Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II Hands-On

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II Hands-On

The year is 2011 and this discussion is caught in a Rolex boutique.


“Good morning.”

“Good morning, sir, how may we help you?”

“I’d like a huge Rolex.”

“That’d be the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II. Here you go, sir.”

“I’ll take that, much obliged. Bye.”


All pictures by David Bredan

The Large Rolex

For the longest time, and I’ll assume the fault for this, I couldn’t see the Yacht-Master II as nothing more than The Large Rolex. The 44mm wide Yacht-Master II was the go-to enormous Rolex, with a gigantic hole in size among it and the 40mm Sea-Dwellers, Submariners, and others. Appeared in 2007, the Yacht-Master II was followed simply one year from now by the totally huge Deepsea that had a similar width at 44mm yet was impressively thicker, so it both showed up and wore a whole lot bigger than the YMII, putting it distant the guide for most.

The Sky-Dweller made its introduction in 2012, and keeping in mind that it additionally looks and wears huge, until 2017 it was only accessible in strong gold cases, delivering it about 40% more costly than the two-tone YMII that had just been accessible by 2012. I turned these things upward – wouldn’t need to act like somebody who recalls this. No big surprise at that point, that the Yacht-Master II turned into The Large Rolex worn by prevalence ballerinas footballers, big names, and… essentially every individual who needed to take part in the enormous watch fever with a Rolex, however didn’t like or couldn’t bear the cost of the Sky-Dweller. The way that Rolex took such a long time and just appeared the bigger, 43mm wide Sea-Dweller in 2017 is simply Rolex being its standard mindful self that made it almost pass up this amazing opportunity on the enormous watch pattern – however that’s for another discussion.

Stars adjusted and I wound up in a Rolex store with a camera in one hand and the Yacht-Master II in the other – welcome to watch blogger life. It was distinctly there that I understood I ought to have thought often about the Yacht-Master II in light of the fact that wow, it is a genuinely noteworthy piece of watchmaking. It’s the Bentley of watches: huge, reckless, and gaudy, purchased by a segment that individuals not piece of are sharp not to be related with… But past every one of that lies a profoundly amazing, all around made, remarkably cool product.

I am acknowledging since it should simply be my weariness with the Submariners and Datejusts talking, yet as I was checking on my pictures on the spot on the camera’s screen (not so much as a bigger, better presentation) I understood the numerous perplexing and all around made subtleties of the Yacht-Master II. It’s appropriate Rolex completely – you’d never under any circumstance botch the whole watch or any of its subtleties for anything other than a Rolex – and yet its usefulness, format, just as its case and dial configuration are all refreshingly unique.

Yes, that’s what got me. The unusual, cylinder style pushers (that need not be in a bad way down), the odd, however peculiarly excellent extents of the drags and bezel, the unimaginable nature of the blue ceramic bezel and its laser-carved, PVD-covered numerals, the abnormal curve of the dial that looks like (in my psyche in any event) a measure of a submarine, and the ADD-relieving material feel of the Ring Command bezel. These make the Yacht-Master II not at all like some other Rolex, yet not at all like some other watch. How did this happen?

Whether or not Rolex had the enormous watch pattern at the forefront of its thoughts when planning the Yacht-Master II, we’ll never know. I have no expectations in getting an authoritative “yes, we did” or “no, we didn’t” answer from them. The Yacht-Master II was planned with a programmable fly-back regatta chronograph (ooooh, simply recording that felt abnormally satisfying) and it was likewise the watch to make a big appearance Rolex’s Ring Command pivoting bezel framework that was later additionally utilized in the Sky-Dweller.

We’ll take a gander at how everything functions soon yet briefly envision the measure of R&D time and exertion that probably gone into planning what is currently called the Manufacture Rolex Caliber 4161 “with somewhere in the range of 360 components.” What the hell, even Rolex has all the earmarks of being pleased with this development as this, I accept, is the solitary development they proactively communicate the specific component tally of. It is realized that the 4130 chronograph in the Daytona has 201 sections, however Rolex authoritatively just ever said they figured out how to decrease the chronograph’s component tally by 60%, without giving the all out 201 consider – and far as different developments are concerned, no accurate component figure is ever shared.

