By Gary Royston Cole
The Rolex Yacht-Master II in Oystersteel, the watch that is… The only chronograph in the world with a mechanical memory
With its bezel acting as a programmable countdown, it is an essential tool for skippers to gauge their best course of action.
Professional yacht racing is a tough sport. It demands concentration, observation and an element of risk in every race.
An example as to why you need precision timekeeping (for example in regatta racing) can be explained below..
“The race begins with a warning shot fired by the race Committee Boat (flying a blue RC flag) ten minutes prior to the official start of the race. Another shot is fired at five minutes prior. The two boats (each flying either a blue or yellow flag) enter the start area from opposite ends of the starting line four minutes prior to the actual start. During the next four minutes, the boats will engage in a furious pre-start battle, in which each will try to gain advantage over the other. The goal is to make the other boat cross the starting line early, which is a penalty, or to start legally ahead of the other boat”
The Rolex Yacht-Master provides the ability to set a specific countdown. This then is a good place to introduce to you what exactly is the control centre of this particular specialist timepiece; the Ring Command bezel.
This bezel is different because instead of working independently from the movement, it actually works in conjunction with it.
Rolex describe their superlative complication a little later on as you will read. Rolex have taken into consideration the importance of simplicity when the Yacht-Master is live using this watch on the open seas. This in itself is quite a feat. Rolex and that bezel below:
As a mechanical component linked to the movement, the bezel literally acts as the key to the programmable countdown, allowing it to be set and synchronised to the sequence of race start times. Complex in design, but simple in use, it is functionally beautiful.
Looking straight on at the Yacht-Master II, I think you will agree that its design is first class, high quality to a level that puts it at the top of the class it sits in.That class is quite small when we look at the competition. Quite simply people who appreciate technical mechanics would probably class it as the best yacht race timepieces in the world..
As well as stunning looks the watch wearer will enjoy a host of fine detail:
• Bidirectional rotatable Ring Command bezel
• Blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and inscription in platinum inlay
• Winding crown screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
• Virtually scratch resistant sapphire crystal
• 44mm case. The largest case within their current entire range.
• Waterproofness to 100m (330ft)
• Perpetual mechanical self winding regatta chronograph. One of a kind, and not to be overlooked when deciding a purchase.
• Calibre 4161
• Precision -2/+2 secs a day.(COSC) certified)
• What makes it one of the watch brand’s finest complication timepieces is the following detail; Centre hour and minute hands, small seconds hand at 6o’clock. Programmable countdown with mechanical memory and on-the-fly synchronization. Stop-seconds for precise time setting.
What struck me for the first time is rather impressive considering the intricate movements and technical working parts. That is that this masterpiece complication tooled watch still delivers a 72 hour power reserve.
Luminescent is long lasting blue Chromalight. I would imagine this looks very cool matching up with the colour detail that gives it an aesthetic appeal in the blue mania watch world we currently live in.
STEEL’S THE SHOW
• 44mm oyster steel case
• Oyster flat three piece links. Not just any steel for Oyster steel is again unique to Rolex. So what does that mean? Why is it so special compared to stainless steel? At this point it is best to let Rolex in their own precise words explain it:
“A Rolex watch must work perfectly and maintain its beauty even in the harshest environments. That is why Rolex uses Oystersteel, a steel alloy specific to the brand and made from scratch in-house. Oystersteel is particularly resistant to corrosion and acquires an exceptional sheen when polished. Their excellent anti-corrosion properties are comparable to those of precious metals. Rolex masters in-house the entire manufacturing process”.
• And finally Rolex do not reserve this Oystersteel to certain steel watches like the Yacht-Master II at £14,950. No, it’s used throughout their entire range where Oystersteel is required. • Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5mm comfort extension link. Particularly pertinent in hot weather when wrists can swell.
To conclude then, if you are thinking of investing in a timepiece that pushes the boundaries of watchmaking and delivers style both on and off the seas, we recommend the Yacht-Master II.
Contact us on 01243 782135 to speak to one of our Rolex specialists about this watch model.