Fans of the Rolex Yacht-Master will remember that Baselworld 2012 saw the debut of a new version of the Rolex Yacht-Master in a Rolesium case. In 2013, that model’s larger successor, the Rolex Yacht-Master II, was the focus, with Rolex introducing the first version of the popular regatta-countdown chronograph watch in a 904L stainless steel case with a blue Cerachrom bezel insert.
The signature feature of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II, first introduced in 2007, is its regatta countdown function, developed exclusively for Rolex, which can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes and incorporates a mechanical “memory” that allows it to be reset to the same countdown duration used previously. Once launched, the countdown can also be synchronized on the fly, enabling adjustment to match the official regatta countdown — an important feature because of the need for very precise timing during the crucial starting sequence of a regatta. Programming the countdown is easy, by means of the rotatable Ring Command bezel, a Rolex-developed system linking the bezel to the movement.
The Rolex Yacht-Master’s Oyster case is 44 mm in diameter (as compared to 40 mm for the original Rolex Yacht-Master) and water-resistant to 100 meters. The middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant 904L steel. The fluted caseback is hermetically screwed down with a special tool used exclusively by Rolex watchmakers. The screw-down winding crown of this Rolex Yacht-Master is fitted with the patented Triplock triple-waterproofing system and is protected by a crown guard integrated into the case middle. The crystal is made of scratch-resistant sapphire. The bidirectional rotating Ring Command bezel adds a splash of nautical blue with its Cerachrom insert, made of extra-hard corrosion-resistant ceramic, with engraved numerals and inscription coated in platinum. (Click photos to enlarge the images.)
The Rolex Yacht-Master II contains Rolex’s automatic Caliber 4161, a column-wheel chronograph movement that has been certified as a chronometer by the Swiss testing agency COSC. The oscillator at the heart of the watch has boasts another Rolex-exclusive development, a blue hairspring made of Parachrom, an patented alloy that Rolex claims makes the hairspring more resistant to magnetic fields, more stable when exposed to temperature variations, and more capable than a traditional hairspring of maintaining the watch’s timekeeping precision in case of shocks.
The solid-link, steel Oyster bracelet is fitted with Rolex’s hallmark Oysterlock safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening, and features the Rolex-patented Easylink comfort-extension system that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet’s length by about five millimeters. The stainless steel version of the Rolex Yacht-Master II is priced around $18,500.
Click below to watch Rolex’s official movie presenting a 3D view of the Rolex Yacht-Master II.
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Technical Specifications of this Rolex Yacht-Master:
Movement: Rolex caliber 4161, automatic; COSC-certified chronometer; chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch; bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor on ball bearing; frequency = 28,800 vph; 42 jewels; paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring; Breguet overcoil; large balance wheel with variable inertia; high-precision regulating via four gold Microstella nuts; traversing balance bridge; approximately 72-hour power reserve
Functions: Central hour and minute hands, small seconds at 6 o’clock, programmable regatta countdown with mechanical memory, retrograde minute hand, on-the-fly synchronization of countdown seconds and minute hands,
stop-seconds for precise time setting
Case and bracelet: Monobloc 904L stainless steel Oyster case with screw-down fluted caseback, satin and polished finishing, diameter = 44 mm, bidirectional 90° rotatable Ring Command bezel with blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic (engraved numerals and inscription coated with platinum via magnetron sputtering), screw-down crown with Triplock triple waterproofness system, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 100 meters; on 904L 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 and hands: Matte white lacquer dial, blue lacquer small seconds counter with 18k white gold border; Chromalight appliqué hour markers for long-lasting luminescence in 18k white gold with blue PVD coating; Chromalight hands in blued 18k gold; red seconds hand
This article was originally published on February 14, 2014, and has been updated.