Hands-On – The Updated Rolex Yacht-Master II (and a look back at its great features)

By rolex
April 6, 2021
8 min read

Using the term ‘update’ when describing the “new” Rolex Yacht-Master II is very nearly an activity in incongruity, as the progressions made by the “Crown” to its Regatta watch are insignificant. Notwithstanding, actually we undoubtedly have another cycle of this niche model, despite the fact that there has been no change to its reference number (Ref. 116680 for the steel version). Sounds like a decent opportunity to glance back at the Yacht-Master II and its incredible functionality.

The Updated Rolex Yacht-Master II

To keep things brief, the update concerns the dial as it were. Indeed, subtleties of the dial. The fundamental goal of Rolex was to build the decipherability of this expert watch, to ensure that no disarray can arise – and most likely give it somewhat a greater amount of Rolex DNA. For that, the dial of the Rolex Yacht-Master II currently includes a three-sided hour marker at 12 o’clock and a rectangular hour marker at 6 o’clock for more instinctive perusing of the watch – rather than square markers all around the dial. 12 and 6 markers are currently unmistakably recognized from the remainder of the dial.

The hands have likewise been refreshed. Prior to this facelift, the YM II included rather flimsy rod hands (blued on the steel version, or coordinating the case on gold versions) with a sprinkle of luminescent material. Starting at 2017, the Yacht-Master will depend on the notorious “Mercedes” hand for the hour, with a large luminescent circle, unmistakably recognizing it from the moment hand – which is still a twirly doo shape, anyway it now highlights a cut-out section so as not to deter the perspective on the Regatta countdown. This setup is accessible for all Yacht-Master II models: in steel (Ref. 116680), in Everose Rolesor version combining steel and 18k Everose gold (Ref. 116681), in 18k yellow gold (ref. 116688) and in 18k white gold with platinum bezel (Ref. 116689).

For the rest, the Rolex Yacht-Master II remaining parts unaltered. It actually depends on its 44mm case water-impervious to 100m, an Oyster wristband with Oysterlock collapsing wellbeing catch and Easylink 5mm comfort expansion interface (the middle connection of the bracelet remains cleaned, while the rest is silk completed), a Triplock winding crown, ensured by a crown watch that is a fundamental piece of the center case, screwed caseback (plain, no sapphire gem) and a blue artistic bezel with platinum-or gold-PVD numerals and engravings (except for the white gold version, which keeps it sold platinum bezel).

Inside, is the great type 4161, a mechanical chronograph development with segment haggle grasp restrictive to the Rolex Yacht-Master II (very unique in relation to the 4130 of the Daytona ), with programmed twisting in the two ways, 72-hour power save, antimagnetic Parachrom hairspring and large balance wheel with variable inactivity. This complex development is, similar to each Rolex type, affirmed as a Superlative Chronometer, having satisfied a series of tests directed by Rolex in its own labs as indicated by its own measures, which surpass the COSC standards and which applies to the completely gathered watch, subsequent to packaging the development. This outcomes in a a – 2/+2 sec/day precision and a 5-year warranty.

The Rolex Yacht-Master II in Action

The Rolex Yacht-Master II is a chronograph, anyway an exceptionally extraordinary sort of chronograph, likewise called a Regatta watch or a Skipper watch. To be sure, don’t anticipate that it should quantify time frames, as most chronographs. For that, you should investigate the famous Daytona , a watch made to gauge velocities (or whatever else from one instant of time to another). The YM II is unique. It features a programmable commencement with a mechanical memory that can be synchronized on the fly. This watch, as we said in the introduction, is very niche, offering an explanation to the particular needs for exact planning during the vital beginning grouping of a regatta.

While this may sound complex from the start, and keeping in mind that the presentation of its dial is fairly one of a kind, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is, unexpectedly, a very instinctive watch. This watch is about man/machine communication and regular utilization of the commands, on account of one clever feature, the “Ring Command Bezel” (which is presently likewise utilized in the Sky-Dweller ) and alludes to a bezel that isn’t there to keep track of events however is incorporated in the chain of activities and interfaces straightforwardly with the movement.

