Rolex Yacht-Master II Introduction

The Yacht-Master II was released in 2007 with its signature regatta timer complication. It is the younger, bolder sibling of Rolex’s Yacht-Master that debuted in 1992. While the original Yacht-Master displays similarities to the ever-popular Rolex Submariner , the Yacht-Master II is in a class of its own, both visually and mechanically.

Rolex Yacht-Master II History

The Yacht-Master II was purpose-built for competitive sailors. The tool watch’s boldly designed case houses a programmable countdown timer that is controlled by rotating the bezel. Large and attention-grabbing, the Yacht-Master II presents a design aesthetic that pushes the boundaries of what a Rolex can be.

First introduced in 2007, the Yacht-Master II was offered in yellow and white gold variations under references 116688 and 116689 , respectively. An Everose gold/steel two-tone Rolesor version (ref. 116681) was added in 2011, followed by the stainless steel reference 116680 two years later. With a case size of 44mm that rises 13.9mm on the wrist, the Yacht-Master II commands attention on the wrist both from owners and observers. The bold bezel houses a platinum- or gold-filled blue Cerachrom ceramic insert with a 10-minute scale above the words “Yacht-Master II.” This was no ordinary bezel, however.

Deemed the “Ring Command” bezel by Rolex, it is directly connected to the watch’s mechanism to program the Yacht-Master II’s 10-minute countdown timer. During the 10-minute interval leading up to the start of a regatta, sailors jockey to position their crafts as close to the starting line as possible. Precision is key since crossing the line early results in a penalty and being too far out puts the boat at an immediate disadvantage. The exclusive Yacht-Master II complication allows a sailor to program the countdown, store it in the mechanism and synchronize to the official race countdown on-the-fly

The Yacht-Master II’s characteristics have been relatively stable since the watch debuted. Its case is free of sharp edges and perfectly cradles the Triplock crown and subtly detailed pushers. The matte white dial offers outstanding legibility for contrasting elements. Hours are marked by luminous rectangular shapes with a triangle marker at 12 o’clock on models produced after 2017. With that refresh, Rolex also updated the straight hour hand with the familiar Mercedes style that appears on other Rolex Professional watches. A small second register at 6 o’clock and the countdown timer indices that arc gracefully from approximately 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock complete the look.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Features

The Yacht-Master II’s power is produced by Rolex’s in-house designed and manufactured calibre 4161 COSC-certified automatic movement. Comprised of roughly 360 individual components, the Cal. 4161 features a 70-hour power reserve, flyback and fly-forward chronograph functionality, anti-magnetism and shock-resistance and, of course, Rolex’s patented 10-minute countdown timer.

The watch is unapologetically large with a 44mm case that measures a massive 57.4mm end-link to end-link. Details include a screw-down case back and protected Triplock crown flanked by delicately etched pushers. The Oyster case is water resistant to 100 meters. The Yacht-Master II’s Oyster bracelet is a classic Rolex three-piece design with polished center links, satin sides and Oysterlock safety clasp. An Easylink extension allows a rapid 5mm adjustment to the bracelet length without the need for tools.

Yellow Gold

White gold + platinum, two-tone rolesor (everose gold + steel).

The Yacht-Master II’s color palate and design evoke nautical themes that are inspired by the presence of red and blue accents. In the dark, luminescent Chromalight hands and markers glow with a vibrant blue that lasts up to eight hours. The timer markings, however, do not have lume.

The Yacht-Master II is available in four materials: yellow gold, white gold + platinum, two-tone Rolesor (Everose gold + steel) and steel. All are topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that is surrounded by the Yacht-Master II’s Ring Command bezel in solid platinum or with a blue ceramic insert.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Value and Collectability

The Yacht-Master II is a bit of an outlier in the Rolex family. It is visually imposing and technologically advanced, but Rolex purists opine that it does not deliver the classic Rolex experience of more traditional sports models like the Submariner, Sea-Dweller or Explorer. For collectors and enthusiasts seeking a rare timepiece that stands out from all other Rolex designs, the Yacht-Master II is an excellent choice. Retail prices for new Yacht-Master II models range from approximately $19,000 for steel to nearly $50,000 for the luxe white gold/platinum edition.

Pre-owned Rolex Yacht-Master IIs in gold or platinum with original papers and boxes typically sell well below retail, though prices on used steel versions trend just slightly below new. Many Rolex aficionados consider the Yacht-Master II to be undervalued in the used Rolex marketplace and firmly expect that it will emerge as a highly prized collectors watch.

Watchmaker’s Perspective

The regatta countdown timer function on the Rolex Yacht-Master II is a fascinating feature that gets a lot of attention. And the Caliber 4161 movement used to power the Yacht-Master II is extremely complex, with over 360 parts. But how are those parts made? From the watchmaker's perspective, the manufacturing technology used to create such a complicated movement is especially intriguing.

For the Caliber 4161, Rolex made extensive use of LIGA technology. LIGA is a German acronym meaning Lithographie, Galvanoformung, Abformung (Lithography, Electroplating and Molding). The LIGA process allows parts to be manufactured that would have been nearly impossible with traditional methods, due to their shapes.

The LIGA process is closely related to semiconductor manufacturing and uses similar tools. A patterned mask is used to project UV light onto photosensitive resin at a very high resolution. This creates a micro-mold, which is then used to grow parts inside of. When the metal parts are completely grown, an acid strips away the photosensitive resin, leaving the finished part. This technology is opening up new avenues to watchmakers—one example is the fantastically complex Caliber 4161 in the Rolex Yacht-Master II.

