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About The Rolex Yachtmaster II

About The Rolex Yachtmaster II

the Rolex Yachtmaster II wristwatch

Rolex parades a host of amazing timepieces and collections produced over the years with varying levels of acceptance. But some Rolex wristwatches are more or less loved by all. Why not? These watches come with a modest and adaptable design. They simply leave little room for any kind of controversy or displeasure. The Rolex Yachtmaster II is not one of these “everyone’s favorites.”

Instead, other watches within the Rolex market virtually seem to be products specifically designed to fuel animosities. These timepieces take Rolex away from its regular design base and into more controversial areas. The Rolex Yacht-Master is a good example of such watches.

Having arrived in the mid-2000s, the Yacht-Master II had a far distinct flair from anything Rolex was known for before then. Not many Rolex lovers appeared to understand quite what to make of this timepiece. 

Wondering what this watch looks like? It is a big watch, with a fierce look. Also, it came at an awfully expensive price. The Rolex Yachtmaster II was the hot stud new student in the Rolex watchmaking high school. Always found a way to steal the show and be the focus of every argument. 

Although this timepiece was a part of the brand’s Professional Collection, yet, it stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. But, that presence didn’t last for too long. When you consider the brand’s catalog today, it looks like Rolex was simply a step further from what was the norm back then.

Presently, the Yacht-Master II is different. That once problematic presence evolved over the years. However, you cannot still ignore how much of a visually striking timepiece it still is. The point now is that it is no longer the totally over-the-top product it used to be. 

The Yachtmaster II Mechanics: Built To Stand Out

the Rolex Yachtmaster II

Mechanically, here is one incredibly impressive time tool. Once it debuted, it took it no time to become Rolex’s most complicated wristwatch. This wristwatch presents a one-of-a-kind functionality intended for about as niche a group as it gets. 

Below, we present a complete guide to the Rolex Yachtmaster II with important details you need to know. If you must make the right purchase decision, it must be an informed one. This post will help you do that. Below are certain key mechanical features of the Yachtmaster II.

  • Year of Production: 2007
  • Case Size: 44mm
  • Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)
  • Bezel: Ring Command, Blue Ceramic or Platinum Insert w/ 10-Minute Countdown Scale
  • Materials: Oystersteel; Everose Rolesor; 18k Yellow Gold; 18k White Gold & Platinum
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet
  • Functions: Time w/Running Seconds, Programmable Regatta Timer w/ Mechanical Memory
  • Movement: Rolex Caliber 4161

The Rolex Yachtmaster II Chronicles

The Rolex Yachtmaster II hit the watchmaking scene some 15-years after the original Yachtmaster, making its grand entry in 2007. When you compare both editions, you will find no single similarity between them aside from the name they share. 

The first model is practically a more luxurious take on the Rolex Submariner. And the Yachtmaster II is a fully-fledged piece of professional luxury for sailors. This professional time tool comes with a design that from the outset helps captains keep track of time. It was a tool watch with the complicated starting sequence of a regatta. 

Yachtmaster II wristwatch

Therefore, on the technical angle, the Yachtmaster II falls in the tool watch class. However, this is a far cry from the likes of the more functional Explorer II.

Leading The Race

The first editions of the Rolex Yachtmaster II were both pacesetters. These are the 18k yellow gold ref. 116688 and the 18k white gold version equipped with a platinum bezel, the ref. 116689. These editions of the timepiece had distinct styling. They didn’t follow the usual conservative styling that was before then.

Here is one huge, glittering, in-your-face offering that screamed its own name across its bezel. It was a timely and instant opinion splitter. Lovers of the conservative style didn’t find this pleasing. They complained about Rolex’s continuous departure from its roots. But, other Rolex fans enjoyed having their watches attract attention. They adopted it without reservations.

The 2008 Financial Crash

Then came the financial crash in 2008. This crash affected the terrain for watchmakers, buyers, and collectors. The clamor at that point was for more affordable timepieces. 

Subsequently, the Rolex Yachtmaster II collection broadened in 2011. This time, the brand added the ref. 116681 which is an Everose Rolesor model. This model comes suited in a stainless steel case and outer bracelet links combined with a winding crown, central links, and pushers all in Everose gold. 

Shortly after, the brand followed this up with the version everyone clamored for in 2013 – the ref. 116680. This new version came in full stainless steel and had the new caliber 4161 powering it, displacing the old Cal. 4160.

The Facelift In 2017

The chronicles end with another change to the watch on its 10th anniversary in 2017. This time, it was given a facelift so minor that Rolex didn’t even feel it merited a new reference number. The facelift was the change to the square hour markers set at the six and 12 o’clock positions. They now take the form of a rectangle and inverted triangle respectively.

Also, the modest stick handset made way for the Mercedes type to bring them in line with the majority of Rolex’s Professional Collection.

Elegance And Functionality In The Rolex Yachtmaster II Design

The Rolex Yachtmaster II arguably looks the least like a Rolex product. This distinction is the core reason behind why its release ruffled so many feathers, especially among purist collectors. With its arrival, Rolex went down formerly uncharted experimental territories. The Yachtmaster is a far cry from the sort of subtly restricted icons existing across the rest of its collection. 

The Aesthetics On The Face

The dial of the Yachtmaster II reveals an energetic timepiece with a lot of details on display. The details the watch displays are what give life to what initially appears like a cluttered dial. Although, it is only a trick of the eye with the bezel’s 1-10 digits being echoed precisely around the horseshoe-shaped track on the dial. 

