Like many of the watches in the Rolex line, the Yacht-Master has undergone some changes and Rolex now has the Yacht-Master and the Yacht-Master II out. Each watch stands on its own merits however, like all the other Rolex watches you will run into the Yacht-Master line doesn’t have quite the history of the other Rolex models.
The History of the Rolex Yacht-Master
The Rolex Yacht-Master has only been in production for 21 years, which is short when you compare it with the rest of the watches that Rolex produces. In fact, before 1992, when the Yacht-Master was produced, it had been 28 years since Rolex had rolled out a new model.
In a nutshell, the history of the Rolex Yacht-Master is that it is a redux of the Rolex Submariner and was intended to be a new Submariner, but because Rolex decided at the final minute not to mess with the perfection of their best selling watch by giving it a makeover and also because they loved the look of this new model, they revived the name of Yacht-Master, which at one point was a prototype for a watch whose face closely resembles the Daytona of today, but never went into production.
The Features of the First Rolex Yacht-Master
The features of the Rolex Yacht-Master are very similar to those of the Submariner, using the same 3135 movement and the same white face, hands and markers. Here are the differences, the Yacht-Master comes in both a ladies and a man’s version, but three sizes, which are: 29mm, 35mm and 40mm. This watch has a triplock winding crown just like the Submariner, but this watch is made to be worn on a boat, not underwater, although you can wear it underwater.
Here’s the major difference between the Yacht-Master and the Submariner, the 40 MM stainless steel and platinum version of the Yacht-Master known as the Reference 16622, introduced in 1999 and called Rolesium by Rolex.
This Yacht-Master has a platinum machined bezel with raised markers, as well as a dial made out of platinum. This version also comes two-tone as well as with a mother of pearl dial. The band on the Yacht-Master is an oyster band with a flip lock clasp.
Rolex Yacht-Master Reference Numbers
Ref. 169622 (29mm stainless steel w/platinum bezel)
Ref.168622 (35mm stainless steel w/platinum bezel)
Ref.16622 (40mm stainless steel w/platinum bezel)
Ref.169623 (29mm stainless steel and gold)
Ref.168623 (35mm stainless steel and gold)
Ref.169628 (29mm all gold)
Ref.168628 (35mm all gold)
Ref.16628 (40mm all gold)
The Rolex Yacht-Master II
This watch is a beast and I just ordered mine in stainless steel and can’t wait to get it in. The Rolex Yacht-Master II was not made after the Submariner, but really made for sailors. It is a regatta chronograph that has a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory and provides a precise synchronization with the starting sequence of a yacht race.
The Ring Command bezel, which is a blue Cerachrom bezel, is linked to the movement, and can be set and synchronized to the sequence of race start times. The Triplock winding crown is good up to depths of 300 meters, and the bracelet on this watch is the Oyster bracelet.
The Yacht-Master II is equipped with a calibre 4160, which is a self-winding mechanical regatta chronograph movement introduces a new regatta countdown with a unique, patented mechanical memory created by Rolex. The Rolex Yacht-Master II comes in 44 mm in stainless and everose, and now it also comes in stainless steel.
Yacht-Master II Reference Numbers
Ref.116688 (44mm YG)
Ref.116689 (44mm WG)
Ref.116681 (44mm Steel and Everose).