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Yacht Master II

Rolex Yacht Master II Watches

Rolex Yacht-Master II 116680 is precisely designed with oyestersteel stretching back to the family of 904L steel family for devious climates. The 44mm case material is inclusive of a new white dial enhancing legibility with Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor. This gleaming model has 4161 caliber, approximately 72 hours of power reserve and water resistance up to 100m or 330 feet. The Bidirectional rotatable Ring Command bezel adds to the perfection of the yacht master with the inclusion of Blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic and engraved numerals and inscription. The Yacht Master II has the folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink of 5 mm comfort extension link and providing the precision of -2 and +2 seconds a day.

New Rolex Yacht Master II Watches

Yacht-Master II Automatic White Dial 18k White Gold and Platinum Oyster Men's Watch

  • Special Offers
  • Back in Stock

Yacht-Master II Automatic White Dial Men's 18kt Yellow Gold Oyster Watch

Yacht-Master II (2017) 18K Everose Gold Automatic White Dial Oyster Bracelet Men's Watch

Yacht-Master II Automatic White Dial Men's Watch

Yacht-Master II White/18k rose gold Ø44 mm

Yacht-Master II 18K Everose Gold Automatic White Dial Oyster Bracelet Men's Watch

Yacht-Master 2

Yacht-Master 2 Yellow Gold

Yacht-Master II White Dial 18K White Gold Oyster Bracelet Automatic Men's Watch 116689WAO

Other types of Rolex

History of rolex yacht master ii watches.

Rolex is simply known for creating its classic and traditional timepiece. Although it is never the one to release a new watch each year, but whenever it introduces any new model, it is just indomitable. Thus with the introduction of the new Yacht Master II in 2010, the Rolex set its sail with success. A bit about its history; the Rolex Yacht Master II is a sports watch which was disclosed in 2007 but was first introduced in 2010. It is basically available in four models, and the first ones were the Rolex Yacht Master II Gold 116688 and Rolex Yacht Master II White Gold 116689. Later in the year 2011, the Rolex introduced the next model which was Rolex Yacht Master II Everose Gold 116681 and it was made from steel and Everose gold. And the last model is the 116680 which was released in the Baselworld 2013 and was made available for the first time in 904L steel, fitted with a cerachrom bezel insert in blue ceramic. Originally the watch was introduced with the 4160 calibre movement, but later with the launch of 2013 model which is the 116680, it updated to the 4161 calibre movement which was specifically designed for the Yacht Master 2. The common feature which distinguishes the Yacht Master II from the other models is its large case size of 44mm which has a commanding presence. Thus regardless of the metal variants which has been used in the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht Master II, they all have the same case diameter of 44mm. It is known that it is most suitable for professional sailors because of its feature which is called a Regatta Timer. Now you may ponder what this Regatta Timer actually is? So a regatta timer is chiefly used by the skippers, that is, the master of the boat or the yacht and it is used to determine the exact time when their yacht is allowed to cross the starting line. As you might know that the boats can not just hover or stay put at the starting line, so in case you cross the line before the set time, you are given a penalty and if you are too watchful, you might lag behind, thus this is where the function of regatta timer is being used. So basically the racing committee of the yacht race sets a uniform countdown or "regatta" period during which the boats that are participating have to sail back and forth towards the starting line without crossing it. And this countdown can be set anywhere varying from five to ten minutes depending on the rules of the race. Thus a good watch with an accurate movement becomes essential here. The mechanism of the regatta is really simple. All one has to do is set the time of the countdown to the start, then push the trigger at two o'clock and it begins the countdown timer. And just in case the skipper pushed the trigger too early or too late in the beginning, he can wait for the second signal at a halftime, that is, at 5 minutes, and can re-adjust his timer by pushing the reset button which is at 4 o'clock. And finally, to calculate the exact timing, the remaining time can be read off second by second. Thus this watch is ideal for the sailors, plus the regatta function and the process are really simplified in the Yacht Master 2. Now coming to the four models which the Yacht Master II offers, as mentioned before they are available in four different metal options. Thus you can choose it according to its weights, which ranges from steel which is a bit heavy to gold/steel which becomes heavier, to solid yellow gold which is even heavier to the last which is made of platinum and white gold combined. The next feature is, of course, the water resistance, as it a mandatory element for any sailor's watch. So the Yacht Master II is an Oyster (naturally), which is the waterproof case and it comes with the brand's signature oyster bracelet as well. Next, the dial of the Yacht Master II is simply elegant and has been beautifully executed. It features an all-white lacquer finish with chroma light hour and its minute hands are built in 18k white gold with blue PVD coating, and there is a small second counter present at 6 o'clock. The hour indexes as well have the chroma light markings. And now that the Rolex Yacht-Master II is all about ‘timing the start', the red-contoured countdown arrow which is on the 10-minute countdown gives accuracy to the job by being readable at a glance. Thus pick your choice of luxurious Yacht Master II, and set your watch collection on a sail.

Features of Rolex Watches

Rolex, since its inception in 1908, has brought various innovative technological revolution to the wristwatch industry and is still evolving. Rolex, which is popular as a mechanical watch also in Japan, has value, functional beauty and reliability supported by the high technical force of skilled technicians is not found in other brands.

