Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

This year at Baselworld 2017, we saw the release of the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS watch done in a gem-set bezel. It's not a Rolex for the usual fan of the brand but if you're already someone (like myself) who also appreciates the non-traditional Yacht-Master 40 with the Oysterflex bracelet and aren't afraid of some flash, then this is an interesting watch to have in a collection. You'll remember that the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 was introduced back in 2015 and immediately stood out due to the fact that it came on the then-new rubber Oysterflex bracelet. The reaction to the bracelet was, as expected, mixed but has been popular enough with the release of the Rolex Daytona on an Oysterflex bracelet this year.

Also released this year was this Yacht-Master 40 with a remarkably well-done gem-set bezel, which is about the only "typical Rolex" trait you'll find in this piece. Love it or hate it, its execution and quality are undeniable.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On
All images by David Bredan

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

It's inevitable, but many watch enthusiasts have an unfortunate patellar-reflex response to seeing precious stones or gems on watches. I think there are several reasons for it: the often ugly bejeweled timepiece; crappy aftermarket jobs; an unfortunate desire to distance oneself from anything "bling" (sorry, but comment sections on watch blogs and forums are the only place I still see that word as of the past decade); as well as the fact that there are not many factory-made men's watches done with gems that aren't "diamond explosions" or just come off too effeminate. While it's obvious that this piece is going to be geared towards the mainland Chinese market, I think this can be seen as a viable men's watch in the Western market as well.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

The Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS has a bidirectional rotating bezel set with 38 sapphires (blue, orange, yellow, and pink), 8 tsavorites (the green gems), and 1 diamond at 12 o'clock. The uniformity of the gems in respective color and shape is fantastic to behold and I can't imagine even the most critical hater not admiring it if they were to find one of these watches on their wrist. When discussing the far more elaborate and rare Day-Date 40 Green Emerald Platinum watch, our David Bredan discusses the work that goes into Rolex's gem setting:

"For models set with colored gemstones – rubies, sapphires, or, in this case, emeralds – Rolex takes particular care in ensuring that all the stones on a given watch are of the same hue, using a combination of a long sorting process carried out by hand, stone by stone in the Rolex workshops, as well as by using one of Rolex's several sophisticated machines that are, Rolex says, usually only found in independent gemological laboratories. The result is genuinely incredible – if one is familiar with precious stones and gems, it is no secret that it takes sorting through hundreds, if not thousands of pieces to find a bezel-worth of stones that are such a perfect match in color. If anything, it is almost (I said almost!) too perfect as, frankly, I hitherto thought such impeccable matching of colors and shapes would only be possible if every stone were entirely artificial."

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

Like the non-gem model, this Yacht-Master 40 comes on the Oysterflex strap introduced in 2015. Not technically rubber, the elastomer strap is fit with a titanium nickel alloy "blade" underneath to give it a more secure fit. The strap also has the well-received "fins" underneath, which are designed to create a very small space between skin and the bracelet allowing for some flexibility during hot and cold weather. The dial is slightly different, with Rolex choosing a glossy black finish as opposed to the matte dial on the non-gem model.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

Functionality isn't affected with the functioning bi-directional bezel, it's still a real dive watch with 100M water resistance. The double anti-reflective coated crystal and Chromalight lumed hands should make for legibility in the dark, as well. As for the movement, we still see the caliber 3135 movement found in models like the Submariner which gets 48 hours of power reserve.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

The Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watches introduced a couple of years ago were mostly ladies pieces, but the 39mm model was labeled just as the Datemaster which implies it's a unisex piece. For me and many others, between the gems and diamonds on the bezel as well as the dial, it's all a bit too much. When I look at the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS, I see a watch that is a sports watch with gems on the bezel that still retains much the watch's identity and DNA by leaving the dial untouched.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

I think the current popularity of the practice of men's suits being mixed up with bright and colorful ties or socks shows a propensity to add color (with some restraint) to break up the mundane. This watch costs a lot more than a tie, but I see it much the same way. It's the watch you wear to a party to show off your style (and bank account) without the guilt and stigma, fair or not, of fessing up to an aftermarket job to your more conservative watch collector friends.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

I can't tell if it's just me, but I don't find the colors on the gems to be so colorful that they are obnoxious to look at after a while. The stones are absolutely perfect and that adds a level of confidence to the playfulness of the multi-colored arrangement. Frankly, it's not often I see factory pieces with precious stones and think to myself "I'd wear that for a whole weekend" because they are just not versatile. I don't feel the same way here, I'd wear this piece to most day or evening events and not feel self-conscious or anxious.

