The Rolex Yacht-Master History
The story of the Rolex Yacht-Master is not a long one but interesting non the less. It was the first all new watch Rolex introduced after 28 years and as far as what is know was meant as the new Submariner or at least the luxurious version of it and the resemblance is obvious.
There are very early and very rare “prototypes” of the Yacht-Master dated approx 1969 looking much like the Paul Newman Daytona but of course never went into production.
The first actual Rolex Yacht-Master, using the same 3135 movement as the Submariner, was introduced as the Ref 16628 in 1992 which as seen by the last number 8 in the reference number came in gold and only in gold. It was two years later that the watch could also be bought in two-tone gold and stainless steel. And then the Yacht-Master also comes in different sizes, the “ladies size” Ref 69628 (29mm) and the “gentlemen’s mid-size” Ref 68628 (34mm) next to existing 40mm.
1999 brings the new Yacht-Master to the spotlight, the Ref 16622. This is probably the most well known Yacht-Master with its platinum dial and bezel in the stainless steel case and still is very sought after. This watch reintroduced the trademark-term Rolesium dating from 1932 referring to certain stainless steel alloys of which the watch is made and it is this watch that created a waiting list like the Daytona did.
The Yacht-Master has not undergone many changes after. Except for it coming in more combinations of materials like the Rolesor, the word Rolex uses for gold/steel combination.
As like with the GMT the Yacht-Master got a brother namely the boldly looking Rolex Yacht-Master II unveiled in 2007 and coming to the market in 2010 in white or yellow gold. The Yacht-Master II is quite different from the original with its bigger 44mm case and with a cerachrom blue ceramic inlay in the bezel which works in conjunction with the watch. With the turning of the bezel, a countdown from 10 minutes is started used in regatta as starting sequence. The 4161 movement that makes this conjunction with the bezel possible, as one of the first in the world, was almost four years in the making and especially designed for the Yacht-Master II.