Stainless steel

As a Brand of quality, Rolex Company usually creates its watches using high-quality non-corrosion steel, 904L Stainless Steel, that no other brand uses. Unlike the 316L which is widely used by other brands, 904L steel is very durable and shinier.

Although it’s hidden by the impermeable case, Rolex watches have been equipped with perpetual movements for years. Of which have been greatly celebrated by the watch wearers following its Chronometric performance. Recently, anyhow, the renowned Swiss brand was able to introduce its new movement- Caliber 3255, which is believed to even surpass the set COSC level of Chronometric precision.

Oyster Case

Recognized as the first impermeable case in the world, Oyster case is one of the largest milestones of Rolex which was invented in 1926. The Rolex Oyster diver watches are guaranteed to have a water resistance of up to 3,900 meters.

Triplock Crown Seal

Various Rolex sports watches have been fitted with a triplock winding crown seal which helps enhance the waterproofness of the watch. This system, natheless, is fitted in the winding crown’s tube, thus, is only visible after unscrewing the winding crown.

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Rolex Yacht-Master

  • Yacht-Master
  • Yacht-Master II
  • Rolex 16622
  • Rolex 168622
  • $7,000 to $10,000
  • $10,000 to $15,000
  • $15,000 to $20,000
  • Stainless Steel
  • Yellow Gold
  • 2010 to Present

Rolex Yacht-Master 226658 Yellow Gold

  • $ 31,995 Buy
  • Get Quote Sell

Rolex Yacht-Master 126655 18k Everose Gold

  • $ 29,995 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 116681

  • $ 24,495 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 16623

  • $ 11,995 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref 116681 Steel & 18k Everose Gold

  • $ 23,995 Buy

Pre-Owned Rolex Yacht-Master 16628

  • $ 22,495 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 126622 Blue Dial

  • $ 14,295 Buy

Used Rolex Mid-Size Two Tone Yachtmaster 68623

  • $ 8,495 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 268622

  • $ 12,795 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 116622 Dark Rhodium Dial

  • $ 9,195 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 16622 Platinum Dial & Bezel

  • $ 8,995 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 126622

  • $ 14,495 Buy

Mens Rolex Yacht-Master 226658 Yellow Gold

  • $ 31,495 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 169623 White Dial

  • $ 8,695 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 35MM 168622 Platinum

  • $ 14,995 Buy

Pre-Owned Rolex Yacht-Master 268621 Steel & Everose Gold

  • $ 13,995 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 116655 Black Oysterflex Band

  • $ 26,295 Buy

Used Rolex Yacht-Master 268621

  • $ 25,995 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 268622 Slate Dial

  • $ 12,295 Buy

Pre-Owned Rolex Yacht-Master 268655 Everose Gold

  • $ 23,495 Buy

Rolex Yacht-Master 116622 Dark Rhodium

Cash wire prices shown. Prices may be higher if other payment methods are selected.*

The Rolex Yacht-Master made its debut in 1992, designed specifically for sailors and yachting enthusiasts. With its unique features and striking appearance, the Yacht-Master quickly became a symbol of excellence in the sailing world. Over the years, Rolex has continued to refine and improve the Yacht-Master, introducing new materials, sizes, and complications to meet the evolving needs of sailors and watch aficionados alike. To learn more about the fascinating history of this iconic timepiece, explore our in-depth article on the Rolex Yacht-Master history .

Rolex Yacht-Master Features

The Rolex Yacht-Master boasts an impressive array of features that set it apart from other luxury watches. Our Rolex Yacht-Master review dives into the details that make the Yacht-Master a true icon in the world of horology.

At the heart of the Yacht-Master lies a self-winding mechanical movement, ensuring precise and reliable timekeeping. The Rolex Yacht-Master movement is certified as a Superlative Chronometer, undergoing rigorous testing to guarantee its accuracy and performance. With its rigorous testing and certification, the Rolex Yacht-Master movement stands as a pinnacle of horological excellence, meeting the demands of both luxury and performance.

The Yacht-Master features a distinctive bidirectional rotatable bezel, which allows sailors to measure elapsed time and synchronize with regatta starting times. The Rolex Yacht-Master bezel is crafted from precious metals or Cerachrom, Rolex's proprietary ceramic material, offering durability and resistance to scratches and fading. Crafted from premium materials such as precious metals or Rolex's innovative Cerachrom ceramic, the Yacht-Master bezel not only ensures durability but also maintains its pristine appearance over time, making it a hallmark of both function and luxury.

Whether opting for a more understated or commanding presence, there's a Yacht-Master size to complement every individual style and comfort level. The Rolex Yacht-Master size is available in a range to suit different preferences and wrist sizes:

  • Diameter: The Rolex Yacht-Master diameter comes in 37mm, 40mm, and 42mm options 
  • Dimensions: The Rolex Yacht-Master dimensions vary based on the model 
  • Lug to Lug: The Rolex Yacht-Master lug to lug distance is proportional to the case size 
  • Lug Width: The Rolex Yacht-Master lug width is compatible with various strap options 

Complementing its sophisticated design, the Yacht-Master presents a selection of Rolex Yacht-Master band options, ranging from classic Oyster bracelets to supple rubber straps, providing both versatility and refinement to match any occasion or personal style preference. The Yacht-Master offers several Rolex Yacht-Master band options to complement its elegant design:

  • Bracelet: Oyster and Oysterflex Rolex Yacht-Master bracelet options provide comfort and durability 
  • Leather Band: A Rolex Yacht-Master leather band is a sophisticated choice for a more formal look 
  • Rubber Strap: A Rolex Yacht-Master rubber strap is ideal for water activities and a sporty aesthetic 
  • NATO Strap: A Rolex Yacht-Master NATO strap is a versatile and trendy option for a casual style 

The Rolex Yacht-Master dial is available in various colors, including white, black, champagne, and mother-of-pearl. Embodying both style and functionality, the Rolex Yacht-Master dial ensures effortless readability in any environment. The dial features luminescent hands and hour markers for optimal legibility in any lighting condition.