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS Watch With Gem Set Bezel Hands-On Hands-On

If you know me, you'll know that precious gems and colorful aesthetics aren't really my cup of tea. That being said, there's something about the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116695SATS with gem-set bezel that I can't help but appreciate. Once again, this is going to be marketed mostly to the Asian, specifically Chinese, market but I think one can pull off this watch without the baggage of a (I'll use this word once more to demonstrate the point) "blinged out" piece.

Price for the Rolex Yacht-Master 116695SATS is about CHF 62,500 and, if you want to go all out on gem-setting, there is a version with a full pavé dial for about CHF 86,000, though that apparently was too much for Basel to handle.

What do you think?
  • Interesting (24)
  • I want it! (14)
  • Thumbs up (12)
  • I love it! (8)
  • Classy (3)
  • Luciano

    I find it too constricted… ?

  • Han Cnx

    ( Getting popcorn.. 🙂 )

    I think this will do well in the 7 year old girl demographic. Beads are big there.

    • Han Cnx

      Well I have to say I’m not disappointed with the comments so far. 🙂

    • Chaz

      I hear certain beads are also very popular with a lot of over 18 girls…if ya know what I mean…

  • Framlucasse

    Ouch, my eyes.
    This is not for the western world.

    • Mikita
    • R.O. Ferrer

      it’s not an eastern-western thing; it’s a moron with too much money thing.

      4/1 a “celebrity” (reality show contestant, rapper, spouse) who’ll be bankrupt or in jail in 5 years.
      6/1 a “tycoon” who just made their first billion and is about to get known by buying a football/f1 team but will inevitably overexpose themselves and be bankrupt or in jail in 5 years.
      10/1 drug dealer, warlord, infamous oligarch, or launderer.
      1000/1 you’re an 18th century maharajah and the british east india company just gave you this to set up operations in your part of the world.

      • MeaCulpa

        This watch alone explains why most NBA players are broke five years after retirement from the league.

  • Chaz

    Woulda gotten one had they offered gems on the hour markers…

    • Gokart Mozart

      It may not qualify as a dive watch then?

      • Chaz

        It’s a Yacht Master…not a Sub 😉

        • Gokart Mozart

          So what does Bilals prose “Functionality isn’t affected with the functioning bi-directional bezel, it’s still a real dive watch with 100M water resistance” mean?

          • It means he was dazzled by the gemstones and temporarily blinded so he could not refer to the ISO 6425 dive watch standards.

      • Mikita

        It qualifies for cocaine diver.

    • I would have gotten one if the gems lined up on 5 minute intervals. What a worthless dive bezel – I’m starting to have my doubts that this watch meets the ISO 6425 standards.

  • Aditya

    What a hideous pustule

  • Mikita

    Gems and rubber, rubber and gems.

  • commentator bob

    My critique is that the rubber strap is still crap. Whatever they want to call the polymer, and even with a thin sheet of titanium molded into it.

    I get why it is offered on the ceramic insert rose gold version to make it “affordable”. But here if they are going to offer a ~$25K full pave dial option they should also offer a ~$25K+ gold bracelet version.

  • A_watches

    Classy and cool for a blinged out watch

  • Mikita

    I don’t want it! (1) I hate it! (1) Thumbs down (1) Tacky (1) Disgusting (1)

    • Phil leavell

      You forgot box 6 wrist turd ( 1 )

      • Mikita


  • R.O. Ferrer

    this is what happens when you put an 8 year old’s toy jewelry box, gummy bears, and a chinese watch inside a blender.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I wouldn’t be seen dead with this on.

    • IG

      What if you die and then somebody straps one on your wrist? You wouldn’t even know about it.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Talking crazy here, sure , i’ll play……..My ghost would see what was happening and would haunt the perpetrator and moan taake…it……offfff till he/she did. I would hang about for a bit slamming doors n stuff to teach them a lesson.

      • Gokart Mozart

        My “I would rather die then wear this” reply has now been made redundant.

  • Bozzor

    Fantastic! I was looking for the perfect watch to go with my career change into a successful transgender overweight pimp with a bald head, greying chest hair and whose clientele focuses on well to do middle aged accountants and business advisors whose internet history shows a penchant for Brazilian fart porn.

  • BrJean

    Measuring elapsed time using rotating bezel never been so easy.

