The ties that bond Rolex and the world of sailing stretch back to the 1950s, with the Rolex Yacht-Master serving as the link to this storied history. It is just as home on the deck of a yacht on the open sea as on land in an elegant yacht club lounge.
The Yacht-Master stands out from the rest with its immediately recognisable bidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel made of 950 platinum. The raised polished numerals and graduations stand out clearly against a matt, sand-blasted background. This characteristic and functional bezel – which enables the wearer to calculate, for example, the sailing time between two buoys – plays a full part in creating the unique visual identity of the model.
Another superb display of its adaptive qualities is its visibility in the dark, thanks to the Chromalight display. The brand hands and hour are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow.
Like all watches in the Oyster collection, each Yacht-Master is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) – is, therefore, tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria for precision that are far more exacting than those for an official chronometer. The tolerance for the average rate of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer after casing is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day. Its precision is tested by Rolex using an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and is much more representative of real-life experience. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches.
The Yacht-Master’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of metal, in this case, a particularly corrosion resistant 904L steel.
The fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown – fitted with the Twinlock (double waterproofness) or Triplock (triple waterproofness) system, depending on the case diameter – screws down securely against the case, offering watertight security akin to a submarine’s hatch. It is protected by a crown guard that is an integral part of the middle case. The crystal, with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire.
The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 mm is equipped with caliber 3135, self-winding mechanical movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The oscillator, the true heart of the watch, has a balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely via gold Microstella nuts. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance. The hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil enhancing the isochronism of the oscillations. In calibre 3135, the oscillator has a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy.
The Yacht-Master’s movements are fitted with a self-winding module featuring a Perpetual rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide a constant source of energy.
The Yacht-Master models on metal Oyster bracelets are fitted with the ingenious Rolex-patented Easylink rapid extension system that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, for additional comfort in any circumstance. Each is also equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp, developed and patented by Rolex, which prevents accidental opening.