Water Resistance

With a Rolex Yacht-Master water resistance of 100 meters (330 feet), the watch is suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. Yacht-Master's water resistance adds to its allure as a trusted companion for seaside escapades. Whether cruising the waves or lounging by the pool, this timepiece combines elegance with durability, ensuring style and functionality in every aquatic endeavor. However, it is not recommended for deep-sea diving.

Yacht-Master Rolex Price

Investing in Excellence The price range for Yacht-Master models varies depending on factors such as size, materials, and complications. Pre-owned Rolex Yacht-Master watches offer an excellent opportunity to own a piece of horological history at a more accessible price point. When considering a Yacht-Master, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the Rolex Yacht-Master model numbers, as they can provide valuable information about the watch's features and production year.

disc. = discontinued

Rolex Yacht-Master Models

The Rolex Yacht-Master collection offers a range of models to suit different tastes and preferences. Let's explore the main Yacht-Master models:

Yacht-Master 37

The Yacht-Master 37 is the smallest model in the collection, perfect for those with smaller wrists or those who prefer a more understated look. Ideal for those seeking a more petite option without compromising on performance, the Yacht-Master 37 offers a perfect blend of elegance and functionality in a compact design. Despite its smaller size, the Yacht-Master 37 retains all the impressive features and functionality of its larger counterparts.

Yacht-Master 40

The Yacht-Master 40 is the quintessential model in the collection, offering a balance between presence and wearability. This model is available in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold, allowing you to choose the perfect combination to suit your style. Whether navigating the open seas or enjoying a leisurely day onshore, this timepiece embodies the spirit of adventure with elegance and ease.

Yacht-Master 42

Crafted with precision and attention to detail, the Yacht-Master 42 combines luxurious aesthetics with rugged durability, embodying the spirit of adventure on both land and sea. As the largest model in the Yacht-Master collection, the Yacht-Master 42 makes a bold statement on the wrist. With its increased size, the Yacht-Master 42 offers enhanced legibility and a more substantial presence, ideal for those who prefer a more prominent timepiece.

Popular Rolex Yacht-Master Comparisons

When considering a Rolex Yacht-Master, it's natural to compare it with other popular Rolex models and even watches from other luxury brands. Comparing the Rolex serial numbers can also be a helpful way to understand the differences between various models. Let's look at some common comparisons:

Rolex Yacht-Master vs. Submariner

When comparing the Rolex Yacht-Master vs Submariner , both are nautical-inspired watches, but the Submariner is designed primarily for diving, while the Yacht-Master is tailored to the needs of sailors and yachting enthusiasts. Both the Yacht-Master and Submariner exemplify Rolex's commitment to excellence in both form and function, offering impeccable performance and timeless style.

Rolex Yacht-Master vs. Yacht-Master II

In the comparison of the Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II , the Yacht-Master II is a more complex timepiece, featuring a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory and on-the-fly synchronization. The Yacht-Master, on the other hand, is a more straightforward and versatile watch, suitable for both on and off the water.

Rolex Yacht-Master vs. Sea-Dweller

When looking at the Rolex Yacht-Master vs Sea-Dweller, the Sea-Dweller is a professional diving watch with a water resistance of up to 4,000 feet (1,220 meters), while the Yacht-Master is designed for sailing and water activities with a water resistance of up to 330 feet (100 meters).

Rolex Yacht-Master vs. Omega Seamaster

When comparing luxury watch brands, the Omega vs. Rolex debate often arises. While both brands offer exceptional timepieces, the Rolex Yacht-Master and the Omega Seamaster cater to different preferences and styles. Ultimately, the choice between the Yacht-Master and Seamaster comes down to personal preference, with Rolex appealing to those who value tradition and prestige, while Omega appeals to enthusiasts seeking innovation and versatility.

Expert Opinion

"The Rolex Yacht-Master is a striking maritime watch that combines high style and functionality in a single package. The collection features a resilient waterproof case, a clean and legible dial, and a rotatable bezel with 60-minute graduations. With its innovative design and phenomenal performance, the Rolex Yacht-Master is a prime investment for anyone looking for a top-of-the-line luxury watch."

- Paul Altieri, Founder and CEO of Bob's Watches

Testimonials

Nathaniel g..

"I had wanted a Yacht-Master for as long as I could remember, but could never justify the high price of buying new. Once I realized that buying pre-owned might be a smarter option, I searched around the internet, but only Bob's Watches made me feel comfortable with making such a large purchase online. I understood their business model, and past customers' reviews were very positive. The prices were competitive as well, and rivaled those of less-trustworthy dealers. Once I made my choice, there was a slight hiccup in the process to wire funds, but when I called in, the problem was quickly resolved.

