Rolex Yacht-Master 116655
A warm summer sun on my skin, the sea breeze gently ruffling my hair, while the rhythmic lapping of the tide splashes against the hull of my own private yacht. This is the setting that the Yacht-Master was created for, and while I might not have the sailboat yet (does an inflatable dinghy count?), this beauty from Rolex has certainly got me dreaming.
Released at last year’s Baselworld, this updated version of Rolex’s luxury seafarer’s watch was somewhat radical for the brand, which more often than not errs on the side of conservatism when it comes to new models. In lieu of the original Yacht-Master bracelet, this sportier version features an Oysterflex strap that I think adds a fresh, contemporary feel to an already classic watch. It might look like black rubber, but in reality, it’s so much more.
Vital for a watch meant for use on the open seas, the Oysterflex bracelet is waterproof thanks to the high-performance elastomer used in its construction. Beneath the rubber exterior lies a clever skeleton made up of a flexible metal ‘blade’ of titanium and nickel alloy, which gives the bracelet extra structure as well as a reassuring durability. It’s comfy too, thanks to a cushion system on the inside of the bracelet that allows extra movement, while still keeping the watch snug against the wrist.
In a beautiful complement to the sportiness of the strap, the 18k Everose gold of the case gives the Rolex Yacht-Master 116655 a timeless sophistication—not to mention a superbly rich-looking gleam when directly in the sunlight. It adds just the right amount of luxury to the matte black dial and black cerachrom bezel, making it the perfect companion for both captaining a boat at sea and kicking back with a drink at the yacht club afterwards.
The watch comes in two sizes, 40mm and 37mm, with both watches being equipped with different movements. The calibre 3135 inside the 40mm version makes use of Rolex’s patented Parachrom hairspring, while the calibre 2236 that powers the 37mm is a newer movement developed by Rolex and introduced in 2014. It features the silicon ‘Syloxi' hairspring, created with a higher resistance to magnetic fields to increase the accuracy. Of course, both movements are COSC-certified, making them accurate to +/- 2 seconds a day.
The watch is a refreshing take on Rolex tradition that shows the brand’s skill at adapting to contemporary trends while staying true to its ethos. Personally, I’m ready to sail away with it right now.
Watch Spec | Rolex Yacht-Master 116655
Case: Rose gold Dimensions: 40mm Crystal: Synthetic sapphire Water Resistance: 100m Movement: 2236, automatic Frequency: 28,800vph Power Reserve: 55 hours Strap: Oysterflex Functions: Time, date RRP: £13,500 | Shop Now