The Yacht-Master by Rolex, first introduced in 1992, has always been a luxury watch as opposed to a tool watch. The bi-directional rotating bezel can be used for timing events very approximately, in other words, to the nearest minute for events lasting 15 minutes or less (if you’re interested in this sort of functionality, there are a lot of alternatives, such as the Seiko Prospex SRP777).
But its destination in life is more a general purpose watch, and it’s designed primarily to look good. The bezel is beautifully engineered with polished raised numerals and graduations on the satin background, all in rose gold (Rolex’s patent alloy Everose). The numerals on the bezel have a design that is pure Rolex, expressing toughness. Rolex’s designs have a curious feature: they are never “in your face” exceptional or showy, but always demonstrate a quest for perfection. Examples of the meticulous detailing can be seen in the bezel on which the external fluting is at one-second/minute intervals (i.e. 60 flutes around the bezel), and likewise on the internal bezel flange, where the Rolex lettering repeated 12 times also has a letter placed above every second/minute mark on the chapter ring. The ratchet itself also operates at one-minute intervals.
Hands and hour markers are coated with Chromalight for long-lasting luminescence. The dial is in chocolate sunray finish.
Everose gold is also used for the central links of the bracelet. Other parts of case and bracelet are in 904L steel. The Oyster case is waterproof to 100 metres, with a screw-down caseback, and a steel screw-down crown. The case is 40 mm in diameter.
Inside, the calibre 3135 movement is a Rolex classic, first introduced in 1988, and successively improved with the anti-magnetic Parachrom hairspring and other technological variants. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz) and has a power reserve of about 48 hours. Its performance is certified by COSC, and then by Rolex’s internal testing procedure for precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding efficiency. Its precision is rated at about -2/+2 seconds deviation per day.
The Oyster bracelet has an Oysterlock safey clasp, and the Easylink extension system that enables the user to increase its length by 5 mm.
Versions and prices
The Yacht-Master 40 in steel and Everose gold costs €13,100. The watch is also available in steel and platinum with blue or anthracite dial (€10,750). A 37 mm version in steel and platinum also has an anthracite dial and costs €10,250.