I received my watch a few days later, and it looked stunning. When the site says "mint condition," it means it! Bob's was also able to tell me when the watch was last serviced, which (in combination with the one-year warranty) gives me peace-of-mind. As I look to expand my collection of watches, I'm sure I'll be a repeat customer of Bob's Watches."

Review originally published on Trustpilot

"I have been shopping for the Rolex Yachtmaster for the better part of a year. I visited multiple jewelers & brokers in my area. Either they were of poor condition or over priced. Then I found Bobs Watches. The staff was expeditious and courteous. They sent me new photos of the watch upon request with no hesitation. The service, price, and condition of the watch was without compare. I am now a lifelong customer of Bobs Watches, I cannot imagine buying from any other source."

Review originally published on Google

Sell Your Rolex

Unlock the value of your treasured timepiece by selling your Rolex with Bob's Watches. Our expert team handles each watch with utmost care and professionalism. With our seamless and trusted process, we ensure your experience is top-notch. Parting with your luxury watch becomes as effortless and rewarding as the moments it has tracked for you. Get started today by visiting our Sell Rolex watch page.

Why Choose Us

Bob's Watches is a trusted and established purveyor of pre-owned Rolex watches with decades of experience. We promise a 100% satisfaction guarantee, ensuring that customers are fully satisfied with their purchase or they can return it for a full refund. With a team of specialists who authenticate and examine each watch, and fair pricing on a large inventory of models, Bob's Watches is a reliable option for those looking to buy a pre-owned Rolex watch.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good rolex yacht-master alternative.

While the Yacht-Master is a unique timepiece, some alternatives include the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra and the Panerai Luminor Yachts Challenge.

How to set date on Rolex Yacht-Master?

To set the date on your Yacht-Master, pull the crown out to the first notch and turn it clockwise until the correct date appears in the window.

How to tell if Rolex Yacht-Master is real?

To ensure the authenticity of your Yacht-Master, it's essential to purchase from a reputable dealer and familiarize yourself with the watch's features. Our guide on how to spot a fake Rolex can help you identify potential red flags.

How to wind a Rolex Yacht-Master?

To wind your Yacht-Master, unscrew the crown and turn it clockwise about 30 times. This will fully wind the mainspring and ensure optimal performance.

Is Rolex Yacht-Master a good investment?

Rolex watches, including the Yacht-Master, have a strong history of holding their value and even appreciating over time, making them a solid investment for watch enthusiasts.

Is Rolex Yacht-Master waterproof?

The Yacht-Master is water-resistant up to 100 meters (330 feet), suitable for swimming and snorkeling but not recommended for deep-sea diving.

Is Rolex Yacht-Master hard to get?

The availability of the Yacht-Master can vary depending on the specific model and demand. Some models may be more readily available than others, but working with a trusted dealer like Bob's Watches can help you find your perfect Yacht-Master.

What is the wait time for a Rolex Yacht-Master?

Wait times for a Yacht-Master can vary depending on the model and availability. However, purchasing a pre-owned Yacht-Master from Bob's Watches can often reduce wait times and provide more immediate access to your desired timepiece.

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Hands-On The Rolex Yachtmaster II Regatta Timer, Ref. 116680

The rolex yacht-master ii: for those who consider themselves rolex enthusiasts, it's one of the most polarizing watches the crown produces. and yet there is more – much more – to this relative behemoth than meets the eye. we wanted to see what would happen if we met this technically unique, programmable flyback yacht timer chronograph on its own terms – read on to join us in our journey into one of the most idiosyncratically styled and mechanically sophisticated rolexes ever made..

yachtmaster 2 black

I’m going to be completely honest: I was thoroughly prepared to have a negative reaction to this watch. Let’s face it; it’s a head-scratcher for the average Rolex/Submariner/GMT Master/Day-Date lover. First of all it’s pretty damned big. This is a 44 mm watch; it was born a 44 mm watch and it’ll die a 44 mm watch and that is nothing you or anybody else can do about it. You can have it in four different metals, and therefore, weights, ranging from steel (heavy) to gold/steel (heavier) to solid yellow gold (even heavier) to  platinum and white gold combined (Schwarzeneggerian). It has a Cerachrom bezel in an absolutely screaming shade of blue, and it says YACHT-MASTER in giant letters right across the bottom third or so just to remove any lingering shade of doubt in the minds of any small-craft skipper for leagues around that they are in the presence of, well, the Master of a Yacht; it is not an introverted watch by any stretch of the imagination.

On top of everything else, the Yacht-Master II has a complication that pretty much no watch guy or gal ever can remember what do with, or has a perceived need for: it is a regatta timer, which is about as niche a complication as you can imagine. If you get a bunch of watch nuts together there is an excellent chance that you can get a more lucid explanation out of somebody for the Equation of Time than you can for a regatta timer (which is saying something) and it says something about the relative obscurity of the complication in general, and the relative niche-ness of the Yacht-Master II in particular, that when we got it into the office we had five people who live and breathe watches sitting around scratching our heads because no one could quite remember how the darned thing works. You put all those things together and you should have a watch that a dyed-in-the-wool horological classicist should thoroughly disdain. Right?

yachtmaster 2 black

Actually, wrong. But let’s back up a bit.