Give or take the enormous watch pattern, the Yacht-Master II is likewise something different: it’s Rolex’s love letter to one of its dark, however long-standing interests, yachting. Stress not, I’ll save you the long, heartbroken story of all that’s energizing about yachting. That’s incompletely on the grounds that I’ve never been on a hustling yacht and halfway on the grounds that it’s immaterial in this conversation – you either as of now are a captain on the most fundamental level, or if you’re not, my measly couple of words won’t kick you off. Rolex has delivered various longer recordings on the point, so in the event that you can require 24 minutes of “uplifting-instrumental-music.mp3” and are frantic to study yachting, at that point I recommend you watch the video above. Yet, just then.

So, taking a gander at it carefully as a watch, without its suggestions, client base, or motivation, what do we have with the Rolex Yacht-Master II? From my experience with it, I left away with a newly discovered deference for its numerous great accomplishments beginning with its mechanical designing and finishing with its incalculable flawlessly executed subtleties. The Rolex Yacht-Master II was explicitly intended for regatta yacht races where the beginning method of the race requires each yacht to be situated as best as conceivable when a given time limit lapses. From what I comprehend this time limit before the real beginning fluctuates somewhere in the range of 5 and 10 minutes thus captains need a regatta clock watch with a commencement clock (for example a converse chronograph) that can be customized to tally down from a pre-set time somewhere in the range of 5 and 10 minutes. At the point when the authorities give a sign, the commencement starts, the pre-set regatta chronographs are begun, and the moving begins.

For this explanation, the Ring Command turning bezel framework was planned in a manner so it permits the wearer to set the regatta commencement to the ideal time by pivoting the bezel to one side by 90° and changing the simple to-peruse red triangle hand to the ideal position. When the bezel is pivoted back to its unique position, the chronograph’s clock is bolted. At the point when this occurs, the fly-back capacity of the chronograph permits the wearer to stop the running chronograph, reset it to the pre-set time between 5-10 minutes and start it again – all at a solitary press of the lower pusher. Rolex was insightful as could be: while the regatta timer’s setting can’t be wrecked gratitude to its locking by the bezel, the pushers are not secured by a dumb screw framework (that wouldn’t have a place on the Daytona either on the off chance that they weren’t part of the perceived plan). So while the Yacht-Master II is appropriately water-safe with its 100m (330ft) rating without screw-down pushers, the chronograph can be effortlessly adjusted on characteristic of the authorities. All these are additionally unbelievably valuable highlights during the extreme focus snapshots of cooking pasta or heating up an egg – and it is here where I should add that the commencement can be set uninhibitedly somewhere in the range of 1 and 10 minutes on the Yacht-Master II, regardless of whether regatta races just need the 5-10 moment adjustability.

As as of late as a year ago, Rolex has unobtrusively restyled the Yacht-Master II by fitting what Rolex calls the Professional handset – and what us humans frequently call the Mercedes hands. Before these, the YMII came fitted with stick hour and moment hands, and if its those that you preferred better, indeed, I checked there’s still a lot of spic and span YMIIs available with those hands also. It must be said that the Professional hands perform here as they do on other Professional Rolexes (indeed, that’s an authority Rolex item class): the two fundamental hands are not difficult to recognize and, credit to Rolex on this one, they don’t influence readability either because of a couple of insightful plan choices.

First, the moment hand was skeletonized in a way so its subsequent half is empty, accordingly taking into consideration a simple and exact perusing of the regatta minute timer’s red triangle, should the two cover. Albeit the hour hand is fixed to the segment pinion over the red triangle hand, the last is still huge enough to stand apart from under – as the circle wouldn’t cover the entirety of the triangle. Not as ideal as the two being the opposite way around with the regatta hand falling between the hour and moment hands, however I question this would cause any genuine issue.

