Close-Up: Rolex Yacht-Master in Rolesium


The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master, a sailors’ watch introduced in 1992, underwent a major facelift in both its design and technology in 2012. In this popular article from the WatchTime archives, we take a closer look at it.

Rolesium, a material developed by Rolex and used here in the Yacht-Master’s 40-mm diameter Oyster case, is an alloy of 904L stainless steel and platinum. The bezel, which rotates in both directions and now has a notched ring with 120 gradations, is made entirely of 950 platinum. It has a smooth, sand-blasted finish, except for the raised numerals and indices, which are polished. The hour markers on the nautical-looking blue dial are made of 18k white gold and filled with a luminescent material called Chromalight, which gives off a strong, blue-tinted glow in the dark. Rolex’s traditional Oyster case — with a middle piece crafted from a solid block of the corrosion-resistant alloy and a fluted, hermetically screwed caseback — is water-resistant to 100 meters. The screw-down crown is protected by a crown guard built into the middle case and also features the patented Triplock water-proofing system. Another Rolex trademark — the “Cyclops” magnifying lens over the date, is found at 3 o’clock and made of highly scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master

Inside the Yacht-Master beats Rolex’s manufacture Caliber 3135, an automatic movement that has been certified by the Swiss testing agency COSC as a chronometer. Like other Rolex movements, it features an oscillating system with a blue hairspring made of Parachrom, an alloy developed and patented by Rolex. According to the company, this hairspring is highly resistant to shocks, magnetic fields and temperature variations, which ensures greater stability in timekeeping precision.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master - front view

A sold-link Oyster bracelet in 904L stainless steel completes the package, with polished center links and satin-finished outer links. The improved Oysterlock safety clasp, another patented Rolex development, has a security system to prevent accidental opening and also contains the Easylink quick-extension technology, which lets the wearer easily increase the bracelet length by about 5 mm. Technical specs for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master (retail price: $11,550*) can be found below the photo.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master - CU dial

MOVEMENT
Rolex manufacture Caliber 3135, bidirectional self-winding via perpetual rotor; COSC-certified chronometer; 31 jewels; frequency = 28,800 vph (4 Hz); Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring with Breguet overcoil; large balance wheel with variable inertia; high-precision regulating via four gold Microstella nuts; traversing balance bridge

FUNCTIONS:
Central hour, minute and seconds hands; instantaneous date at 3 o’clock with quick setting; stop-seconds function for precise time setting

CASE
Oyster (monobloc middle case, screw-down caseback and winding crown) made of Rolesium (combination of 904L stainless steel superalloy and 950 platinum); polished finish; diameter = 40 mm; bidirectional rotating bezel made of 950 platinum, sand-blasted finish, polished raised graduations; screw-down crown with crown guard and Triplock triple water-proofing system; scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with Cyclops lens over date and double nonreflective coating; water-resistant to 100 meters; stainless-steel Oyster bracelet with polished center links and satin-finished outer links with polished edges; folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5-mm extension

DIAL & HANDS
Blue dial with sunray finish, 18k white-gold hands and appliques with Chromalight for long-lasting luminescence, red seconds hand

* Price may has changed.

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8 Responses to “Close-Up: Rolex Yacht-Master in Rolesium”

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  1. LG King

    I do believe that the case is in fact solid 904L steel, and not as you mention: “Oyster (monobloc middle case, screw-down caseback and winding crown) made of Rolesium (combination of 904L stainless steel superalloy and 950 platinum)”

    This is a quote from the ROLEX website:

    Yacht-Master Model features:
    Many Rolex watches are available with the now-legendary combination of yellow, white or Everose gold and steel known as Rolesor, but Rolesium is a creation specific to the Yacht-Master. While the case and bracelet are in rugged 904L stainless steel, the bezel of the Rolesium versions is made of 950 platinum, imparting a silvery whiteness and vibrant luminosity for an unmistakable sense of luxury.

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  2. Hi all, wondering if someone could assist? On the platinum dial model, can sonmeone confirm if the so-called “rolesium” material of the case is a mix of steel and platinum, or is it 100% steel, leaving the bezel and dial as the only parts containing or made of platinum ?

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