Introduced as the “Skippers’ Watch”, the Yacht-Master is where Rolex truly shines in terms of performance and elegance. Following the success of the original Yacht-Master was not an easy feat, but Rolex managed to create its best performing yachtsman’s watch: the Rolex Yacht-Master II. The biggest Yacht-Master in terms of size and personality, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is mechanical, self-winding, and uses Rolex’s 4161 caliber.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II is Swiss watch brand’s love letter to the spirit of a yachtsmen. The successor to the favorite Rolex Yacht-Master collection, the Rolex Yacht-Master II ups the ante with new features and designs. The most obvious difference between the two is size: the Rolex Yacht-Master II is significantly bigger than the Rolex Yacht-Master. All timepieces under this collection boast a 44mm case, compared to the Yacht Master’s 29mm to 42mm.
Moreover, the Yacht-Master II comes with new features, such as the rotatable Ring Command bezel, and the 4161 caliber. These are groundbreaking strides in the world of yachting, and make competition fierce not only in sailing but also in the line of Yacht Masters from Rolex.
Prices at a Glance: The Most Popular Rolex Yacht-Master II Watches
Rolex Yacht-Master II Automatic 18K Yellow Gold Oyster Watch (116688-0002)
Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel (116680-001)
Rolex Caliber 4161
72-hour power reserve
100m water resistance
Rolex Yacht-Master II Yellow Gold (116688)
Yellow gold material
Rolex Calibre 4161
72-hour power reserve
100m water resistance
Rolex Yacht-Master II 18K White Gold Oyster Bracelet Automatic Men's Watch 116689WAO (116689)
Luminous Dot index
Rolex Calibre 4161
72-hour power reserve
100m water resistance
How much is a Rolex Yacht-Master II?
A Rolex Yacht-Master II watch costs anywhere between $18,000 USD and $60,000 USD. The most expensive timepiece in this collection is the Rolex Yacht-Master II White Gold and Platinum Ref. 116689 watch. You can get this piece for about $41,000 USD to $54,000 USD. Its steep price is because of its Rolessor features, which marries white gold and platinum to form one exquisite watch.
Last but not least is theRolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116688 18K Yellow Gold. A combination of the world’s finest steel and mineral, this watch costs around $40,000 USD to $46,000 USD. As with all watches, this will depend on where you buy it or who you buy it from.
There are only four Yacht-Master II timepiece designs available worldwide. Despite its short history, the Yacht-Master is one of Rolex’s most functional pieces. Designed for the skipper, the Yacht-Master II is programmable and makes way for an intuitive time-reading.
The Differences Between the Rolex Yacht-Master and the Rolex Yacht-Master II
There are stark differences between the Rolex Yacht-Master and Rolex Yacht-Master II. Despite belonging to the same family, the Yacht-Master sports more of a classic Rolex style. Meanwhile, the Yacht-Master II, in comparison, has raised numbers and markers for intuitive time-reading.
Their dials also differ, with the Yacht-Master II sporting a classic white dial and the Yacht-Master sporting a variety of dials, coming in blue, black, chrome, and even pearl.
The most recognizable difference between the two is size. A Yacht-Master is usually 29mm to 42mm, while the Yacht-Master II is 44mm. Its dial also has much more features compared to the original Yacht-Master.
It took Rolex over a decade to create a follow-up to the Yacht-Master. In this time, yachting changed. The Yacht-Master followed suit. The original Yacht Master’s main feature was its 60-minute timing and bidirectional bezel. This made it easier for skippers to clock in their sailing and build competition. It is also water-resistant to up to 330 feet or 100 meters.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II introduced two new features: a bidirectional Ring Command bezel and Rolex’s 4161 caliber. As a regatta chronograph, the Yacht-Master II featured a mechanical function that made it easy for skippers to track their countdowns. Timing is more precise with the Yacht-Master II. The bezel and the chronograph work together in ensuring this.
As for the new 4161, this is a chronograph movement exclusive to Rolex. It is mechanical and self-winding. Precise and pristine, this technology uses over 360 components designed in-house by the brand itself.
Up Close with the Rolex Yacht-Master II Models
1. Rolex Yacht-Master II Oystersteel
A sleek steel watch case and a white dial form the Yacht-Master II’s most classic look. One of four models in Rolex’s Yacht-Master II collection, this one is known as the Rolex Yacht-Master II Oyster Perpetual.
This timepiece boasts a high-quality steel case that can survive aerospace and most forms of corrosion. Its bezel is a classic blue Rolex Cerachrom insert and can rotate in two directions — most useful for boat skippers. The Oystersteel does all of this while looking as polished and elegant as possible. Its beauty encompasses harsh climates.