Because the crown and the two pushers were at that point used to set time/wind the development or follow up on the beginning/ reset of the chronograph capacities, Rolex needed to envision another approach to set the commencement, without including a third pusher the case (which in Rolex’s psyches would have been blasphemy). The thought was to make a bezel that connects with the movement. Rotating the bezel 90° offers admittance to the programming capacity of the commencement span, which is set through the winding crown. Turning the Ring Command bezel back the other way at that point bolts and retains the programming.

How does it work, all things considered, – or if nothing else during a regatta? Unlike racing vehicles, regatta boats can’t stand stable on a beginning line. Along these lines, they sail around the beginning line, hanging tight for the takeoff, which implies it’s crucial to know the specific snapshot of the departure. The beginning strategy of a regatta for the most part unfurls in three phases, set apart by sound and visual signs. This preliminary stage endures from 5 to 10 minutes as per the kind of regatta. This where you begin to utilize the Rolex Yacht-Master II for what it is.

The method in details:

  • Phase 1 – programming – The captain programs a commencement term of as long as 10 minutes on his Yacht-Master II as per the regatta rules. For that, he simply needs to pivot the bezel 90 degrees, set the straight term with the crown and the focal red bolt hand on the dial will position to the privilege timing. Once modified, the commencement length is precisely remembered so when the commencement is reset, it naturally keeps the very same setting. Turning the bezel back to its initial position bolts and retains the programming.
  • Phase 2 – dispatching the countdown – a weapon shot and a banner sign the beginning of the regatta countdown. The captain dispatches the commencement by squeezing the pusher at 2. The middle seconds hand begins running and shows slipped by seconds similarly as a customary chronograph. The red bolt hand indicates the excess minutes on the 10-to 0-minute commencement scale on the dial.
  • Phase 3 – Synchronization – Race authorities give a first preliminary sign by discharging the weapon a subsequent time and lifting another flag. The captain has a chance to synchronize the watch commencement with the authority commencement – to ensure his planning meeting is precise. For that, he’ll simply need to press the pusher at 4 that acts like a flyback. The second hand (and just that hand, the commencement hand actually runs) reset on the fly and it runs again when the pusher is delivered. The commencement minute hand is consequently synchronized to the closest moment to compensate for any untimely or postponed dispatch of the chronograph at the first signal.
  • Phase 4 – Synchronization 2, one moment before the start – A second preliminary sign is given with an impact of a horn, and the bringing down of a flag. The captain can check initially that the commencement of the Yacht-Master II is appropriately synchronized with the authority timing.
  • Phase 5 – beginning of the race – A last firearm fired and lowering of a banner demonstrates the beginning of the race. In the event that the captain figured out how to utilize the Yacht-Master II effectively, it will precisely demonstrate the flight time to the nearest second. With this, the person will profit from the advantage of knowing precisely what time the race has formally started.

As you’ve seen, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is a complex watch, with a legitimate reason fabricated idea driving it. Obviously, it shouldn’t be diminished just to the regatta use, anyway this capacity stays exceptionally limited outside of this specific circumstance. The Yacht-Master II is an often seen as an assertion watch, as the biggest recommendation in the inventory (along with the Deep-Sea), with the restrictiveness of being accessible in different materials, including valuable ones. Rolex.com .


Technical Specifications – Rolex Yacht-Master II 2017

  • Case: 44mm breadth – steel/steel and 18k rose gold/18k yellow gold/18k white gold – ceramic bezel or solid platinum bezel – sapphire gem on the dial side – 100m water resistant
  • Movement: calibre 4161, in-house – Superlative Chronometer ensured – programmed – 72h force hold – 4Hz recurrence – hours, minutes, little second, regatta chronograph with programmable regatta commencement with mechanical memory,

    retrograde moment hand and focal second hand

  • Bracelet: 3-connect Oyster wristband with Oysterlock collapsing wellbeing catch and Easylink 5mm comfort expansion link
  • Price/Reference:
    • Steel – 116680 – EUR 17,150
    • Steel and Rose gold – 116681 – EUR 23,050
    • Yellow gold – 116688 – EUR 39,900
    • White gold/platinum – 116689 – EUR 44,100