    • Gokart Mozart

      I was wondering how this qualfies as a dive watch?

      100m watch resistance does not qualify it as a divewatch. Or is every 100m watch with luminous hands a dive watch?

      • Well its not scuba diving or even desk diving. What sort of diving is left? Hmmm?

        • MeaCulpa

          Diving into a sweet mountain of cocain from your own plantation or a barrel of crude from your own well (as it happens overlapping nicely with key demographics for this watch).

          • Mikita

            New category of watches: cocaine divers.

          • See I’m just glad that Muffie did not reply.

  • Phil leavell

    Rolex is my wife’s favorite watch. I looked this watch I read the article then showed the watch to my wife. And here’s what she said Quote unquote ” My God that thing tacky “

    • IG

      Have you slapped her?

      • Phil leavell

        No because she would massage me with a big stick. (Louisville Slugger)

    • I showed the photo to my wife and asked her what she though of the watch. She assumed it was a ladies watch. When I told her it will probably sell to dudes in the far east she just looked confused.

      • Lincolnshire Poacher

        As are those ‘dudes’ (sic).

        • How do you spell “dudes”?

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            It was less the spelling, than the equivocation. As in some Far Eastern dudes are closer to ‘dudesses’.
            I can’t be bothered to google, but sic means something like, as it was written. Often used for creative spelling, and sometimes for indeterminate meaning.

          • Correct me if I’m wrong – but I thought “sic” was an abbreviation for “spelling incorrect”. But I get your comment about orientation (pun?) of potential far eastern male customers.

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            Yeah, I think that’s what its most often used for. But it’s just as valid to use it for adventurous and creative meanings.
            It means, loosely: as it is written.

          • I like it – I should use it for everything incorrect I say or write. “I meant to say it that way.” “It’s a metaphor for my misspellings and incorrect grammar but it illustrates my fuzzy concepts.”

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            Yeah I love it too. Plus it’s Latin, so that means I’m really really clever 🙂
            In it’s stricter sense I believe it can only be used when ones quoting something. (I’m not actually really clever, I just think I am).

          • Ha ha, yeah my father told me he only learned one phrase from his high school Latin class. Something along the lines of “a stiff c*ck has no conscience”. But it sounds classier in Latin.

            My cousin used to set his dog upon animals (or people) with the command “sic ’em”. I never knew his dog understood Latin.

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            That’s pretty funny, and being a dude (proper type), I know just how true it is.
            I did seven years of French lessons at school, that hundreds of hours. I think I can remember about seven French words.

          • And they are all part of a phrase intended to get French women to sleep with you?

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            How did you know?

          • Because that’s the only phrase I know in French. Along with “where is the lavatory”.

          • Moonraker

            Yeah, I always thought sic was for when you’re quoting someone else who had made a spelling or grammatical error, etc.

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            Yeah, that seems to be a common misconception. It’s broader, I’ve always understood it to be, and seen it used as: Direct quoting because the spelling, grammar, or meaning is anomalous and idiosyncratic.

          • Moonraker

            That makes sense. Perhaps someone has a nonstandard way of speaking or writing but it isn’t necessarily incorrect…

          • Lincolnshire Poacher

            Yup, I like that. Neither wrong nor right; just approached from a different angle. Unless perhaps talking about commonly agreed spellings. But then proper nouns often have no definitive spelling.

      • Phil leavell

        Sorry for the late reply, I took the time to show a transgender friend this watch. The verdict is they won’t even wear this watch it’s hideous.

  • SuperStrapper
  • Berndt Norten

    Only a company resting on its laurels could do something like this–take an iconic 60 year design and treat it with clown dust. Sad.

  • Han Cnx

    Captain Sir! Race time to rounding the next buoy is.. … Green Tsavorite!

  • Mr. Snrub

    “My diamonds gon’ retarded….”

  • TheChuphta

    Ruined by the date window.

  • Gold case, channel set bezel, and a rubber strap. No better way to make the “I have absolutely no taste” statement.


    ok to be fair the jewels setting is perfect a la Rolex but to go as far to call this a western dude’s watch is pushing it. Even for the folks that bat for the other team this would be a stretch.

  • Tempvs Mortvvs

    mmh. I like it. Not to wear it, but only to watch it.

  • Thomas H

    Think I’ll cash in that poor performing mutual fund, and buy two.

  • Yan Fin

    The only excuse – natural rubber!

