A Bigger Boat: Introducing the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

“We’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Sheriff Brody famously uttered after getting a glimpse of the shark in Jaws. Rolex apparently recognized a similar sentiment among fans (and potential fans) of its nautical-themed sports-luxury timepiece, the Yacht-Master, because at this year’s Baselworld the brand launched a new Yacht-Master with larger proportions than its predecessors, not to mention a host of other sporty details and upgrades. Here’s a brief cruise through the highlights of the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - reclining
The Rolex Yacht-Master 42, photographed at Baselworld 2019
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - soldier
The Rolex Yacht-Master 42 has a white gold case and a black Oysterflex bracelet.

Up front, the Yacht-Master 42 is notable for featuring the first white-gold case in the Yacht-Master collection, as well as for being the first in the family to be outfitted with the self-winding manufacture Caliber 3235. The middle section of the Oyster case measures 42 mm — larger than existing models in 37-mm and 40-mm sizes — and is milled from a solid piece of 18k white gold, while the bidirectional bezel, with a knurled edge for easy gripping, is fitted with a Cerachrom insert, with a 60-minute graduated scale in the style of a classical diving watch, in matte black to match the look of the black lacquer dial.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - angle
The rotating bezel’s black Cerachrom insert matches the color of the black lacquered dial for a monochromatic look.
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - dial CU - indices
The large hour indices are treated with long-glowing Chromalight.

The dial is shielded under a virtually scaratch-proof sapphire crystal, with the familiar Cyclops lens to magnify the date display at 3 o’clock. The broad hands and prominent hour markers are made of 18k white gold and treated with Chromalight, a Rolex-exclusive luminous substance whose glow last longer than that of Super-LumiNova. The watch’s 100-meter water resistance — substantially less, it should be noted, than the 1,000-meter water resistance offered by previous versions of the Yacht-Master in the smaller cases — is ensured by the screw-down winding crown, which is equipped with Rolex’s Triplock waterproofness system.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - bezel CU
The screw-down crown is equipped with the Triplock waterproofness system.
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - side-crown
The white-gold Oyster case has a screw-down back with fine fluting.

The movement, the same as that used in the recently revamped Rolex Sea-Dweller (whose new steel-and-gold “Rolesor” version debuted alongside the Yacht-Master 42 at Baselworld 2019) has a 70-hour power reserve and has passed the stringent criteria of Rolex’s “Superlative Chronometer” precision tests. Like all Rolex in-house movements since 2015, the self-winding Caliber 3235 uses the patented Chronergy Escapement, made of magnetism-resistant nickel phosphorus that renders the movement both highly energy efficient and extremely durable. The oscillator uses a blued hairspring, made of a Rolex-exclusive paramagnetic alloy called Parachrom, which resists shocks better than a traditional hairspring and thus, according to Rolex, increases the timekeeping precision by a factor of 10. Also as of 2015, the battery of tests that a Rolex watch must undergo to earn the coveted “Superlative Chronometer” designation are more than twice as stringent as those required for the more widely used COSC certification: in other words, each watch is tested to a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - dial CU - dial CU - hands
Rolex’s “Superlative Chronometer” certification ensures high timekeeping precision.

The Yacht-Master 42 comes mounted on Rolex’s patented Oysterflex bracelet. Though at first glance this wristlet very much resembles a more-or-less traditional rubber strap, Rolex insists on categorizing it as a bracelet due to its interior “longitudinal cushion” system — made up of titanium-nickel-alloy blades overmolded with durable, high-performance elastomer — which Rolex says gives it the suppleness and comfort of a strap along with the tough resistance and stability of a bracelet. The watch fastens to the wrist with Rolex’s Oysterlock bracelet and safety clasp with an added Glidelock extension system that allows the wearer to adjust the bracelet length in 2-mm increments up to an additional 20 mm. The price is $27,800.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 - angle 2
The black dial and bezel harmonize with the black Oysterflex bracelet.
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  1. Robert Small

    Just bought this a few days ago from an authorized Rolex dealer. A few observations: The combination of 42mm (flashy) plus matte black (not flashy), is potent. It’s weighty and surprisingly thin. The band is just perfect with this watch, and reduces weight, but the gold makes up for it. The watch is understated and badass at the same time. Loving it. Very pricey, but it seems it’s already increased in value by ~$5000 aftermarket

  2. Shleets

    Hope this comes out in SS / 42mm one day. Love the look of the white gold.

    • Francis

      Yea…. I do wish Rolex will introduce this watch in SS for everyday outdoor use for sports. Rolex if you are listening I bet there will be huge market. I will be your 1st customer if it comes out in SS.

  3. Blaine Cole

    Again, Rolex sets a new standard with “a virtually scaratch-proof sapphire crystal”. Haha

  4. Daniel Berkley

    Catching up in size and beauty without compromising quality. Bravo.

  5. Tor Schofield

    Why do the photo’s show it in two different colours?

  6. Debashish

    Looks like a truly fabulous watch and it would be on the wish list of many a watch aficionado.

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