With ex­pec­ta­tions of dar­ing and colour­ful re­leases from Rolex, the more pared-back bril­liance of the Yacht-Mas­ter 42 takes you com­pletely by sur­prise

#Legend - - ROLEX -

he world might still be ob­sessed with the Rain­bow Day­tona, but Rolex’s great­est hit this year looks to be some­thing much more re­strained, yet not any less de­sir­able. Rolex has never been a follower of trends, so at a time when most brands are down­siz­ing their di­am­e­ters to less than 40mm, the watch­maker is tak­ing its Yacht- Mas­ter up – to 42mm. The Yacht- Mas­ter 42 is the lat­est ad­di­tion to the range of watches and al­lows the sim­ple time- and- date lux­ury dive watch to thrive in three sizes: 37mm, 40mm and 42mm.

While there have been many it­er­a­tions of the Yacht- Mas­ter watch over the years – with ver­sions in steel and platinum, steel and Everose gold, and just Everose gold, as seen on var­i­ous bracelets – the lat­est re­lease is, for the first time, cased en­tirely in 18 ct white gold. The substantia­l pre­cious white metal looks and feels like the purest ex­pres­sion of the watch yet.

The 18 ct white gold case of the watch is matched with a strik­ing bezel of con­trast­ing pol­ished and matte- black Cer­achrom insert that fea­tures mark­ings in re­lief, pol­ished un­til they glint en­tic­ingly in the light. The monochro­matic theme is con­tin­ued on the dial, fea­tur­ing black with applied 18 ct white gold and Chro­ma­light in­dices, and on the black rub­ber Oys­ter­flex bracelet, which is de­signed with an in­ner metal frame­work that gives it struc­tural integrity.

In­side the watch beats the COSC- cer­ti­fied self- wind­ing cal­i­bre 3235. The move­ment utilises the Chronergy es­cape­ment, which reg­u­lates the watch to an ul­tra- ac­cu­rate +2/-2 sec­onds per day.

So an 18 ct white gold tool watch per­haps isn’t the most prac­ti­cal of op­tions – but then again, the Yacht- Mas­ter col­lec­tion was never fo­cused on prac­ti­cal­ity. Quite sim­ply, the Yacht- Mas­ter 42 is un­os­ten­ta­tious, with a ro­bust design that’s just so in­cred­i­bly good- look­ing it makes you won­der: how is it that Rolex hasn’t made this watch be­fore?

From top: The Rolex Yacht-Mas­ter 42; the brand has long been a spon­sor of yacht­ing through nu­mer­ous part­ner­ships with clubs and re­gat­tas around the world

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