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