cerachrom ceramic bezel and the Oysterflex rubber bracelet. In its relatively short history, the Rolex Yacht-Master has become one of the most varied collections among Rolex sport watches.
Fifteen years after the launch of the Yacht-Master, Rolex introduced its bigger sibling, the Yacht-Master II. While the original Yacht-Master was luxury-oriented, the latter was a purpose-built watch especially designed to time regatta races.
The Yacht-Master II was unlike anything Rolex had launched before. Not only was it massive with its 44mm case, but it also had a bold, visually striking design that stood out among Rolex’s catalog of versatile timepieces.
On its debut, it also instantly became Rolex’s most complicated watch. To cater to its niche market, Rolex equipped the Yacht-Master II with innovative features like a regatta countdown timer (to accurately measure time until the start of a race), and a flyback and fly-forward functionality (to easily synchronize the time should the race officials have to restart the race).
The Rolex Yacht-Master II is only available in one size, a 44mm case with an Oyster bracelet, but is available in a variety of metal alloys.
The Rolex Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II continue to be part of Rolex’s catalog and serve as the embodiment of the brand’s relationship with the world of sailing.
The Rolex Yacht-Master collection is composed of two families of watches: the original Yacht-Master, and the Yacht-Master II. While these two models have the same name, they are quite different from each other.
The Yacht-Master was introduced in 1992 as an ultra-luxurious sports watch for yachting and sailing enthusiasts. The nautical-inspired timepiece takes after the Rolex Submariner, but with greater emphasis on luxury materials and aesthetics.
The Yacht-Master II is a relatively new addition to the Rolex portfolio, introduced in 2007. Much larger that the Yacht-Master at 44mm, it is a purpose-built regatta watch equipped with a countdown timer for use in competitive sailing.
Rolex Yacht-Master models come in an Oyster case with 100 meters of water resistance, a Triplock winding crown, and a bi-directional rotating bezel with raised 60-minute graduations and numerals. To make the watch easily readable, the dial features lume-filled round, baton, and triangular hour markers; luminous Mercedes-style hands, a date window at 3 o’clock, and a sapphire crystal with a Cyclops lens for easier reading of the date.
Since the introduction of the first all-gold Rolex Yacht-Master model in 1992, Rolex has expanded the line in terms of materials, aesthetic details, and mechanical upgrades. Here are the options available within the collection.
The Yacht-Master line is one of the most varied Rolex collections due mainly to the number of sizes made available. The smaller sizes, particularly the Lady Yacht-Master models, have been discontinued, but are still available in the pre-owned market.
The solid 18k yellow gold and two-tone models of the Yacht-Master have been discontinued and replaced with the Everose and White Gold versions. The 37 and 40mm sizes come in Everose, Everose Rolesor, and Rolesium metals, while the 42mm comes exclusively in White Gold.
The bezel material used for the Yacht-Master depends on the metal or alloy used for the case.
The Rolex Yacht-Master has only been equipped with the three-link Oyster bracelet and the Oysterflex bracelet, which combines rubber with an internal flexible metal blade. The Oysterflex can only be found on the solid 18k Everose and white gold models with matte ceramic bezels.
The Yacht-Master uses a time-and-date movement that changes depending on the size of the watch. Below are the movements used for each size.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II is one of the brand’s largest watches. Each model comes with a 44mm Oyster case that is water resistant to 100 meters, a Triplock winding crown, a Ring Command Bezel, two chronograph pushers, and an Oyster bracelet.
It is also one of Rolex’s most complicated watches, as it features a regatta chronograph with a countdown that can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes, allowing yacht racers to accurately time the start of a race. Furthermore, its Ring Command Bezel is more than just a decorative element – it operates in conjunction with the movement and is actually how the user can set the programmable countdown.
All Rolex Yacht-Master II models come in the same 44mm case size. Models are available in the following metals:
The materials used for the bezel differ depending on the material of the case. Below are the available configurations.
The Yacht-Master II dial is unlike anything seen on other Rolex models because of its niche complication. It features a countdown display which can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes, and read using the red-tipped arrow hand. Below the hour and minute hands at the center is a running seconds sub-dial. There’s also a red central chronograph hand, which can fly back or fly-forward to its starting position while in motion. It also features 12 square lume-filled hour markers.
The Yacht-Master II is equipped with two of Rolex’s most advanced movements to date, which feature a programmable countdown timer with mechanical memory, and chronograph synchronization.
Earlier models were powered by the 4160, and later models were upgraded to the 4161. The latter is based on the Daytona’s Caliber 4130, which features the same blue Parachrom hairspring for better switch resistance, and offer a 72-hour power reserve.
The table below shows the list of Rolex Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II references through the years, from older 5-digit references, to the modern 6-digit models.
|169623||29mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and yellow gold)|
|169628||29mm||Solid 18k yellow gold|
|169622||29mm||Rolesium (stainless steel and platinum)|
|69628||29mm||Solid 18k yellow gold|
|69623||29mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and yellow gold)|
|68623||35mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and yellow gold)|
|68628||35mm||Solid 18k yellow gold|
|168622||35mm||Rolesium (stainless steel and platinum)|
|168623||35mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and yellow gold|
|168628||35mm||Solid 18k yellow gold|
|268622||37mm||Rolesium (stainless steel and platinum)|
|268621||37mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and Everose gold)|
|268655||37mm||Solid 18k Everose gold with Cerachrom bezel|
|16622||40mm||Rolesium (stainless steel and platinum)|
|16628||40mm||Solid 18k yellow gold|
|166233||40mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and yellow gold)|
|116622||40mm||Rolesium (stainless steel and platinum)|
|116621||40mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and Everose gold)|
|116655||40mm||Solid 18k Everose gold with Cerachrom bezel|
|226659||42mm||Solid 18k white gold with Cerachrom bezel|
|116681||44mm||Rolesor (two-tone steel and Everose gold)|
|116689||44mm||Rolesium (white gold and platinum)|
Built for the sea, but stylish enough for any occasion, the Rolex Yacht-Master is one of the most desired sports watches in the brand’s catalog. Here are some of the most common questions asked about the Rolex Yacht-Master.
The Rolex Yacht-Master is a collection of watches built for yachting and sailing. It is composed of two families of watches: the Yacht-Master, a luxury watch designed to be worn on while lounging on a boat; and the Yacht-Master II, a functional sports watch designed to accurately time the start of a regatta race.
As a line of sport watches with special focus on aesthetics, the Rolex Yacht-Master collection evokes an unmistakable sense of luxury than can only be achieved by using the finest materials.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II in particular, is equipped with exclusive functions and features such as the programmable countdown with mechanical memory and the Ring Command Bezel.
The architecture, manufacturing, and innovative features of the Yacht-Master collection make it unique in the world of watches and therefore fetches a higher price tag.
A genuine Rolex watch will be beautifully finished and decorated in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards. If you see any sign of imperfection on the watch, such as misaligned or misspelled text, unfinished surfaces, or wrong engravings and markings, it is likely a fake.
It is always advisable to do research beforehand so you can check if the details on your watch is in tune with the model’s features.
We also advise clients to only purchase a watch from a reputable and trusted dealer, who can provide a guarantee of authenticity on the watch.
Rolex Yacht-Master watches are guaranteed water resistant to a depth of 100 meters of 330 feet. The collection was not made specifically for diving, but they come with screw-down crowns and case backs, which protect the movement from moisture and dust that can be encountered with sporting use.