Yachtmaster 2 Yellow Gold Review. In this article, we cover everything about the Rolex Yacht-Master II Oyster Perpetual 44mm Yellow Gold (ref. 116688) iconic luxury watch.
Rolex is famous for producing all different types of purposeful sports watches. Two that will always come to mind when you speak of Rolex are the Submariner which was designed for divers, and the Daytona which was designed for drivers. The Submariner and Daytona have a long history; first releasing them in the 1950s and 1960s, respectively. A younger yet tremendously well-received Rolex, which we are discussing today, is the Yacht-Master model.
The first Yacht-Master model was released in 1992 (which is quite recent considering the life of Rolex).
The first Yacht-Master had a 39.5mm case and looked very similar to the Submariner. Since the release of the first Yacht-Master, Rolex has made a few different alterations to the Yacht-Master model, such as the 35mm Yacht-Master for those with smaller wrists, a women’s version, and the larger and most popular 44mm Yacht-Master 2.
Rolex has made the Yacht-Master line with many different variations of dials, bezels, and precious metals as well.
In 2007, Rolex released the Yacht-Master II. It came in two different types of metals – yellow gold and white gold. A few years later they introduced the Rose gold and steel bi-metal version. Then a few years after that they released the all steel Oyster steel version.
In this feature, we are discussing the Rolex Yachtmaster 2 Yellow Gold Variation, which is easily one of our favorite Rolex watches to date.
Rolex Yachtmaster 2 Yellow Gold 44m Oyster Case
The Yacht-Master 2 has a much larger, bolder case size compared to the original Yacht-Master. It is 44mm in diameter, which is over 4mm larger than the first Yacht-Master. There is a slight curve to the case which feels very nice. The sides and lugs have an exquisite polishing that shines amazingly.
Inside the case comes the most complicated complication in modern Rolex history.
History & Purpose behind the Rolex Yacht-Master 2 Design and Function – The Regatta Timer
Rolex has been close-knit with the sailing community since the 50s, so they decided to make a special watch to show that rich heritage.
Thus, the first Yacht-Master was made with sailors and boat racers in mind. However, it wasn’t until designing the Yacht-Master II that Rolex really began exploring what unique features they could offer to sailors. They wanted to differentiate the features from the Submariner to make the Yacht-Master a really special watch of its own.
Let’s first look at how Rolex makes the Yacht-Master 2 special specifically for sailors.
The chronograph in the Yacht-Master 2 was named the Regatta Chronograph. Regatta racing is a sporting event which consists of a series of boat or yacht races. Before each race, a sailor has around 10 minutes to prepare. So, Rolex made a piece where sailors could time that 10 minutes.
Rolex Yachtmaster 2 Movement & Ring Command Bezel
The bezel on the Yacht-Master 2 is one of our favorites. Yachtmaster 2’s bezel is a ceramic insert with yellow gold lettering and numbers. The blue on gold is such a complementing look.
Furthermore, the blue as the ocean bezel magnifies the inner ring for the countdown timer on the dial, as it is also blue, which makes it very easy to read. You know what is what on the dial as the blue bezel and inner ring is connected in both appearance and FUNCTION.
The Bezel is a lot different than a Submariner and GMT bezel. It’s not used for timing things or to tell the time. It’s an additional aid with a function that works with the movement of the watch. Hence its name – Ring Command Bezel.
The bezel of the Yachtmaster 2 commands the regatta timer. It’s another connection to the movement like the crown is. The Ring Command Bezel only rotates 90 degrees, whereas the other Rolex watches are 360 degrees rotatable.
The Yacht-Master is often compared to the Daytona. So, we will make a quick note of how the chronograph in the Yacht-Master is much different from the Daytona chronograph – On the Daytona chronograph, we are looking at a lapsed time, whereas the Yacht-Master 2, we are looking at countdown time.
How to use the Rolex Yacht-Master 2 Regatta Timer
Although the Yacht-Master 2 is the most complicated Rolex watch in history, it is very simple to use. This is the true beauty of it. They made the watch complicated in complications but simple in function.
The Regatta countdown timer is a feature that truly makes the Yacht-Master remarkable, with its unparalleled mechanical function that can be programmed from 1-10 minutes, allowing skippers to accurately time and follow every race’s official starting process. It’s not only useful for skippers of course; it can also be used for anything that you want to time under 10 minutes.
In 2007, when first releasing the Rolex Yacht-Master II, it was the only chronograph with a programmable countdown function. This was made possible by creating the Ring Command Bezel.
Setting up the Yacht-Master 2’s Regatta Timer:
- From the bezel’s standard position – the “YACHT-MASTER II” letter is at 6 o’clock – rotate the bezel counter-clockwise until its first click. The “1” on the bezel will be all the way north.
- Then, push the bottom pusher in. This will lock it in so it’s fully depressed.
- Now you can set the countdown timer, which is the red triangular hand to the desired countdown time – 1-10 minutes. You will see it move as you twist the crown clockwise.
- When you have the countdown hand set, rotate the bezel back to its starting position. You will notice the bottom pusher pops back out.
- Finally, you screw in the crown and it’s ready to start. When you want to start, you just push the top pusher, which is the traditional chronograph function. As soon as you push it, you will see the red second’s hand starts to rotate and the triangular countdown hand/timer has begun. To pause it, just press the top pusher again.