First of all this is technically a very interesting watch and it’s worth your attention just on the level of interesting horological problem solving alone. A regatta timer is used by the skipper of a yacht to determine when their vessel is allowed to cross the starting line. Sailboats can’t just hover at the starting line of a yacht race, so what happens is that the racing committee establishes a countdown period during which the boats have to tack back and forth at the starting line without actually crossing; if you cross early, there is a penalty and if you are too cautious and cross late you will probably cross the finish line behind the boats that made it over the start line ahead of you. The countdown can be anywhere from five to ten minutes depending on the rules and race.

yachtmaster 2 black

The Yacht-Master II is a programmable, flyback regatta timer that allows you to select a countdown interval of anything from one to ten minutes; in addition if you have started the countdown early or late, you can synchronize your watch “on the fly” when you hear the second of the two audible signals which are usually given at the start of a race (the signal to start the countdown comes first, and is usually followed by a warning signal closer to the start). Here’s how it works.

To set the countdown timer, you turn the bezel (Rolex calls it the "Command Bezel") a quarter turn to the left. This locks the lower chrono pusher and engages the setting mechanism for the triangular red countdown hand. You then unscrew the crown to its first position, and set the countdown hand – setting is one-way only but at 10 minutes, if you continue to turn the crown, the countdown hand will fly back to 1 and you can continue until you reach the desired number of minutes. When you’re done, you screw the crown back down, and turn the bezel back to its starting position, and you’re ready to regatta.

yachtmaster 2 black

When the first gun (or other audible signal) is heard, you start the countdown . . . and that’s it. Now a really neat trick here is that you may, for some reason, have started your countdown too early, or too late. If that’s the case, all you have to do is wait for the second gun/signal, and hit the re-set button – the seconds hand will fly back to the zero mark and begin running again immediately; and the minute countdown hand will fly back to the nearest minute and likewise start counting down again. It’s the fact that the flyback is to the nearest minute, not to zero, that allows you to re-synch your countdown with the official countdown time, that gives the Yacht-Master II much of its utility, and much of its technical interest.

yachtmaster 2 black

Okay, sure it’s technically interesting – but what about the aesthetics? All I can tell you is that, much to my very pleasant surprise, it was colossally fun to wear in every sense of the word. The fact that it is so unapologetically extroverted is actually the secret to its appeal.  The weight isn't a problem (at least, not for me, and not in steel) and I found I could wear it all day without discomfort despite the overall size – partly thanks to the downward curvature of the lugs, which ensured a comfortable fit on my 7 inch wrist.  The sharply contrasting deep blued hands, white dial, and red countdown hand – and, yes, that bright blue bezel – give the whole watch a suitably jaunty, nautical feel and make it a pleasure to look at (and at night visibility is very good; the lume on the hands and dial is almost startlingly bright).

Yes, this is an extroverted watch, but the quality of execution is very clean and very high (as is usually the case with Rolex) and it’s so much the opposite of what I’d ordinarily wear that having it on gave a feeling almost like a Walter Mitty fantasy coming to life. I felt like a guy who’s worn a blue suit and rep tie and driven a four door Merc his whole life, who somehow one day finds himself in a pair of ripped jeans and a beat up flight jacket, cruising down some winding secondary road on an old shovelhead Harley, and suddenly catches himself thinking, My god, all the wasted years. Ultimately I started to feel that objecting to the over-the-top-ness  of the Yacht-Master II was silly, even narcissistic – if you go into a Joss Whedon actioner expecting a Lars Von Trier art-house tearjerker to unspool, you probably have only yourself to blame.

yachtmaster 2 black

It is a rationally appealing uitlitarian tool watch? I'm not the one to ask. There is no way for me to evaluate what someone who actually owns a ’36 Herreshoff classic yacht and takes it on the regatta circuit would actually think of the Yacht-Master II, or whether they would find it useful. But I can tell you that it is actually a ton of fun to wear, and a big part of the reason is the very thing many object to at first – that this is a watch that pulls no punches when it comes to being larger than life.

It has that one most essential element for something to be a successful style exercise: the courage of its convictions, and if you think of yourself resolutely as a smaller-than-forty millimeter, tasteful restraint kinda guy, get one on your wrist for a surprisingly refreshing change of pace, and you can feel larger than life too.

The Rolex Yacht-Master II 116680 as shown, $18,750, 44 mm diameter case in 904L stainless steel. Bidirectional rotatable "Command Bezel" with blue Cerachrom insert; water resistance 100 meters/10 bar.

Movement, Rolex 4161 self-winding programmable flyback regatta timer with mechanical memory and "on-the-fly" synchronization; Parachrom blue antimagnetic balance spring.  

Bracelet, Oyster, flat three piece links with Oysterlock safety clasp.

More info, of course, on Rolex.com .

yachtmaster 2 black

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.css-1obzumv{font-weight:700;font-size:clamp(1.875rem, 1.25rem + 1.5625vw, 3.125rem);line-height:1.2;margin-bottom:1rem;line-height:1.1;}.css-1obzumv:lang(th){line-height:1.5;} Yacht-Master 42 .css-18uwo57{font-size:clamp(1.125rem, 1.0625rem + 0.1563vw, 1.25rem);line-height:1.6;font-weight:300;line-height:1.2;text-wrap:balance;}.css-18uwo57 span{display:block;} Oyster, 42 mm, white gold Reference 226659

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Discover in 360°

Staying on course

The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 in 18 ct white gold with a black dial and an Oysterflex bracelet.

