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Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

With the introduction of a chocolate dial and Everose Rolesor case on an Oyster bracelet, the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 adds another option to the line after last year’s model. A year ago at Baselworld 2015, the Rolex Yacht-Master arrived with a brand new Oysterflex strap, 40mm case, and caliber 3135 movement. It also came in an 18kt Everose (Rolex’s pink gold alloy) case and is now joined by this steel and gold Rolex Yacht-Master 40 model. There will also be a new all-steel model which we should have a look at for you in the coming days.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Many people, including myself, honestly, aren’t experts on the Rolex Yacht-Master line, so I wanted to explain that this watch is simply a new color scheme in the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 line, and not a new piece altogether. There are several two-tone Rolex Yacht-Master 40 watches, but since this is the first new one since last year’s model, I think it’s more interesting to talk about this watch and what it means for the line moving forward. So yes, there are other Rolex Yacht-Master 40 watches already out there, but for all their merits they’re not providing the novelty of a new chocolate dial.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Offering a distinctly softer look than the matte-black dial and bezel of its older sibling, there is a case to be made that this Rolex Yacht-Master 40 watch might have some success as a full-sized Rolex diver that appeals to women as well as men.  The Oyster bracelet in place of the sporty rubber (what Rolex would insist you call “Elastomer”) strap would likely help make that sell, also. That being said, this is certainly a unisex watch, even though I much prefer the black to the Everose look.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Rolex Yacht-Master 40’s bidirectional rotating bezel has polished raised numerals and graduations that stand out against the matt, sand-blasted surface of the 18kt Everose gold bezel. This softens the look of the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 watch by having two warm tones of Everose gold. On the black dial version with a matt, sand-blasted black ceramic bezel, the polished, raised numerals and graduations maintain a brooding look. Here, it’s softer, brighter, and way less masculine.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Ditto with the dial, where the chocolate color gets that great sun-ray finish. Instead of a matt-black dial with a relationship to light like that of a Transylvanian count, the new model of the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 welcomes it. The hands and hour markers are unchanged, with 18kt Everose gold and luminescent Chromalight appliqués. Oh, and the cyclops over the date window remains. The Rolex Yacht-Master 40’s Everose Rolesor (that’s 904L steel and 18k Everose gold) Oyster bracelet with Oysterlock folding safety clasp looks great and is timeless. The Oysterflex is certainly not for everyone, especially when you consider the fact that you are kind of stuck with whichever one of six size options you choose.


Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

If you haven’t heard about it yet, Rolex is has replaced COSC certifications for their movements with a new in-house Rolex Superlative Chronometer certification (which you can read about here) that ensures accuracy within -2/+2 seconds per day. The new Rolex Yacht-Master 40 has the same caliber 3135 movement as last year’s model, and it has the new “Green Seal” approving it as Rolex Superlative Chronometer-certified.

While I loved the red font indicating the watch’s name on the black-dial version, I’m not sure it works as well here. It looks a little out of place, and I can only hope Rolex at least considers some other options. Then again, the first Rolex watch on a strap followed up by a standard Oyster bracelet model that also removed the bold red font from the dial would really look like Rolex having too much fun with their fans and enthusiasts.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Also announced at Baselworld this year is the 39.5mm gold-cased Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer “Chocolate” watch, which Omega has interestingly decided to market as a ladies’ watch. Personally, I am not the world’s biggest fan of the chocolate dial, but I know several people, both men and women, who I can say would love to wear it any day. It will also be interesting to see how the upcoming steel model is priced, but maybe we’ll see a lot more Rolex Yacht-Master watches out in the wild when you cut almost half from the price of the gold-case black dial model. Price on this Rolex Yacht-Master 40 watch reference 116621 is 13,400 CHF.

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  • ConElPueblo

    “a matt-black dial with a relationship to light like that of a Transylvanian count”
    I hope that the count doesn’t absorb sunlight as much as a black dial! 😉

    I think this piece will go down well with a (primarily) female audience, but that it will age pretty fast. The Omega Seamaster mentioned is, IMO, better looking.

  • Roman

    A splendid color.

