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ROLEX YACHT-MASTER II : The skipper’s watch
Created in 2007, the YACHT-MASTER II features an exclusive function developed by Rolex, a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory that can be synchronized on the fly. A function that responds ideally to the need for precise timing during the crucial starting sequence of a regatta. Although technically complex, it is essentially very simple to use.
A professional regatta chronograph
As in any contest of speed, precision is of the essence in a regatta. The YACHT-MASTER II features an unprecedented mechanical function: a countdown that can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes and allows skippers to precisely time and follow each race’s specific official starting procedure. This flexibility is one the major assets of the YACHTMASTER II; its development was a considerable mechanical challenge. Furthermore, the programming can be mechanically memorized so that the hand returns to the same setting at a reset. Once launched, the countdown can also be synchronized on the fly to match the official countdown (“fly-back” reset function of the seconds hand, and adjustment of the countdown minute hand to the nearest minute).
Interaction between bezel and movement
The countdown’s sophisticated functions were designed to be easily set and operated using just one hand. The preliminary programming of up to 10 minutes is accessed, and then locked, via the RING COMMAND bezel. This innovative interaction between the movement and the bezel elevates the YACHT-MASTER II model to the rank of a new-generation watch and redefines the functions of the rotatable bezel. A technical prowess made possible by Rolex’s in-house mastery of the entire watch design and manufacturing process, from the case to the movement.
Highly resistant CER ACHROM bezel insert
The RING COMMAND bezel on the YACHT-MASTER II in the 18 ct yellow gold, EVEROSE ROLESOR or 904L steel versions is equipped with a 10 to 0 minute graduated blue CERACHROM insert. This insert, made of an extremely hard and corrosion-resistant ceramic, is virtually scratchproof, and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The numerals and the graduations are engraved in the ceramic and coated with gold or 950 platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process patented by Rolex. The 18 ct white gold model features a bezel in solid 950 platinum with raised markers.
The OYSTER case, symbol of waterproofness
The YACHT-MASTER II’s OYSTER case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of 18 ct gold or particu- larly corrosion-resistant 904L steel. The fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool exclusive to Rolex watchmakers. The winding crown, fitted with the patented TRIPLOCK triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. It is protected by a crown guard that is an integral part of the middle case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof synthetic sapphire. The waterproof OYSTER case provides the YACHT-MASTER II’s high-precision mechanical movement with optimal protection from water, dust, pressure and shocks.
Calibre 4161, an unprecedented watchmaking masterpiece
The YACHT-MASTER II is equipped with calibre 4161, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. This abundance of Rolex technology, the result of over 35,000 hours of development, introduces a new patented function and comprises some 360 components. Some of them are made by UV-LiGA, a new technology entirely mastered in-house by Rolex. This technology allows the production of components whose tiny proportions or complex geometry rule out manufacturing by traditional machining methods. Like all Rolex PERPETUAL movements, the 4161 is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation reserved for high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests. Its architecture, like that of all OYSTER watch movements, makes it singularly reliable.
Calibre 4161 was based on the Rolex 4130 chronograph movement, which equips the Oyster Perpetual COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA. It is fitted with a traversing column wheel and vertical clutch for an instantaneous chronograph start.
The oscillator, the true heart of the watch, has a large balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely with gold MICROSTELLA nuts. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance. The oscillator features a blue PARACHROM hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the PARACHROM hairspring offers great stability when exposed to temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a Breguet overcoil enhancing the isochronism of the oscillations.
Calibre 4161 is fitted with a high-performance self-winding module featuring a PERPETUAL rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide a constant source of energy.
The YACHT-MASTER II’s movement will only be seen by certified Rolex watchmakers, yet it is beautifully finished and decorated in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards.
Bracelet and clasp, comfortable and secure
The OYSTER bracelet of the YACHT-MASTER II is equipped with an OYSTERLOCK safety clasp, designed and patented by Rolex, that prevents accidental opening. The bracelet is fitted with the EASYLINK comfort extension link, also exclusive to Rolex. This ingenious system allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, providing additional comfort in any circumstance.
The YACHT -MASTER II in action
The unique programming and on-the-fly synchronization functions of the YACHT-MASTER II’s countdown allow skippers to time their start to coincide precisely with the regatta’s official starting procedure. This generally unfolds in three stages, marked by sound and visual signals. It can last from 5 to 10 minutes according to the type of regatta. Below is an example of a 10-minute starting sequence with the corresponding functions of the YACHT-MASTER II:
- Before the race: the skipper programmes the countdown duration on his YACHT-MASTER II according to the regatta rules – 10 minutes in this example. The programming is accessed, and then locked, by turning the RING COMMAND bezel. Once programmed, the countdown duration is mechanically memorized so that when the countdown is reset, it automatically keeps exactly the same setting. The countdown can be reprogrammed as often as desired for a length of time between 1 and 10 minutes.
- 10 minutes before the start: the starting gun and a flag signal the start of the official regatta countdown. The skipper launches the countdown of his YACHT-MASTER II by pressing the pusher at 2 o’clock. The red centre seconds hand starts instantaneously and indicates elapsed seconds in the same way as a traditional chronograph; the red-triangle tipped hand indicates the remaining minutes on the 10 to 0 minute countdown scale on the dial.
- 5 minutes before the start: race officials give a preparatory signal by firing the gun a second time and hoisting another flag. The skipper has the opportunity to synchronize the countdown of his YACHT-MASTER II with the official regatta countdown. By pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock, the seconds hand can be reset on the fly (“fly-back” function) and it runs again instantaneously as soon as the pusher is released. Simultaneously, the countdown minute hand is automatically synchronized to the nearest minute, to compensate for the chronograph having been launched too soon or too late at the first signal.
- 1 minute before the start: a second preparatory signal is given with a blast of a horn and the 5-minute flag is lowered. The skipper can check at a glance that the countdown of his YACHT-MASTER II is properly synchronized with the official timing. His watch now indicates precisely to the second how much time remains before the start line can be crossed.
- Start signal indicated by the final sound of the gun and the lowering of the 10-minute signal flag. Having manoeuvred to full advantage right until the last second indicated by his YACHT-MASTER II countdown, the skipper is perfectly positioned to cross the line at the signal and make the best start.
Case : OYSTER (monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown)
Diameter : 44 mm
Materials : 18 ct yellow gold | 18 ct white gold and 950 platinum | EVEROSE ROLESOR (904L steel and 18 ct EVEROSE gold) | 904L steel
Winding crown : Screw-down, TRIPLOCK triple waterproofness system
Crown guard : Integral part of the middle case
Crystal : Scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire
Bezel : RING COMMAND (bidirectional 90° rotatable interacting with the movement) with CERACHROM insert in blue ceramic and numerals in 18 ct gold or 950 platinum via PVD; or in solid 950 platinum with raised numerals (18 ct white gold model)
Waterproofness : 100 m (330 ft)
Movement : Calibre 4161, Manufacture Rolex – Mechanical movement, bidirectional self-winding via PERPETUAL rotor
on ball bearing
Precision : Officially certified Swiss chronometer (COSC)
Functions : Centre hour and minute hands, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. Programmable countdown with mechanical memory and on-the-fly synchronization. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Oscillator : Frequency: 28,800 beats /hour (4 Hz) – Paramagnetic blue PARACHROM hairspring with Breguet overcoil – Large balance wheel with variable inertia, high-precision regulating via gold MICROSTELLA nuts
Power reserve : Approximately 72 hours
Bracelet OYSTER; folding OYSTERLOCK safety clasp with EASYLINK 5 mm comfort extension link
– PR –
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