The oysterflex bracelet, highly resistant and durable.

The Yacht-Master’s new Oysterflex bracelet, developed by Rolex and patented, offers a sporty alternative to metal bracelets. The bracelet attaches to the watch case and the Oysterlock safety clasp by a flexible titanium and nickel alloy metal blade.

The blade is overmoulded with high-performance black elastomer which is particularly resistant to environmental effects, very durable and perfectly inert for the wearer of the watch. For enhanced comfort, the inside of the Oysterflex bracelet is equipped with a patented longitudinal cushion system that stabilizes the watch on the wrist and fitted with an 18 ct white gold Oysterlock safety clasp. It also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system, designed by the brand and patented. This inventive toothed mechanism, integrated beneath the clasp, allows fine adjustment of the bracelet length by some 15 mm in increments of approximately 2.5 mm, without the use of tools.

18 ct white gold

Commitment to excellence

By operating its own exclusive foundry, Rolex has the unrivalled ability to cast the highest quality 18 ct gold alloys. According to the proportion of silver, copper, platinum or palladium added, different types of 18 ct gold are obtained: yellow, pink or white.

They are made with only the purest metals and meticulously inspected in an in-house laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, before the gold is formed and shaped with the same painstaking attention to quality. Rolex's commitment to excellence begins at the source.

Bidirectional Rotatable Bezel

Timing the distance.

The Yacht-Master’s bidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel is made entirely from precious metals or fitted with a Cerachrom insert in high-tech ceramic. The raised polished numerals and graduations stand out clearly against a matt, sand-blasted background.

This functional bezel – which allows the wearer to calculate, for example, the sailing time between two buoys – is also a key component in the model’s distinctive visual identity.

Exceptional legibility

Like all Rolex Professional watches, the Yacht-Master 42 offers exceptional legibility in all circumstances, and especially in the dark, thanks to its Chromalight display.

The broad hands and hour markers in simple shapes – triangles, circles, rectangles – are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting glow.

More Yacht-Master technical details

Reference   226659

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Oyster, 42 mm, white gold

Oyster architecture

Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown

Bidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel with matt black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, polished raised numerals and graduations

Winding crown

Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system

Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date

Water resistance

Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

3235, Manufacture Rolex

-2/+2 sec/day, after casing

Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting

Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers

Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor

Power reserve

Approximately 70 hours

Flexible metal blades overmoulded with high-performance elastomer

Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system

Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence

Certification

Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)

Learn how to set the time and other functions of your Rolex watch by consulting our user guides.

Yacht-Master 42

Contact an Official Rolex Retailer

Only official Rolex retailers are allowed to sell and maintain a Rolex watch. With the necessary skills, technical know-how and special equipment, they guarantee the authenticity of each and every part of your Rolex and help you make the choice that will last a lifetime.

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VIDEO

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COMMENTS

  1. Rolex Yacht-Master

    In 2023, after testing under real-life conditions by acclaimed helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie, Rolex launched a new version of the Yacht-Master 42. It is made of RLX titanium, a high-performance material, at once light, robust and corrosion resistant. A veritable ally at sea, the Yacht-Master also elegantly adorns the wrists of navigators once back ...

  2. Rolex Yacht-Master II

    The Yacht-Master II by Rolex beautifully respects the spirit of maritime pursuits; it is a durable racing tool and a bold accessory, waterproof and reliable to a fault. Entirely conceived and crafted by Rolex experts in Switzerland down to the manufacturing of its most minute, precise parts, the Yacht-Master II is a watch of exceptional quality and distinction.

  3. Official Rolex Website

    The Yacht-Master II is a unique chronograph with a regatta timer and a Oystersteel case. Learn more about this sailing-inspired watch on Rolex.com.

  4. Rolex Yacht-Master

    White Gold Yacht-Master 42 Watch - Black Dial - Oysterflex Strap Reference 226659 $ 31,000. Free shipping. US. Rolex Yacht-Master 40. Blue dial - Platinum - Excellent - box & papers 126622 $ 13,350 ... The collection's top model is the yellow gold Yacht-Master II with a regatta chronograph. This countdown function is provided by the caliber ...

  5. Prices for New Rolex Yacht-Master II

    Rolex Yacht-Master II. NEW 2023 Yacht-Master II 44mm Steel Blue Ceramic Bezel White Dial Oyster 116680. $ 22,145. + $99 for shipping. US. Rolex Yacht-Master II. NEW 2023 Yacht-Master II 116680. $ 20,495. Free shipping.

  6. Rolex Yacht-Master II Watches for Sale

    Rolex Yacht-Master II Regatta Chronograph Blue Hands Black 'Oro' DLC RG 116681. $39,995.00. or Best Offer. $150.00 shipping. 10 watching. ... The Yacht-Master II is available in four materials: yellow gold, white gold + platinum, two-tone Rolesor (Everose gold + steel) and steel. All are topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that is ...

  7. Hands-On Rolex Yacht-Master II Review

    In fact, my Omega Planet Ocean is only 42mm x 15.7mm, and feels much bulkier and heavier than the Yacht-Master II. The case is alternating with polished and satin-finished and features a nautical blue ceramic bezel. The pushers are, as is Rolex's MO, a perfect length. Even though I'm left handed, and therefore wear my watch on my right ...

