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

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

On top of everything else, the Yacht-Master II has a complication that basically no watch person at any point can recollect what do with, or has an apparent requirement for: it is a regatta clock, which is about as niche a complication as you can envision. In the event that you get a bunch of watch nuts together there is a superb chance that you can get a more clear clarification out of someone for the Equation of Time than you can for a regatta clock (which is saying something) and it says something regarding the overall indefinite quality of the complication by and large, and the relative niche-ness of the Yacht-Master II specifically, that when we got it into the workplace we had five individuals who live and breathe watches lounging around scratching our heads on the grounds that nobody could quite recollect how the darned thing works. You set up each one of those things and you should have a watch that a colored in-the-wool horological classicist should thoroughly scorn. Right?

Actually, wrong. In any case, we should back up a bit.

First of this is technically an exceptionally fascinating watch and it’s worth your consideration simply fair and square of intriguing horological critical thinking alone. A regatta clock is utilized by the captain of a yacht to decide when their vessel is allowed to cross the beginning line. Boats can’t simply hover at the beginning line of a yacht race, so what happens is that the hustling committee establishes a countdown period during which the boats have to tack to and fro at the beginning line without really crossing; in the event that you cross right on time, there is a punishment and on the off chance that you are too mindful and cross late you will likely cross the finish line behind the boats that made it over the beginning line ahead of you. The countdown can be anywhere from five to ten minutes relying upon the principles and race.

The Yacht-Master II is a programmable, flyback regatta clock that allows you to choose a countdown time period from one to ten minutes; what’s more on the off chance that you have begun the countdown early or late, you can synchronize your watch “on the fly” when you hear the second of the two perceptible signs which are generally given toward the beginning of a race (the sign to begin the countdown comes first, and is typically followed by a warning sign nearer to the beginning). Here’s how it works.

To set the countdown clock, you turn the bezel (Rolex considers it the “Command Bezel”) a quarter go to one side. This bolts the lower chrono pusher and connects with the setting mechanism for the three-sided red countdown hand. You then unscrew the crown to its first position, and set the countdown hand – setting is single direction just however at 10 minutes, on the off chance that you keep on turning the crown, the countdown hand will fly back to 1 and you can proceed until you reach the ideal number of minutes. When you’re set, you screw the crown down, and turn the bezel back to its beginning position, and you’re prepared to regatta.

When the primary firearm (or other discernible sign) is heard, you start the countdown . . . what’s more, that’s it. Now a truly slick stunt here is that you may, for reasons unknown, have begun your countdown too soon, or past the point of no return. In the event that that’s the situation, you should simply wait for the subsequent weapon/sign, and hit the re-set catch – the seconds hand will fly back to the zero imprint and start running again quickly; and the moment countdown hand will fly back to the closest moment and likewise begin checking down once more. The reality the flyback is to the closest moment, not to nothing, that allows you to re-synch your countdown with the authority countdown time, that gives the Yacht-Master II much of its utility, and much of its technical interest.

Okay, sure it’s technically fascinating – yet what about the esthetics? Everything I can advise you is that, much to my exceptionally lovely shock, it was hugely enjoyable to wear in a literal sense. The way that it is so proudly outgoing is really the key to its allure. The weight isn’t an issue (at any rate, not for me, and not in steel) and I discovered I could wear it the entire day without discomfort in spite of the general size – somewhat thanks to the downward bend of the hauls, which guaranteed a comfortable fit on my 7 inch wrist. The sharply differentiating profound blued hands, white dial, and red countdown hand – and, indeed, that bright blue bezel – give the whole watch a reasonably chipper, nautical feel and make it a delight to take a gander at (and at night perceivability is excellent; the lume on the hands and dial is startlingly bright).

Yes, this is an outgoing watch, yet the quality of execution is extremely perfect and exceptionally high (as is typically the situation with Rolex) and it’s so much something contrary to what I’d usually wear that having it on gave a having a feeling that a Walter Mitty dream coming to life. I felt like a person who’s worn a blue suit and rep tie and driven a four entryway Merc his whole life, who somehow one day ends up in some tore pants and a beat up flight coat, cruising down some winding auxiliary street on an old shovelhead Harley, and abruptly catches himself thinking, My god, all the wasted years. Ultimately I began to feel that having a problem with the over-the-top-ness  of the Yacht-Master II was senseless, even narcissistic – on the off chance that you go into a Joss Whedon actioner expecting a Lars Von Trier workmanship house tragedy to unspool, you presumably have just yourself to fault.

It is an objectively engaging uitlitarian device watch? I’m not the one to inquire. There is no chance to get for me to assess what somebody who really owns a ’36 Herreshoff exemplary yacht and takes it on the regatta circuit would actually think of the Yacht-Master II, or whether they would think that its helpful. Yet, I can disclose to you that it is actually a ton of amusing to wear, and a major piece of the explanation is the very thing many item to from the outset – that this is a watch that holds back when it comes to being overwhelming.

It has that one most fundamental component for something to be an effective style work out: the boldness of its feelings, and on the off chance that you think of yourself unfalteringly as a more modest than-forty millimeter, elegant limitation kinda fellow, get one on your wrist for a shockingly refreshing change of speed, and you can feel overwhelming too.

The Rolex Yacht-Master II 116680 as shown, $18,750, 44 mm measurement case in 904L tempered steel. Bidirectional rotatable “Command Bezel” with blue Cerachrom embed; water obstruction 100 meters/10 bar.

Movement, Rolex 4161 self-winding programmable flyback regatta clock with mechanical memory and “on-the-fly” synchronization; Parachrom blue antimagnetic equilibrium spring.

Bracelet, Oyster, level three piece joins with Oysterlock security clasp.

More information, obviously, on Rolex.com .