Watches: Rolex Yacht-Master 37mm & 40mm Everose Gold (live pics)
By Thierry Ané on April 1, 2015
Witnessing the unveiling of Rolex’s windows on the very first day of Baselworld has become sort of a tradition for many watch journalists and aficionados of the brand. Minutes before, everyone still conjectures about what could be the new highlights of this extremely sought-after brand.
Will we see a stainless steel version of the Sky-Dweller? Could the legendary Submariner Date be adorned with the same amazing dial as the Sea-Dweller Deepsea D-Blue with its shades ranging from black to blue? Could the eccentric Milgauss make the headlines again with another explosion of colours on its dial? Will Rolex offer a consolation stainless steel rendition of the GMT-Master II with "Pepsi" dial everyone was admiring last year in its expensive white gold version?
The list goes on of course and this is perhaps what is so interesting about this unique brand: the passion it awakens in so many watch lovers, jaded by the excesses of other brands but always sensitive to the true watchmaking innovations of this highly respected Manufacture.
With an impressive amount of novelties, the 2015 vintage surely exceeded everyone's expectations. And, with so many new introductions, everyone could have had at least one pre-Basel conjecture close enough to a newly presented timepiece to feel like Cassandra! Two new nautical models, though, caught everyone by surprise and were the talking pieces of the exhibition: the new Yacht-Master models in 37mm and 40mm…
… To put it simply, they are the very first Rolex watches with a rubber strap! Everybody who likes Rolex understands this is truly a revolution. But everybody who knows the brand immediately gets that there is more to it that just putting a piece of plain rubber on an Oyster case. Like every Rolex, the watch packs up lots of innovations, from the most obvious aesthetic changes to the most serious technical improvements.
To start at the beginning, the 37mm and 40mm version of the new Yacht-Master are crafted in the brand’s trademark Everose gold. This 18-karat gold alloy cast in the brand’s own foundry contains a high percentage of platinum to ensure its magnificent hue will not fade over time. Its rotatable bezel has been fitted with the new Cerachrom insert in matt black ceramic with raised numerals and graduations showcasing a highly polished finish for a perfect legibility.
For the very first time, the Yacht-Master model received a black dial in perfect harmony with the colour of the bezel. The famous Mercedes-style hands and baton or dot hour markers in Everose gold are filled with Chromalight, a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue hue to ensure the same readability at night as it does during the day.
Naturally, all eyes will be drawn to the most obvious innovation: the strap of the watch. Named Oysterflex bracelet, it has been entirely developed by the brand and rightfully patented! One could say it achieves the best of both worlds as it combines the robustness and reliability of a metal bracelet with the suppleness and comfort of a rubber strap.
Its construction starts with two super-elastic metal blades, giving it structure, that are over-moulded with a high-performance black elastomer particularly resistant to environmental effects and absolutely inert for the wearer of the watch. Last but not least, this Oysterflex bracelet is also equipped with a longitudinal cushion system on its wrist side to help stabilise the watch on the wrist of its owner. The folding clasp is in the same Everose gold as the case and presents the well-known Oysterlock safety system to prevent accidental opening.
The impressive characteristics continue inside the timepieces with the calibre 3135 for the Yacht-Master 40mm or the calibre 2236 for the Yacht-Master 37mm. Both self-winding movements offer a 48-hour power reserve and provide a date indication in addition to the time of the day. The former uses the blue Parachrom hairspring patented by the Manufacture and the latter is fitted with the Syloxi hairspring in silicon introduced last year by the brand. Insensitive to magnetic interferences or temperature variations, they also remain up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. They are part of the reason why both calibres have been certified Swiss chronometers by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
At CHF 21,000 for the Yacht-Master 37mm and CHF 23,800 for the Yacht-Master 40mm, these beautiful watches also represent an excellent value for money and should be a tremendous hit when they reach the stores this summer. There is also no doubt that knowing whether or not the Oysterflex bracelet will make an appearance on another sports model like the Submariner Date next year will be one of the most debated pre-Basel 2016 “forecasts”…
For more information please visit the Rolex web site.