  8. Rolex Yacht-Master 42 watch: RLX titanium

    The Oyster bracelet Alchemy of form and function. The Yacht-Master 42, made from RLX titanium, is fitted on an Oyster bracelet. Developed at the end of the 1930s, this three-piece link bracelet remains the most universal in the Oyster Perpetual collection and is known for its robustness.

  9. Rolex Yacht-Master Ultimate Buying Guide

    There are also bezels that are matte black Cerachrom ceramic with raised numerals, which are typically only fitted to the various solid 18k gold Yacht Master references. ... While the Yacht-Master II case is just 2mm larger than the largest Yacht-Master, this extra-large sizing helps this watch house a more complicated dial and movement. - 44mm.

  10. Rolex Yacht Master II

    The Rolex Yacht-Master II is powered by a highly complex mechanical movement famous for its unparalleled precision and dependability. The watch currently features Rolex's in-house caliber 4161, which is an automatic mechanical movement with an extraordinary power reserve of 72 hours. Additionally, the Rolex Yacht-Master II movement boasts a ...

  11. Rolex Yacht-Master II Ultimate Buying Guide

    Yacht-Master II Key Features: - Year Introduced: 2007. - Case Size: 44mm. - Materials: Oystersteel; Everose Rolesor; 18k Yellow Gold; 18k White Gold & Platinum. - Functions: Time w/Running Seconds, Programmable Regatta Timer w/ Mechanical Memory. - Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers.

  12. ROLEX YACHT-MASTER II WATCHES

    The manufacturer also took the opportunity to update the Yacht-Master case to a Supercase, slightly altering the appearance and making the lugs thicker as a result. The New Yacht-Master II. In 2010, a separate Yacht-Master collection was released, under the name Yacht-Master II. The defining feature of this particular family is the inclusion of ...

  13. Rolex Yacht-Master

    Yacht-Master 37. Oyster, 37 mm, Oystersteel and Everose gold. Yacht-Master 40. Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel and Everose gold. Reset

  14. Rolex Yacht Master II Watches

    The Yacht Master II has the folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink of 5 mm comfort extension link and providing the precision of -2 and +2 seconds a day. Sort By New Rolex Yacht Master II Watches. Rolex. Yacht Master II. 116689-0002. Yacht-Master II Automatic White Dial 18k White Gold and Platinum Oyster Men's Watch ...

  15. The Rolex Yacht-Master II: How does it work, and why is it so

    To set the timer on the Rolex Yacht-Master II, begin by turning the bezel until it clicks into place. This happens when the "1" on the bezel is around the 12 o'clock position. Then, press the push-piece at 4 o'clock, which will stay engaged. Once you unscrew the crown, you can set the duration of the countdown in minutes.

  16. Rolex Yacht-Master

    The Rolex Yacht-Master dial is available in various colors, including white, black, champagne, and mother-of-pearl. Embodying both style and functionality, the Rolex Yacht-Master dial ensures effortless readability in any environment. ... the Yacht-Master II is a more complex timepiece, featuring a programmable countdown with a mechanical ...

  17. Official Rolex Website

    Official Rolex Website

  18. Hands-On The Rolex Yachtmaster II Regatta Timer, Ref. 116680

    The Rolex Yacht-Master II 116680 as shown, $18,750, 44 mm diameter case in 904L stainless steel. Bidirectional rotatable "Command Bezel" with blue Cerachrom insert; water resistance 100 meters/10 bar. Movement, Rolex 4161 self-winding programmable flyback regatta timer with mechanical memory and "on-the-fly" synchronization; Parachrom blue ...

  19. Amazon.com: Rolex Yachtmaster 2

    New Rolex Yacht-Master II White Dial Oystersteel Men's Luxury Watch 116680. 100+ viewed in past week. ... GMT-Master II 126715 18K Rose Gold Watch Black Dial Black and Brown Rotatable Bezel UNWORN. 3.3 out of 5 stars 2. 50+ viewed in past week. $46,538.51 $ 46,538. 51. FREE delivery Jun 29 - Jul 3 .

  20. Rolex Yacht-Master II Steel

    NEW 2023 Yacht-Master II 44mm Steel Blue Ceramic Bezel White Dial Oyster 116680 $ 22,145 + $99 for shipping. US. Rolex Yacht-Master II. 116680 $ 16,800 + $90 for shipping. US. ... 44mm in Stainless Steel on Black Rubber Strap with White Dial and Mercedes Hands $ 18,150 + $150 for shipping. US. Rolex Yacht-Master II. 116680. Price on request ...

  21. Rolex Yacht-Master 42 watch: 18 ct white gold

    Discover the Yacht-Master 42 watch in 18 ct white gold on the Official Rolex Website. Model:m226659-0002. ... The blade is overmoulded with high-performance black elastomer which is particularly resistant to environmental effects, very durable and perfectly inert for the wearer of the watch. For enhanced comfort, the inside of the Oysterflex ...

  22. Rolex Yacht-Master II White gold

    Rolex Yacht-Master II White gold on Chrono24.com. New offers daily. In stock now. Save favorite watches & buy your dream watch. Skip. ... Regatta Chronograph 18kt White Gold & Platinum Black Stealth Bespoke DLC. Price on request + $190 for shipping. US. Promoted. Rolex Yacht-Master II. Men's 116689 18k White Gold Rolex Yacht - Master II Watch