Earlier this year Rolex unveiled the latest iteration of its popular Yacht-Master series to rave reviews.
The Rolex Yacht-Master
Seemingly as a result of this overwhelming popularity, many of my ‘non-watch’ friends – who apparently have been seeing coverage of the Yacht-Master everywhere – have been demanding that I explain what the big deal is. Not being a Rolex man per se myself, I have to admit that I did not pay too much attention to the launch and so I thought it was time I take a closer look to find out what all the fuss is about.
This is understated, masculine luxury at its finest.
My first observation – and it is a rather obvious one, I give you that – is that the new Rolex Yacht-Master is one seriously good looking watch. Presented in a gorgeous 18k Everose gold case what really sets this watch off is the black cerachrom bezel with raised numerals. More on what cerachrom actually is in a minute but firstly, let’s just take a moment to appreciate how nicely the case, bezel and dial all tie together. This is understated, masculine luxury at its finest.
It is also, surprisingly enough, the first time Rolex has ever made a Yacht-Master with a matte black dial and when you look at how nice it looks you can’t help but think; “what the heck took them so long?” I particularly like the red print for the Yacht-Master designation across the bottom, just above 6 o’clock. This in and of itself is standard fare on the Yacht-Master but when paired with that gorgeous black dial it becomes reminiscent of the Red Submariners and Double-Red Sea Dwellers of yesteryear, not to mention all the modified Rolexes you see these days from the likes of Bamford Watch Department and Titan Black Out.
It just looks so unlike anything we’ve seen from Rolex before and yet at the same time as soon as you look at it you realize it’s everything you’ve been waiting for from the brand.
I think it’s fair to say though that what has really got people talking is the matte black ceramic bezel/18k Everose gold case combination. It just looks so unlike anything we’ve seen from Rolex before and yet at the same time as soon as you look at it you realize it’s everything you’ve been waiting for from the brand. Carved from ceramic, Rolex debuted their new Cerachrom bezels a few years back (I think the first time was the Pepsi GMT-Master II in 2014 if memory serves correct?) and have not looked back.
Plus the addition of the brand’s newly developed and patented Oysterflex bracelet gives it that extra touch of sportiness, although the gold makes you feel like you could still get away with wearing it with a suit (I know I certainly would). According to Rolex the Oysterflex bracelet offers a sporty alternative to metal bracelets without compromising robustness, waterproofness or reliability. Aesthetically and in suppleness and comfort, it resembles a rubber strap, while its resistance is comparable to that of a metal bracelet.
This is not a rubber strap that is just going to fall apart on you.
As with everything Rolex makes the bracelet has been over-engineered, ensuring an end product that is not only extremely fit for purpose but will also go the distance for years to come. No seriously, at the core of this bracelet lies a superelastic metal blade overmoulded with high-performance black elastomer. This is not a rubber strap that is just going to fall apart on you.
Presented in Rolex’s famed Oyster case, the Yacht-Master is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet) down. That’s waterproof mind you, not water-resistant. Best of all, the Yacht-Master is available in two different case sizes, 40mm and 37mm. The 40mm (Ref 116655) is powered by the in-house made caliber 3135 automatic movement while the smaller 37mm (Ref. 268655) contains the 2236 automatic movement and as you would expect both are COSC-certified chronometers.
Available now the Yacht-Master 37 is priced at US$22,000 and the Yacht-Master 40 at US$24,950.
For more information please visit the official Rolex website.