  • BrJean

    Are there any *functional* differences between Yacht-Master model and Submariner model? These two looks very similar.

    • JumpingJalapeno

      The YM has the function of removing more $$$ fro your bank account! 😉

    • leo tam

      Less water resistance on the YM – Also, IIRC, the bezel is platinum (or the insert is)

    • spiceballs

      FWIW – YM bezel is bi-directional, Sub – uni.

  • JumpingJalapeno

    I think we have peaked with the rose/pink gold movement. It’s just a fad. IMO Last year’s YM was much more pleasing on the eye. I also don’t understand what a steel YM will add to the Rolex line up, other than compete with the Submariner

  • word-merchant

    I think this would look rather nice in a sunny climate (alas, not UK), matched with white or light summer clothes at a smart bar or club somewhere. Or indeed on a smart yacht (passenger not crew).

  • SuperStrapper

    With that oh-so tired handset that while iconic, has been long overdone, Rolex will always be stuck in a time long since past. On a 2-tone watch, it’s like they are trying hard to be irrelevant. I can understand catering to a certain crowd, and maybe they are targeting the octogenarian that still has money and an interest in new watches like the ones that were in style when they could still get hardons, but what about after them? They are doomed to be passed down and left in a drawer for eternity.

    • hatster

      I have to agree with all of this from SuperStapper, very 80’s. In the UK we will see a host of these very loosely riding up and down the wrists of people driving flash cars – either rich retirees or up-and-coming football (soccer, not American) players. Cultural stereotypes, moi? Never. Oh and the counterfeiters will have a field-day with this model, for sure.

      • Larry Holmack

        Yep…the counterfeiter’s in China probably already have one, have it scanned and are printing out molds on their 3D printers. In a couple of months you’ll see them on Replica websites and in the seedy parts of your town being sold out of the trunks ( or the boots, for ya’ll in the UK ) of old cars.

  • “Everose Rolesor” sounds like a character from the Hunger Games.

    The Yacht Master is an interesting anomaly. It’s not a dive watch, because of its depth rating limitation, and it’s not a yacht racing timer, because you don’t time races with a dive bezel. Rolex should stick a GMT movement into the case and call it the “World Sailor” or something and give this watch a purpose.

    • funNactive

      Or make it a classy diver: @ 300M & a unidirectional bezel.

  • Han Cnx

    Hands are a bit skinny considering all the nice chunkiness going on everywhere else. Guess they’ll get another shot at this next year.

  • ??????

    14,000$ of boredom.

  • Jerry Davis

    Well done new take on a classic design. I do agree with the writer’s comment
    concerning the red type on the face. Should have just reversed white like the copy below it.

  • TrevorXM

    I don’t think a watch can get more “old man” than this one. Rolex owns that market. Boring old men with money who made their careers out of being yes men in widget corporations and bought their first Rolex to celebrate the time when they made middle management forty years ago.

    • Ryan Thong

      Totally agree.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      Projecting again?

    • iamcalledryan

      Yikes, that’s rather a lot of baggage you’ve thrown at a watch.

      • NoCountryForOldCountryBuffet

        Not wrong, though.

    • Allan

      Still a status symbol whether you like it or not 😉 thats hard for a company to achieve.

    • stevemac1

      You couldn’t be more wrong. I bought my Rolex from the proceeds of being a successful night club DJ. I’m hopefully neither boring or old. My Yachtmaster is my 3rd Rolex (I also have Cartier and Bell & Ross.) I am working towards retiring in my 40’s, have never been a ‘yes’ man or worked for any corporations. Your sweeping generalisation of Rolex customers does nothing more than show you to be bitter, ill-informed & more than likely envious of those more successful than yourself.

  • Chris in Austin

    I don’t really care for the pink gold and brown dial, but it does leave hope that we could see a Two Tone GMT in brown/yellow gold (ie Root Beer) in the future. Now that would be a hit!

    • simon

      You mean just like how it was a hit when the last version of “root beer” was in showcases? (said with a facetious tone).
      The “Root Beer” GMT was never a hit. Its a hate it or love it watch. Generally watch people love it, but watch people are not the majority of Rolex buyers and its not who Rolex targets. Even today, the Root Beer is the stepchild of the GMT Master in the secondary market.

