In the world of horology names don’t really come much bigger than Rolex. For most people owning a watch with the distinctive crown logo symbolises the mark of success. Since I established Total Watch Reviews I have had many conversations with people in the industry about Rolex and the views are polarised. Nevertheless there is no disputing that they have produced many amazing timepieces worn by an endless amount of celebrities.
Recently the company released a special platinum version of the Cosmograph Daytona to commemorate the 50th year anniversary of this iconic watch. The watch was immortalised by screen legend and racing car driver Paul Newman. Back in July, I reviewed the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, which is the company’s most complicated watch to date. Generally I found the timepiece comfortable to wear and was pleased with the overall appearance. As a huge fan of Roger Federer I was also interested in the fact that he personally wears the watch as part of his multi-million dollar sponsorship deal. With a price tag of nearly $50,000 the timepiece is highly exclusive and won’t be affordable to most people.
Like most watch writers I rely on the goodwill of brands and retailers to get access to new models. A few months ago I visited The Hour Glass boutique on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. They had previously contacted me to enquire if I would like to try on the new Yacht-Master II. As I like to feature a broad range of timepieces on my website I was delighted to be afforded the opportunity.
My first impression of the Yacht-Master II was, how well made and stylish it actually looked. Dimensionally the watch is larger than the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller and has a diameter of 44mm. It also was a lot more easy to wear and sat very comfortably on my wrist. As I didn’t experience any friction from the pushers or lugs I feel it would be a great watch for daily use. Realistically this watch will only attract massive fans (of which there are many) of the brand, as the suggested retail price is nearly $20,000. As I was testing the watch I could clearly picture myself sporting a white linen suit and sailing out to sea.
Currently there are four versions of this watch in various choices of materials including luxurious gold and platinum. The timepiece I am reviewing is the stainless steel model with white and blue accents. I love the blue Cerachrom (corrosion resistant ceramic) Ring Command bezel that works in conjunction with the complex mechanical movement. The white dial works in contrast with the blue small second counter and vibrant red countdown arrow. Other features include the black open worked hour/minute hands and patented triplock winding crown. Overall I was very impressed with the watch’s nautical appearance.
As you would expect Rolex has equipped the Yacht-Master II with a highly accomplished self-winding chronograph movement entirely developed in house Apparently the company spend 35,000 hours developing the Caliber 4161, which contains 360 individual components. It also includes their blue parachrom hairspring (constructed from a special alloy containing niobium and zirconium) that offers incredible durability against shocks and magnetic forces. The watch features hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and 10-minute regatta countdown function.
The Yacht-Master II has the distinctive stainless steel oyster bracelet with safety clasp. Priced for the sailing enthusiast at: $19,885.