What you have on the face of this timepiece is the regatta countdown scale. This scale’s design helps yacht skippers harmonize their boats’ movements with the race’s starting gun. It rarely gets more functional than this. 

Jam-packed Yet Readable

On the overall design outlook, one would find the presence of several numbers on the watch unnecessary. You will not use most of these numbers the vast majority of the time you have this watch on. However, even as it may come across as a little jam-packed, it only requires a little getting used to.

Once you do, you can’t help but admire how much Rolex’s technicians achieved with slight resources. And for the readability, it might not be Explorer’s 3/6/9 arrangement, but it is very readable. The readability evokes a slight familiarity. Also, it passes the information on display in a neat and readable way.

There Is A Design For Everyone

There are only four models of the Yachtmaster II timepiece with all of them having white dials. Nevertheless, the series fully presents an adequate range of varieties. Check out the ref. 116688. It could be in contention for most showy standard-production Rolex presently has on display.

How about its all-yellow gold case? This somehow gives life to the bright blue bezel making it pop even more. On the flip side, there is the white gold and platinum ref. 116689. They come in as low-key and reserved with a 44mm width, 14mm thickness, highly complicated, and as a solid-gold sports wristwatch. Also, the virtual monochrome gets lifted simply by the arrowed pointer and red Chrono hand.

Meanwhile, the Everose Rolesor and stainless steel models present the right appeal to more middle-of-the-road watch enthusiasts. Their color mixtures and varieties, along with the combination of brushed and polished materials on the watch itself make it a desirable piece. The Rolex Yachtmaster II wrist watch keeps you on the right side of overdone with all of its design.

Lastly, the two-tone model’s bezel digits come filled in Everose gold. That is a nice touch, yet not the kind of touch you can describe as subtle. In all, regardless of the version of the Rolex Yachtmaster II wristwatch you choose, you will receive some attention regardless.

Wristwatch: Powered By An In-House Movement 

The first production stint of the Rolex Yachtmaster II has the in-house Caliber 4160 as its powerhouse. When it became a part of the Rolex Yachtmaster II wristwatch, it was the most component-heavy movement the brand ever offered. 

However, the movement underwent a heavy remodeling to produce the Cal. 4130 which features in the Daytona. Rolex carried over the column wheel, vertical clutch, and ball-bearing rotor from the brand’s celebrated racing chronograph.

Clearly, there is nothing improper with such a step. More so, the Rolex Daytona’s movement continues to be one of the most reliable and precise mass-produced contemporary chronograph calibers. But, with the coming of the long-awaited stainless steel Rolex Yachtmaster II wristwatch in 2013, Rolex showcased a new addition. The manufacturer introduced a new mechanism, the Caliber 4161. This movement is a product of extra improvements and some 35,000 hours of advancement.

Also, this movement is the product of the combination of over 360 components. These components include ones created via a highly technical fabrication technique known as UV-LiGA. The technique employs ultraviolet light to create microstructures. Here is a dedicated movement that adds a crisper feel to the pushers and delivers greater dependability.

Overall, both the Cal. 4160 and the Cal. 4161 profited from Rolex upgrades such as the blue Parachrom hairspring. These movements also provide users with a highly-celebrated 72-hour power reserve. There is also a 28,800vph balance frequency. Technical, functional, and well-equipped; it rarely gets better than this also. 

Wristwatch With A Befitting Bracelet

At the time of this writing, all of the numerous Rolex Yacht-Master II wrist watch models come fitted with the three-link Oyster bracelet. This bracelet is what truly befits a sports watch. 

In addition, each version features well-polished inner links that suit the glittering case elegantly. Also, the outer links get a satin finish to deliver a contrast against the lugs.

When you consider the material used for the bracelet, they ate the same metals used for the watch head. They include:

  • White gold
  • Yellow gold
  • Stainless steel

Then, the Rolesor’s innermost links are products of Everose gold. This choice leaves the outer side links in a 904L stainless Oystersteel. Furthermore, the Oysterlock folding clasp comes equipped with the brand’s Easylink extension system. This addition allows for roughly 5mm of tool-free bracelet adjustment. Therefore, without the use of any tools, you can easily adjust the Rolex Yachtmaster II wristwatch even on the go.

The Yachtmaster II wristwatch will easily pass as retaliation from Rolex against decades-worth of cynics. For such long years, some cynics berated the brand for the lack of complicated timepieces in its catalog. Here is Rolex’s rebuttal! It may not be the most all-encompassing as regards aesthetics or functionality. Yet, it stands out as a hugely important piece of technical mastery. 

Rolex is renowned as a maker of quality tool watches. However, the company continues to make the transition towards being an authentic luxury matchmaker. So, the tool watches it creates also take on a more luxurious and elegant nature. This evolving status is what the Rolex Yachtmaster II wristwatch perfectly embodies. 

Conclusion: Built Differently; Functions Differently 

Rolex is not a watchmaker renowned for elaborateness in its watches. In fact, it is the opposite of this. For such a brand, the presence of sophistication like the Rolex’s regatta timer is a seriously remarkable upgrade. 

This timepiece may be an offering for a particularly select group. Still, we cannot get over how useful counting down accurately from 10-minutes can be. Even if you may not own a yacht, this timepiece has enough functions to suit your timekeeping needs.


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