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Rolex Yacht-Master Review

Rolex has built a reputation on their classic and timeless designs. They’re not one to release a new model every other year. In fact, after the launch of the Daytona in 1963, it would be nearly another 30 years before they’d debut an entirely new model. That model was the Rolex Yacht-Master. Here, we’ll provide a Rolex Yacht-Master review, including key features of the Rolex Yacht-Master, the history of the Rolex Yacht-Master through the years, and notable wearers.

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History of the Rolex Yacht-Master through the Years

Rolex Yacht-Master

The very first Rolex Yacht-Master was the Reference 16628. The brand only offered the model in a 40mm, 18-karat yellow gold case with a white dial. The Ref. 16628 also came equipped with a screw-down, Triplock crown and boasted 100 meters of water resistance. Inside, it housed the Caliber 3135 movement.

For the first several years, Rolex only made minor changes to the Yacht-Master line. In 1994, they released a slightly different iteration of the Yacht-Master: the Reference 68628. This variation was smaller, with a 35mm case. That same year, they also added a women’s version of the Yacht-Master: the Reference 69628. It showcased an even more modest case size, measuring just 29mm.

In 1999, Rolex introduced the first major update to the Yacht-Master collection. That year, they debuted an all-new, patented combination of metals created specifically for the Yacht-Master. They called this two-tone combination of stainless steel and platinum, Rolesium. At the annual Basel World Fair, Rolex launched the material in three different sizes. These included the 40mm Reference 16622, 35mm Reference 168622, and the 29mm Reference 169622.

The next update to the Yacht-Master collection came in 2005. That year, Rolex added another two-tone variation to the line, this time in stainless steel and 18-karat yellow gold. They offered the new colorway in the 40mm Reference 16623. Two years later, Rolex made the most significant change to the Yacht-Master line with the addition of the Yacht-Master II. However, the lineage of the original Yacht-Master has continued.

In 2012, Rolex released the next notable upgrade for the Yacht-Master with the Reference 116622. While the model retained its 40mm sizing, it featured an all-new “super case” with different styling. In addition, it boasted an all-platinum bezel as opposed to a combination of platinum and stainless steel. Last but not least, it came equipped with a refined version of the Oyster bracelet featuring an upgraded clasp.

Three years later, Rolex debuted another first for the brand in the Yacht-Master collection’s Reference 116655. This time, instead of a new metal, they introduced their own rigorously designed and tested variation of the rubber strap. The Oysterflex bracelet marked the first-ever rubber strap for the brand. Ever since, it’s become a staple of the Yacht-Master collection.

In the past several years, Rolex has continued to make subtle updated and additions to the Yacht-Master line. One of the latest releases is the Yacht-Master 40 with a multi-color, gem-set bezel. More recently in 2019, Rolex introduced the first 42mm time-and-date Yacht Master Reference 226659.

Everything You Need To Know About The Rolex Yacht-Master II Features & Options

Rolex Yacht-Master

We’ll outline the different options available on both the retail and pre-owned market for the Rolex Yacht-Master II collection.


In keeping with the inherently luxurious feel of the Yacht-Master line, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is outfitted in some of the world’s finest alloys. Many collectors love this watch for its combination of precious metals and durable stainless steel — what Rolex calls Rolesor. On the Yacht-Master II, there is the Everose Rolesor which is beloved for the warm pink hue of its 18k Everose gold components.

Another great combination is the white gold and platinum Yacht-Master II; however, this is obviously a much more opulent choice at represents the top-of-the-line offering in the Yacht-Master II lineup. Of course, there is also a stainless steel option with a blue ceramic bezel for those who just want sheer practicality and durability. Unlike the standard Yacht-Master, you can get this larger, more complicated timepiece outfitted in solid yellow 18k gold if you really want to go all out. - Yellow Gold - Everose Rolesor two-tone - White Gold and platinum - Oystersteel

Key Features of the Rolex Yacht-Master

For years, 40mm was the standard sizing for the Yacht-Master. The smaller, 35mm variation was the only alternative up until around 2016. Rolex has since replaced it with the 37mm iteration for a smaller option. In addition, it’s only been since 2019 that Rolex has made a larger, 42mm option available.

One of the most notable key features of the Rolex Yacht-Master is the bidirectional, rotatable, 60-minute graduated bezel. Its design helps skippers measure and anticipate the crucial countdown interval leading up to the start of a regatta or sailing race. The screw-down, Triplock crown is another key feature of the Rolex Yacht-Master. This water-resistant system has been a staple of the model since its inception.

With only 100 meters of water resistance, the Yacht-Master is perfect for enjoying a day on the water as opposed to scuba diving. Yet, its in-house, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding movement makes it a robust watch for any occasion. In addition, the option of Oyster bracelet or Oysterflex strap made it versatile enough to take from land to sea.

Celebrities Who Wear The Rolex Yacht-Master

The Yacht-Master is a popular choice among many of today’s top entertainers, athletes, and chefs. Some of the Yacht-Master’s famous wearers include TV personality Ellen DeGeneres and film icons like Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. Athletes across an array of modalities also appreciate the Yacht-Master. You can find it on the wrist of star players like former pro-footballer David Beckham, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, and former World Number One golfer Justin Thomas. Last but certainly not least, the legendary chef Emeril Lagasse is among the Yacht-Master’s celebrity fans.

How to spot fake Rolex Yacht-Master

As with any Rolex watch, the clues are in the details. When it comes to the Yacht-Master, you’re going to want to look at details like the adjustable countdown timer, which is incredibly complicated, making it almost impossible for fake counterfeit watches to replicate. Additionally, Yacht-Master models are luxury sports watches crafted from the world’s best materials and to the highest possible standards. If you notice any defects like dial printing or finishing looks less than perfect, there is a good chance that you are dealing with a fake Rolex Yacht-Master.

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