  • Shinytoys

    That’s a loud yacht master. I like the way the gem’s are meticulously set, but I think we have the wrong watch…

    • IG

      It’s a very sartorial watch, innit.

  • DanW94

    The “Pez Dispenser” bezel is a perfect match with my Nike Air ” Fruity Pebbles” sneakers….

  • Omegaboy

    I’ll put off retirement a few more years to get one of these babies. Yowza!

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Not blinged out enough for the average pimp and to pimpy and rubbery for the average Rolex buyer. So who buys this?

  • Moonraker

    Is gaveaway blog towatch? You send my cousing I pick up august. Many lovings

  • Moonraker

    Kinda reminds me of a recent offering that was well-received ’round these parts:

    • Also hideous but some LV watches have interesting tech.

  • Gokart Mozart

    What does Rolex have to do to get a bad review.

    So many benefits of the doubt for any rolex or PP.

    You would have to put a cow pat on a strap before any of there watches would get slagged off by ABTW or hodinkee.

    Bur if it had the right consistency, colour and shape it would still probably be called the finest cow crap you can buy.

    • Esteban

      Yes this. I can’t decide if it’s because they don’t want to make Rolex et al angry, or just because their judgement has become seriously clouded.

      You absolutely CAN’T get an honest review of any Rolex et al here.

      This is a hideous piece. A clown’s watch. Yes, a very rich clown, but still a clown.

      • egznyc

        Okay, it’s fugly and in poor taste, in our opinions. But I am not sure it’s fair to call this a dishonest review. He gives us the facts and also throws in his opinion. But as long as he’s gotten his facts right, I am in no position to accuse him of “coloring” his opinion. And I will not be rushing out to buy this piece based solely on someone else’s opinion – mine matters the most (not to mention the price ;-)).

        • Esteban

          Of course, not “dishonest”, I keep forgetting it’s such a strong word in English. Let’s change it for “you absolutely can’t get a negative (and well earned in this case) review of any Rolex et al here”.

    • Thomas H

      I just scroll on past anything about PP.

    • MeaCulpa

      If Rolex killed the reviewers kids slept with his wife and burned down his house the review would reed along the lines of “Rolex has kindly reduced my daycare costs, put my marriage through a COSC dress test and seriously reduced my heating bill, twelve stars out of seven for the new pearlmaster”.

      • I don’t condone violence but found your comment funny none the less.

  • I wouldn’t even wear this to a clown convention. I might be able to stomach any of the gem colors if the entire bezel was set in a single color. But this kaleidoscope is a horror of something worse than simple bad taste. But to each his or her own – many someone with more money than taste will like it and wear it to a rainbow coalition event or something. How do I unsee this monstrosity?

    • egznyc

      Sir – I must disagree. I think it’s no more and no less than simple bad taste. I’d be embarrassed to wear such an ostentatious display of it at a clown convention. Now if it were a single color, it might be an improvement. Marginally.

      • OK, I will go with it’s bad taste. But not simple bad taste. This is highly complex bad taste. Cheers.

    • Mark1884

      I agree, make them all chocolate diamonds.

      • You have to hand it to the jewelry industry for coming up with “chocolate diamonds”. Those cheap brown stones never sold until they gave them that name. Reminds me of black diamonds before that. Also exceedingly cheap and really nothing to look at outside of the color. All of the faceting and sparkle you want from a diamond are missing from both chocolate and black diamonds.

        • Mark1884

          Exactly, Give Levian credit for creating a big market for dirty stones.

          • I’m having a custom made sapphire and diamond ring made for my wife as our 25th anniversary is coming up in 4 weeks. Blue being her favorite color. Maybe I should get her that blue You-Blow watch instead? Naw…

          • Mark1884

            Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!

          • Word Merchant

            My wife’s asked for a pearl necklace. I hope to be able to splash out on one soon.

          • Are you a ZZ Top fan?

          • Word Merchant

            Who isn’t?

          • DanW94

            Razor companies….

  • Gokart Mozart

    If the pope wore his robe with beautifully embroidered multicoloured neon edging with discreet hand applied LED’s to appeal to the East Asian market would that be acceptable.

  • commentator bob

    I would not buy this watch, and think the rubber strap is garbage (I would probably put it on a $5 zulu that would look better), but at a certain level I think this is a cool watch.

    People shocked Rolex made this are forgetting the Leopard Daytona is a factory model.

    • egznyc

      Now THAT would likely cause serious buyer’s remorse for any sane person. Okay, that’s unfair – there are plenty of folks in their right minds with bad taste ;-).

