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Among all the Rolex sports watch models ever made, the Yacht-Master collection boasts the most variety. Along with a slew of material options and dial styles, there are also a handful of case sizes to pick from. What’s more, the Yacht-Master line not only debuted the Rolesium case (Rolex’s name for combining steel and platinum on a watch) in 1999 but also the Oysterflex bracelet (a metal bracelet coated in black rubber) in 2015.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659
Rolex Yacht-Master 42

This is particularly impressive when you consider that the Yacht-Master is actually one of Rolex’s youngest sports watch models, having made its debut in 1992. Perhaps Rolex feels more comfortable experimenting with the Yacht-Master line because it’s much younger than the Submariner or the GMT-Master, both of which have been around for more than six decades. The collection continues to expand with the latest model, the Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659, joining just last year at Baselworld 2019. Here are five things to know about the relatively new Rolex Yacht-Master 42.

It Is The Largest Rolex Yacht-Master

As its name suggests, the Yacht-Master 42 comes equipped with a 42mm case, which is the largest Yacht-Master ever made. (The Yacht-Master II does have a 44mm case but that’s an entirely different watch.)

Pre-owned Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659
The Yacht-Master ref. 226659 features a 42mm case

Before the launch of the Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659 in 2019, the largest model in the collection was the 40mm version. At one point in the Yacht-Master’s history, Rolex offered 29mm and 35mm versions, however, these were replaced by the 37mm Yacht-Master a few years back.

Therefore, the current Yacht-Master lineup now offers a medium model (37mm), a large model (40mm), and an extra-large model (42mm).

The Yacht-Master 42 Is Exclusively Available In White Gold

The Rolex ref. 226659 is not only the first white gold Yacht-Master model ever made but it is only available in that case metal (for now). As always, this particular Yacht-Master case is water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet) thanks in part to the screw-down winding crown and a screw-down case back.

Second hand Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659
The Yacht-Master 42 is a white gold version

There are other gold versions including the yellow gold Yacht-Master (now discontinued) and the Everose gold Yacht-Master, however, this is the first time Rolex’s ultra-luxurious signature sailing watch comes equipped with an 18k white gold case.

It Features A Black Ceramic Bezel

In striking contrast to the white gold case of the Yacht-Master Ref. 226659 is the black Cerachrom ceramic bezel. Similar to the bezels of other Yacht-Master models, this ceramic bezel includes a mix of finishes, with polished raised numerals and graduations sitting on a matte black background. All Yacht-Master bezels rotate in both directions and are marked to 60 minutes to permit tracking elapsed times.

Pre-owned Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659
The black ceramic bezel includes polished and matte finishes

In addition to its sleek look, ceramic is renowned for its topnotch resistance to scratching and fading, making this a perfectly capable watch to wear whilst out sailing.

It Only Comes With An Oysterflex Bracelet

The Oysterflex bracelet is Rolex’s newest bracelet style, having debuted in 2015 on the then-new Everose gold Yacht-Master. Unlike other rubber straps, the Oysterflex bracelet is different because it has a metal blade at its core for better shape retention, which is then coated in black elastomer. This explains why Rolex insists on calling it a bracelet and not a strap.

The black Oysterflex rubber bracelet is fitted with a white gold clasp

While most other models in the Yacht-Master collection are fitted with a metal Oyster bracelet, the Rolex Yacht-Master 42 Ref. 226659 is exclusively paired with the black Oysterflex bracelet, complete with a white gold deployant clasp. The combination of the black bezel, black dial, and black rubber bracelet looks especially fantastic next to the white gold case of the Yacht-Master 42.

The Yacht-Master 42 Runs On Caliber 3235

As one of the newest watches of the current Rolex catalog, it comes as no surprise that the Rolex Yacht-Master 42 is fitted with the brand’s newest generation movement–Caliber 3235. The Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659 retains the customary date window at 3 o’clock, accompanied by the familiar Cyclops magnification lens to magnify the date by 2.5 times.

Used Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659
The time and date functionality of the Yacht-Master 42 is powered by Caliber 3235

Caliber 3235 is an automatic mechanical movement, built and developed entirely by Rolex. It features a 70-hour power reserve, which is notably more than the 48-hour power reserve of the preceding Caliber 3135. Naturally, it is COSC-certified and boasts an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day.

The Rolex Yacht-Master 42

With its generous 42mm size, 18k white gold case, black ceramic bezel, and black rubber bracelet, the Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659 is quintessentially Rolex in that sporty yet ultra-luxurious sensibility.

The Rolex Yacht-Master 42

Written by

Celine Simon

Celine is a freelance luxury watch writer who has enjoyed working in the horology industry for over ten years. Like many of the high-end timepieces she writes about, she comes from Switzerland—the heart of fine watchmaking. From Singapore to Montreal to Geneva to Dubai, Celine has lived all over the world but now calls Southern California home.