Rolex 116688 – The Pushers & Flyback Function
The Yacht-Master 2 has a very special flyback chronograph. So, while the chronograph is active, we can press the bottom pusher to bring the triangular countdown hand to its previous position.
However, it doesn’t just have a flyback function, it also has a ‘flyforward’ function as well, all in one. Here is how it works…
If the second’s hand is on the right-hand side of the watch (right of the 12 and the 6 o’clock), it will return to whatever minute you were previously on. But, if the second’s hand is on the lefthand side, it will fly forward a minute.
This means if the watch was originally set to 6 on the inner countdown timer, then when you push the bottom pusher and the second’s hand is on the righthand side, the triangular hand will flyback to the 6. If it’s on the lefthand side (pass 30 seconds) it will flyforward to the 5. It will then immediately continue counting down.
If you want to reset it to the original start time, press the top pusher then press the bottom pusher. However, if you wanted to reset it to a different starting countdown time, you would need to go through the same process, starting at point 1 above.
Nothing beats the simplicity and function of the Regatta timer’s flyback and fly forward. It truly is a really cool feature, especially if you appreciate horology. It’s simple to use, but it is very complicated to make it. Only an expert horology company like Rolex would be able to create something this innovative. They make it as easy as the push of a button, literally.
Nevertheless, it’s not something that many people actually use as it’s intended, which is regatta racing. However, owners of the Yacht-Master 2 can find a use of the flyback countdown timing one way or another.
What we really appreciate the most is the history and design behind this special timepiece.
Yachtmaster 2 Yellow Gold Oyster Bracelet & Clasp
The bracelet is a standard Oyster bracelet with polished center links and brushed outer links. It’s a very classic sports Rolex bracelet, so you can’t go wrong with it. This one is made of yellow gold, and we think it’s absolutely beautiful. The yellow gold compliments the white dial and blue bezel impeccably.
The clasp is the standard Oyster clasp. It has an easy link that extends out to 5mm. This is very useful as your wrist expands when in warmer temperatures. Oyster clasps are extremely well engineered. They are simple, secure, and they feel very solid.
Rolex Yachtmaster 2 Dial – Nautically Inspired
As a whole, the dial and bezel have a very nautical feel to it. Of course, Rolex intended it to appear this way. The dial looks to have been inspired by a gauge on a yacht, and the blue bezel and inner timer are reminiscing of the ocean.
On the dial, you have the small seconds in a yellow gold subdial. The sub dial has a brushed finish with a channeled effect and a navy hand.
Both the chronograph seconds and chronograph minutes have red accents, which lets you know they work together.
The white dial brings it all together beautifully. It has a satin-like finish, and it’s a white like the color of the side of a boat.
The dial is one of the best parts of the watch. It’s superb in design and as much as it has going on, it was so well done that nothing feels cluttered and it’s easy as can be on the eyes.
Rolex Yachtmaster 2 Weight & Size
In terms of the weight and size of the Yacht-Master 2, it is quite a big watch. A 44mm diameter for a watch case is large, but that was what it was meant to be – a big, brash watch. In regards to thickness, it’s fairly thick, but not as thick as you’d image a “big” watch being.
Personally, we love big watches, but thickness or height isn’t necessarily the big part we like. We like the kind of big that covers the wrist, not the tall kind of big.
So, we love the fact the Yachtmaster 2 case, even with its complicated regatta chronograph inside, isn’t very tall.
Yachtmaster 2 Yellow Gold ON THE WRIST:
The Yachtmaster 2 is a big watch but it doesn’t actually sit super big on the wrist. This is due to the depth of the watch, as we mentioned above. It’s not extremely heavy or anything either, but it does have some nice weight to it.
The watch is a bit top heavy due to the size of the case. Nonetheless, it is still extremely comfortable and if you wanted to wear it every day, you would never have an issue with the weight of the Yacht-Master 2.
If you want a watch that is an attention grabber, this is the one. The Yacht-Master is just out there with its bright white dial on an exquisite yellow gold case and bracelet. The blue bezel pops and screams for attention, yet it’s still so sophisticated in appearance that one would never consider it gaudy. It is a flashy watch, but it in the best way possible. No other Yacht-Master 2 will get attention like the Yacht-Master II Yellow Gold version.
Rolex Yachtmaster 2 Gold Price
Raymond Lee Jewelers/Diamonds by Raymond Lee has the Rolex 116688 Yacht-Master II Yellow Gold 18k Mens Watch in stock now. The Rolex Yachtmaster 2 yellow gold price is $30,500.
About Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Raton
Raymond Lee Jewelers is one of South Florida’s best sales and service centers for watches, diamonds, and high-end jewelry. We are a family business that has spent the last 30 years building a solid reputation selling luxury watches and jewelry at wholesale prices. Furthermore, Raymond Lee Jewelers has one of the largest collections of Rolex watches in all of South Florida. Our goal is to meet the needs of our customers at our Boca Raton retail store and online. We also aim to provide our community with the best possible experience when it comes to any fine jewelry dealings. We combine value, quality and the ability to meet and understand the needs of people of all ages.