Rolex debuted the Yacht-Master II in 2007 as a tool watch for professional yachtmen. Compared to its predecessor, the Yacht-Master, the Yacht-Master II is vastly different both in terms of looks and functions. Sized at 44mm, the Yacht-Master II is, in fact, one of Rolex’s largest watches. Functionally, the Yacht-Master II boasts a technically impressive regatta timer with a programmable countdown function(1 to 10 minutes) with a mechanical memory. In theory, this is for professional sailors to use during competitions to sync with the official race countdown. Regardless if the Yacht-Master II is ever used in a regatta as Rolex intended, fans of the watch appreciate its bold style and impressive movement.
In 2017, on the occasion of the model’s 10th anniversary, Rolex updated the Yacht-Master II collection slightly Let’s have a closer look at an earlier model of the Everose two tone Yacht-Master II ref. 116681 and discuss what the changes are.
The Original Everose Two Tone Yacht-Master II ref. 116681
Rolex introduced the Everose two tone Yacht-Master II ref. 116681 in 2011 to join the already existing solid yellow gold and white gold versions. Everose is Rolex’s official name for their patented rose gold alloy that is formulated to never fade. On the Yacht-Master II ref. 116681, we see the combination of Everose gold and stainless steel, where the stainless steel 44mm Oyster case includes rose gold on the bezel, winding crown, and pushers. There are also polished rose gold center links accompanying brushed steel links on the Oyster bracelet. The bracelet also includes the practical Easylink 5mm comfort extension link.
While the knurled edges of the bezel are in Everose gold, the bezel actually stands out for its bright blue ceramic bezel. Similar to Everose, Rolex also named their particular type of ceramic material–Cerachrom. Not only is the Cecharom bezel on Yacht-Master II ref. 116681 a big part of the overall design of the watch, it’s also how to switch between different functions when setting the watch. Dubbed the Ring Command, the bezel must be turned to shift from setting the time to setting the countdown feature. Powering the Yacht-Master II is the in-house Cal. 4161 automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve.
The dial of the Yacht-Master II ref. 116681 also has a very different layout to other Rolex sports watches. At the center of the watch sits the blue hour and minute hands, along with a red arrow-tipped chronograph hand. This is accompanied by a running seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Running around the periphery of the dial are square luminescent hour markers. Also on the dial is the 1-10 minute countdown partial ring, outlined in blue.
The Updated Everose Two Tone Yacht-Master II
Just last year, Rolex updated all the Yacht-Master II watches with minor modifications to the dial. Firstly, the familiar Mercedes-style hands now replace the original thin blue hands. Secondly, rather than 12 square hour markers, Rolex added an inverted triangle at 12 o’clock and rectangle at 6 o’clock. Notice how these details are similar to those found on other popular Rolex sports watches such as the Submariner, the GMT-Master II, and the Explorer II.
While the movement remains the same, like all Rolex watches made after 2015, the updated Yacht-Master II’s Cal. 4161 includes the new Rolex accuracy certification of -2/+2 seconds per day.
Those are the only changes Rolex made to the revamped Yacht-Master II. As a result, it carries the same reference number.
With an appealing mix of rugged stainless steel, precious rose gold, high-tech blue ceramic, and a unique dial layout, the Everose Two Tone Yacht-Master II ref. 116681 is a Rolex sports watch that stands out from the rest. Plus, boasting a complex automatic movement, it’s also a technically striking mechanical watch that deserves applause.