    • MeaCulpa

      The perfect watch to wear while maintaining discipline in the Belgian Kongo during Leopoldian rule. The hart of tackiness.

    • At least all of the bezel stones are the same color.

      And if I was an African warlord, that Leopard Daytona might be just the thing. Luckily, I’m not (so I’m safe from wearing that horror too).

    • christosL

      I saw that one in Bangkok the other day. It’s indescribably ugly. And people shit on Invicta?

  • egznyc

    People must forget that Rolex has its pimps and bubble-gum pop star division. Now IF I were in the market for a rainbow-colored bezel on my gold Rolex, I’d probably insist upon a bejeweled gold bracelet, too, and not some kind of “ironic” rubber strap. Nothing wrong with a rubber strap, but it’s like wearing orange Chuck Connors sneakers to a black tie event. Well then again, so is wearing this watch outside one’s home.

  • Mark1884

    Love it…… buying one for myself, and one as a gift.

    • Please remove me from your gift list – just this one time 🙂

      • Mark1884

        You spoiled my surprise!

        • But you saved me from losing a perfectly good lunch.

  • thecouchguy

    If this had a black ceramic bezel it could be one of the few Rolex watches I could like. It looks like a nice watch with a candy bezel. Yuck.

  • I don’t think this multi-color gemstone bezel concept has legs until PP and VC validate it by bringing out Calatrava and Patrimony references respectively.

  • Dan Baxter

    That’s a hot mess.

  • frauss

    Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids!

  • Andrew Hughes

    Rolex jumped the shark on this one. Even the Fonz wouldn’t wear it. Liberace might have, but he’s been dead since 1987… Too bad for you Rolex… you lost the only potential customer for this one.

    • commentator bob

      Liberace was far from the last wealthy power bottom.

  • Had no idea Rolex designers were addicted to Bejeweled.

  • Nicholas Hyde

    just too Las Vegasy

  • Yanko

    The Christmas Tree of Kitsch.

  • Paul Goebel

    Tacky. The third paragraph lists five reasons why watch enthusiasts have a negative reaction to watches like this and I agree with all five. A bad idea well executed is still a bad idea.

  • Ross Diljohn

    You’re definitely right about being geared to the Chinese market.

  • William Jones

    Mr. Petrovsky already has a dozen on order.

  • Ulysses31

    If you pop it in the oven, do the coloured bits melt together? Might be a nice little project for a kid, since this watch is clearly aimed at children.

    • An oven would cook the seals/gaskets rendering this dive watch non-suitable for underwater adventures. But often heating gemstones intensifies their color so you may be on to something.

  • Word Merchant

    Although rather too flamboyant for the Word Merchant wrist, i can’t deny that this is a beautifully finished and executed watch. The gem setting is remarkable. The good lady Doctor Word Merchant has recently fallen in love with and (in very short order) purchased the 40mm rose gold and steel with chocolate dial variant of the Yacht Master, and I have to say that in the flesh it’s an absolutely stunning watch that really suits her, and it’ll be a nice change from the Daytona. So I’d advise you to give this model a look. It’s certainly not the most well known in the Rolex canon, but it’s a well propoprtioned watch for sure.

  • Richard Baptist

    I try not to be critical with my comments so I’ll say this, it was a good job setting the gems in the bezel, oh hell, I can’t do it. I hate jewels of any kind on a watch and I don’t like this multi-colored mess. That is all.

  • ConElPueblo

    Ha, even though I would never wear this monstrosity (money and taste issues…) I sort of admire the ones who does. I think it is all good fun.

    • Yeah – it takes stones to wear a watch like this. Stones of many colors that is…

  • Peter S. Pagano

    “Functionality isn’t affected with the functioning bi-directional bezel, it’s still a real dive watch with 100M water resistance.”

    That you can’t actually use to time a dive or anything else for that matter… It’s a tool watch, built for a purpose, that has had it’s purpose impeded by throwing gems all over the bezel. It’s ok, you can admit that it’s tacky. I don’t think Rolex is going to go on an anti-ABTW rampage if you call a spade a spade.

  • Pete L

    Fabulously well executed but I wouldn’t wear one as I associate gem set bezels with ladies watches, period. Yacht master a strange choice for this too in my opinion as it is neither fish nor fowl.
    Perhaps our oriental friends will find it suits their tastes enough for Rolex to justify making it.