Reviewing the Rolex Yacht-Master II

While the Submariner and GMT Master II get the most buzz, Rolex actually has an extensive catalog that is full of watches you may not have heard of. One of them is the Rolex Yacht-Master II. This timepiece is one of the more polarizing out there because it is so flashy and expensive. Of course, that doesn’t just mean that it has a few haters. It also means that the Yacht-Master II has a cult following of people who absolutely love it. Below, I’ll cover both sides of the debate by going over each aspect of this watch.


The one thing that everyone can agree on is that Rolex is an exceptional brand. They’re independent, in high demand at all times, and create truly fantastic products. Rolex has been at the top of the watch world since the early 1900s, and they show no signs of slowing down.

side view of Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116689-0002  watch

What separates them from the rest of the market is their proficiency in both luxury and function. On one hand, they manufacture tough, tool-like watches. Whether you drop your Rolex, get it wet, or put it under any other stress, it should keep on ticking. On the other hand, they have become masters of luxury by offering precious metals and elegant designs.

The market has rewarded Rolex for their devotion to the craft. This is evidenced by the long wait list that come with purchasing watches from them. While you can buy certain models at any time, the most popular are on backorder for years. This is a testament to how appealing Rolex is, though it is frustrating for collectors.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Appearance

Plain and simple, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is very flashy. Your standard steel model has a silver case, blue bezel, and a dial that features red, white, and blue coloring. It definitely has a patriotic look to it, as it incorporates the three colors of the United States flag. In my opinion, the design on this watch works and would look great on most people’s wrists.

closer view of Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116681-0002 watch

If you want to get something a bit more luxurious, you can opt for different materials. That includes a two-tone model with Everose gold, an especially bright yellow gold option, and a very interesting white gold and platinum blend. Each color scheme has a different personality, so be sure to look at all of them before making your decision.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Materials

First, let’s go over the materials that every Rolex Yacht-Master II has. They are a sapphire crystal and stainless-steel interior components. Both of them have fantastic quality and definitely live up to this model’s price range. The difference between them comes in the form of metal type, which we touched on above. Rolex offers Oystersteel, Everose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum. This gives you a great selection of materials to choose from.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Movement

The movement on this watch is likely the most interesting part of it. While most timepieces have typical complications, such as showing a date, the Yacht-Master II has one that is oddly specific. It is a stopwatch that counts down from ten. This function is meant for timing the start of Regattas, but you can use it for any task that takes under ten minutes to complete.

movement of Rolex Yacht-Master II watches

This strange chronograph is especially unique because of the way it functions. Not only does the bezel have a direct effect on how the watch works, but the Yacht-Master II has a mechanical memory that can always bring you back to where you left off.

The stopwatch function is made possible by the 4161 movement that Rolex manufactures themselves. Aside from its complication, this piece of machinery is also incredibly accurate. It should only lose or gain two seconds per day, which helps with not having to reset your watch all the time.

Rolex Yacht-Master II General Craftsmanship

Though this watch only has 100m water resistance, it was not created for diving. Instead, it is a watch you wear while on a boat, not under it. Resistance aside, it is clearly very well made, as most Rolex watches are. I fully endorse its craftsmanship.

side view of Rolex Yacht-Master II white dial watch

What Makes Rolex Yacht-Master II Special

The defining characteristic of this watch is how beautiful, ostentatious, and unapologetic it is. Between its design, materials, color scheme, and complication, you have a timepiece that is truly unique. Watch companies often do not surprise their customers. Luckily, Rolex still does so here and there, as evidence by their somewhat recent Yacht-Master II release.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Overall Impression

You will have to decide for yourself whether you think the Rolex Yacht-Master II is charming or obnoxious. While some will enjoy having a unique complication, others will dislike how little function it has outside of specific events. In a similar vein, some will love the original design of this watch, while others will be more drawn to conventional models. Wherever you end up, one thing is certain: The Rolex Yacht-Master II is certainly a timepiece you’ll have hard time to take your eyes off.

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