Rolex introduced the new Yacht-Master on Steroids offered in an 18K white gold case with a diameter of 42mm at the recently ended Baselworld 2019 trade show. The brand, which has set the sector standards for years with its conservatively arranged sizes, seems to have broken the oath.
To be honest, the Rolex models introduced at the 2019 Baselworld show did not cause any excitement for me. This situation goes for the new Yacht-Master 42 as well. No, the new YM is definitely not a bad or an ugly watch. The problem is that my expectations from my Rolex were too high. Therefore, disappointment was unavoidable.
I can say that the standard 40mm diameter Yacht-Master, which is already offered in Rolex's current collection, has the brand’s best-proportioned case. I deliberately say “standard” as the same collection also includes the Yacht-Master II that is obviously not going to win any beauty contests. For example, Daytona, who shares the same propositions with the Yacht-Master, is also among my favorites, but the new generation of Submariner and GMT-Master II models, with the Super Case, ranks second in my list. After this long introduction, let me get to the point. Why mess with the perfection just for the sake of making a change? I guess that’s where the words fail…
The new Yacht-Master comes in an 18K white gold case measuring 42mm in diameter. Ref. 226659 is a sports watch type model with its black ceramic bezel insert featuring embossed figures, just like the 40mm 18K pink gold Yacht-Master. So, why white gold? The stainless-steel version of the same model will probably not come out. At least not with 42mm case and an Oysterflex bracelet. Then if you want a Yacht-Master dominated by black tones, you need to increase your budget and reduce your expectation for comfort. Speaking of which, the Oysterflex bracelet balances the heavy gold case successfully and provides enough wrist comfort for the average user. The Rolex classic 2.5X Cyclops is present at 3 o’clock. The new Yacht-Master is water resistant to 100 meters, as the other models in the series.
The new model is powered by the new generation Caliber 3235. Self-winding movement offers a power reserve of up to 70 hours and promises a brilliant accuracy of ± 2 seconds per day, and even achieves better in real life. The Rolex Yacht-Master 42 comes on a black Oysterflex rubber strap. The two protrusions on the strap close to the lugs help the watch to stand firmly on the wrist. The strap is secured by the Oysterlock folding clasp made of 18K white gold. With the Glidelock precision adjustment mechanism, it is possible to adjust up to 15mm with 2.5mm intervals.
Let’s get to another important issue. Rolex Ref. 226659 model retails for 26,500 CHF. If you do not insist on the black dial before fall short of words, let me remind you the Yacht-Master Ref. 116622 model with its stunning blue dial and platinum insert bezel. Rubber strap? Oh, that's easy.