I previously referenced how setting of the regatta clock functions, yet I intended to add that setting it is either something you learn or won’t sort out. I wish I knew the number of Yacht-Master II wearers were out there on the planet right now who’d go crazy on the off chance that they were told the bezel on their watch could pivot. Alright, that is an unreasonable appraisal, so I’ll simply restrain it to the number of could set their regatta clock to 7 minutes promptly, decisively. I surmise the level of those proprietors is about equivalent to that of the individuals who realize how to utilize the slide rules on their Navitimers, or the individuals who at any rate once push their supercars as far as possible. I’d envision it’s a low, low rate – which isn’t something awful or something to be distraught about, only enjoyable to think about.

On the wrist, the Yacht-Master II shows numerous countenances. Most importantly, the material its case and arm band are made from have a major effect. You can have the Yacht-Master II taking all things together Oystersteel and this is the most affordable form with a retail cost of around $19,000. Abnormally, to my eyes in any event, this all-steel model isn’t the most un-showy adaptation, in light of the fact that that’d be the Oystersteel-Everose gold (Rolesor is Rolex-represent two-tone). This $25k Rolesor variant is one of the two pieces envisioned in this article and it is this that I believe is the most un-prominent one – on the grounds that it combines the reasonable message that two-tone sends, instead of the “look-at-me, I’m a major steel watch” vibe that the all-steel adaptation appears to have going on.

Then things take an exceptional, and I do mean extraordinary turn with the $44k all-yellow-gold form that causes you to feel like you’re a suitably dressed extra in Wolf of Wall Street. Any all-gold Rolex is an assertion watch, however while you can put forth a defense for yourself wearing, say, a yellow gold Day-Date 40, this one here is to a lesser degree a President’s watch and all the more a prevalence footballer’s. There is an interesting thing about having a watch with this degree of visual complexity and the pomp of yellow gold around the wrist. All things considered, as a down to earth joke, it’s not as great as this plant amazed GMT , no doubt about it you can generally be one-increased, even inside Rolex domain – so get the two-tone. The stopping point is the piece with an all white gold wristband and a platinum bezel that costs a decent couple great more than the yellow gold version.

With an appropriately measured arm band –  not as seen straightforwardly above – the two-tone, steel, and Everose gold forms make for an incredible regular wearer, basically a similar way an Audi R8 is an extraordinary ordinary driver. The YMII is huge at 44mm wide, yet has an abnormally decent weight to it, particularly in this arrangement – the all-gold adaptation is as weighty on the wrist for what it’s worth on the eyes.

At a period and age when individuals are purchasing never-ending schedules on the grounds that “do you even ability complicated it is?” wearing a Yacht-Master II shouldn’t be just about as odd as it might from the outset show up. Its designing is totally marvelous, more fascinating, seemingly more helpful consistently – for the individuals who like getting their pasta al dente with a $25,000 watch – and you can play with it at some random time, while contacting an interminable schedule the incorrect way will make you wish you didn’t.

After everything is said and done, the Yacht-Master II amazed me in a good manner and caused me to feel idiotic for subtly despising and overlooking it for such a long time. It’s an extraordinary piece of hardware with a styling to its case, bezel, and dial that can just genuinely be valued in the metal. It’s unmistakably Rolex down to its last detail, yet it’s likewise not at all like some other Rolex ever. In the frightfully tasteful steel-Everose combination, with its perfectly marked, blue fired bezel and fresh white dial with additional Everose gold accents, it’s an outwardly satisfying watch that I wouldn’t mind wearing on an every day basis.

Now, my lone concern is Rolex dropping this particular, devoted, and high-exertion side and allowing us all to bite the dust without seeing a comparable exercise until kingdom come. I’m anxious to perceive what their next unforeseen, profoundly complicated piece will be. On the off chance that you feel the equivalent however don’t need to stand by and have the cash to burn through, I’d recommend making up for this shortcoming with the Yacht-Master II.

Prices for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II reach between around $19,000 and $48,000, contingent upon the variety.