2. Rolex Yacht-Master II Oystersteel and Everose Gold
Following the Oystersteel is the Rolex Yacht-Master II 18K Everose Gold. Like the former, Everose has an Oyster bracelet and a blue Cerachrom bezel. Its dial is also white, which is a classic statement of the Yacht-Master II. What makes this timepiece stand out is its use of two metals: gold and steel. A staple in Rolex’s long-running history, combining these two metals is known more commonly as a ‘Rolesor’.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II 18K Everose Gold is as functional and strong as all the other Yacht-Master II watches. However, it stands out because of its noble gold status and trademarked Rolex style.
3. Rolex Yacht-Master II White Gold and Platinum
On the topic of elegance and nobility, the Rolex Yacht-Master II White Gold and Platinum watch boasts 18K white gold. It also has an Oyster bracelet and another rotatable bezel. This time, however, the bezel is solid platinum.
Like other timepieces in the Yacht-Master II collection, the bezel is programmable and has a mechanical memory. The former is a unique feature to Rolex and is of most interest to skippers worldwide. This watch is a mix of three types of gold. These work hand-in-hand with the other metals of this timepiece, particularly the platinum.
4. Yacht-Master II Yellow Gold
Last but not least is the Rolex Yacht-Master II Yellow Gold iteration. Made with 18K yellow gold, this watch also has a rotatable blue Cerachrom bezel. This also sports Rolex’s standard Oyster bracelet. Besides boasting one of the world’s best programmable chronographs and world-class gold, this piece is an homage to Rolex’s excellence.
Like the Yacht-Master II’s white gold and platinum, the purest of metals are used in making this timepiece. With everything made in-house, Rolex flaunts its attention to detail and excellent craftsmanship with the Yellow Gold Yacht-Master II.
Is the Rolex Yacht-Master II a good investment?
With only four different iterations, the Rolex Yacht-Master II keeps its name pristine and metals precise. This keeps the quality of the Rolex Yacht-Master II in check while offering enough variety in design. The Rolex Yacht-Master II is a strong investment because it is a pioneer in its field. As a yachtsman's watch, it is the first Rolex watch to introduce a bidirectional and rotatable Ring Command bezel. This watch is also the first to introduce 4161 caliber.
With prices ranging from $18,000 USD (Ref. 116680) to $54,000 USD (Ref. 116689), the Rolex Yacht-Master II can be as affordable as you want it to be. The Yellow Gold (Ref. 116688) and White Gold with Platinum (Ref. 116689) watches are at a steeper price point for their materials, but their features are more or less the same.
The History Behind the Rolex Yacht-Master II
The Rolex Yacht-Master II updates the brand’s famous regatta chronographs. For starters, this update is most evident in its programmable settings — particularly a countdown that uses its own mechanical memory.
Stylish and functional, the Yacht-Master II debuted in 2007. The success of the Yacht-Master line set the stage for a follow-up, and Rolex had to play its cards right. Thus, after a 15-year wait, the Yacht-Master II was born.
Flexing a different dial with markers for 12 and 6 o’clock, this timepiece is already in a league of its own. This watch is very specific to the needs of skippers, helping them read time intuitively and set countdowns with ease. Its bezel works with its chronograph, which is very different.
The Yacht-Master II is a modern yachtsman’s watch, gleaming with a new metal: white gold. It is strong, reliable, and noble. With a new 4161 automatic movement, this collection surpasses the abilities of its predecessor.
In relation to Rolex’s long-running history, the Rolex Yacht-Master is a relatively new model. Debuting in 1992, this line of watches has shaped nautical sports ever since. The look of this watch embodies what it means to be a yachtsman. An elegant yet bold timepiece, the Yacht-Master is made with the finest steels. One of its most popular watches, the Yacht-Master 40 (Ref. 16622), gleams with an Oystersteel bracelet and Platinum bezel. Compared to the Yacht-Master II, these watches have fewer features but just as much elegance.
This line has released other models since its debut. Other popular watches include the Yacht-Master (Ref. 116621) made with Oystersteel and Everose gold, and the black-dialed Oysterflex (Ref. 116655). The Yacht-Master has style, flair, and functionality. It has different dial versions and Mercedes hands. These classic watches also have a date window, unlike the Yacht-Master II.
Five Reasons to Buy a Rolex Yacht Master II Watch
1. It is part of Rolex’s most successful watch lines and is historic in its own right (new 4161 caliber).
2. The Rolex Yacht-Master II watch is professionally approved, used by yachtsmen such as Sir Francis Chichester, Bernard Moitessier, and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
3. This watch is functionally beautiful, especially with its Ring Command bezel and regatta chronograph.
4. The Rolex Yacht-Master II is innovative and focuses on the minute details. It is a testament to Rolex’s craftsmanship.
5. Lastly, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is flexible. With its aesthetic, you can conquer both dangerous tides or your next business meeting.
Rolex Yacht-Master II: Ode to the Spirit of Seafaring
The Rolex Yacht-Master II is the ultimate yachtsman’s watch. Offering 44mm of elegance, paired with new features such as the 4161 caliber and Ring Command bezel, this watch is a must-have for anyone who has the spirit of an adventurer.