Cover The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

The new, dashing watch is ready to join the brand’s ranks of sporty and functional Professional models

Any Rolex aficionado will tell you that clout and loyalty count for a lot if you are in the market for a Rolex Professional model, which are timepieces designed for specific activities, ranging from diving to motor sport. The demand for the likes of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona and GMT-Master II, especially their recent incarnations featuring Cerachrom bezel inserts manufactured from hard and corrosion-resistant ceramic, is the stuff of legend—word has it that there are long waiting lists populated by the brand’s most moneyed and devoted customers.
This year, those same customers will be setting their sights on yet another Rolex Professional model, the new Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42, a nautically-inspired beauty that the brand has billed as its star timepiece for 2019.

Like the aforementioned new-gen Cosmograph Daytonas and GMT-Master IIs, the Yacht-Master 42 invokes desirability with a regal athleticism, which suggests sturdiness, a sailing-themed watch constructed to brave the elements out at sea. The Yacht-Master 42 is also no clunky tool watch, exuding casual refinement like how all Rolex Professional models do.
Indeed, the oft-used ‘stealth wealth’ descriptor popular during the early Noughties would be appropriate for the Yacht-Master 42. The watch boasts a black-on-white colour combination that is subtly showy yet unmistakably cool. Bearing a 42mm-wide Oyster case crafted out of white gold—a first for a Yacht-Master—the watch is paired with a Cerachrom bezel insert in matte black ceramic with raised and polished indexes and numerals, which in turn frames a black dial with maxi markers and hands. The watch is complemented by Rolex’s Oysterflex bracelet, an elastomer strap fortified by flexible titanium and nickel alloy blades for greater durability and comfort on the wrist.

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Performance-wise, the watch is an overachiever. Doing justice to its name, the Yacht-Master 42 boasts 100m water resistance. Inside, the watch runs on the calibre 3235, Rolex’s new-generation self-winding movement developed and manufactured in-house. The movement offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve and resistance to shocks and magnetic fields and features technical innovations such as the Chronergy escapement and Parachrom hairspring.
While one might think that this year’s Yacht-Master is an evolution from the 2015 variant in Everose gold, the Yacht‑Master 42’s genesis goes deeper than that. The first Yacht-Master model was launched in 1992 and has quietly evolved with a variety of incarnations, including a full yellow gold version and a model in Rolesium, a combination of steel and platinum that the watchmaker debuted in 1999.

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Over the years, the Yacht-Master collection has borne many of Rolex’s world-premiere developments, including the aforementioned Rolesium, as well as the Cerachrom inserts in black ceramic and the Oysterflex bracelets—a fact that doesn’t escape Rolex devotees. And while you ponder over the significance of this, here’s another fact: demand for the Yacht-Master 42 is said to be on the rise, and collectors who know better ought to be making plans to beat the queue for one.