  • Shinytoys

    What can be said about the Yacht master that hasn’t already been said. It’s a super fine model built on the legends of Rolex. I would love to own one, perhaps not in this color and finish, but I’d gladly sport the reviewed model any day of the week. Rolex is still king of the upper echelon board room. Just take a look around and see what your fellow partners are wearing 🙂

    • commentator bob

      “Just take a look around and see what your fellow partners are wearing :)” Apple watches.

      • Allan

        Thats normally the sales team. The younger guys.

  • Beefalope

    Oh look, yet another variation of yet another tired Rolex design. How daring.

    • Rob Logan

      The way I look at it, Rolex and all the other brands that show up, especially the big names, have to come up with something new that at the same time doesn’t destroy their iconic images (ie: a Daytona with a date complication, the Rolex world would collectively poop its pants). If Rolex decided not to come up with anything new, who knows what would happen. No point in showing up if you don’t have anything new.

      • Gary Cai

        Agreed. They keep their collection focused. If you want something with a perpetual calendar, then look elsewhere.

  • Leonardo Varuzza

    Shouldn’t yacht master be all about regatta time? What is the difference between this one and the submariner?

    • commentator bob

      The bezel is bi-directional.

  • Javiersteva

    I do enjoy your reviews and the photography is good but I really would like to see pictures of how the watches look in the dark if they have the ability to glow.

    • stevemac1

      I have a Rolex Yachtmaster & the lume is practically non existent. You can ‘charge it up’ by shining an led torch on it, but even then it only last a few minutes. I love my Yachtmaster, however it fails to shine after dark.

  • funNactive

    I like the look of Everose gold over yellow gold – less blingey.

  • Sevenmack

    A ll the hate reserved for the gorgeous Air-King should be unleashed on the Yacht Toliet. Ugly as sin at any price and in any color. Something you would seen sold by Invicta at a ghetto malll.

    • ??????

      Totally agree

    • commentator bob

      It’s 40 mm so obviously it’s not an Invicta.

      • Allan

        Yes invicta already have a yachtmaster clone, its 50mm and likely to have broken in the time it took me to type this out on the ipad.

  • Mike Burdine

    I don’t understand why this is a “yachtmaster” other than the name. Seiko builds a quartz watch that will actually time a regatta–there is actually a lot to it. I own a Garmin Quatix which will time your race, tell you if you are approaching the starting line too fast, and actually steer your boat, if equipped with a garmin autopilot. I understand that Rolex builds great watches. I also know we are all supposed to revere the brand but really the most impressive thing about it is simply that it is a Rolex. The fact that it says Yachtmaster on the dial makes it even more impressive to those who haven’t a clue what a yacht timer should do. Another note: I actually found ABTW while looking for reviews for the Seiko Yacht timer. Unbeknownst to me my wife had already bought me the Quatix. I still look forward to ABTW in my email every day.

    • Allan

      Resale value is good too. Your seiko will be worth £10 in a few years. You can sell a rolex in a few years and not lose much. Surprisingly i know a fair few rolex owners who know if they have to sell the watch, they will get most of their money back easily enough.

      Its a completely separate point to the one you are making in regards to actual ‘usefulness’, however im really just writing in reply to your sentence…. ‘the most impressive thing about it is simply that it is a rolex’. that is exactly why owners of tag, omega. Breitling et all will have to lose a small fortune if they sell their watch on the 2nd hand market.

  • Bruce Wang

    The most desirable watch in the world and the most “faked” by everybody, it’s an iconic one, beautiful, original, a dial for centuries….for me it’s The Watch…..if I have to choose one watch or one Rolex only, this is The One…..

  • Allan

    Its not as nice as the version with the matt black dial in rose gold with oysterflex strap. Still pretty though.

  • Jon Hew

    I always admired the Yacht-master collection. I like the look of the less formal looking bezel than other rolex models. I like to browse ebay to get a handle on the pre-owned prices. Take a look at some of these Yacht-Master rolexes

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