The Yacht-Master, introduced in 1992, was created with mariners and captains in mind. A refreshed Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 is unveiled by Rolex at Watches & Wonders 2023. Featuring an Oyster bracelet, this marine timepiece is presented for the first time in RLX titanium, a particularly strong yet lightweight alloy. The new model is easily recognisable by its middle case sides, the edges of the bracelet links, and the sides of the clasp cover, all of which are finished with a technical satin — a satin finish with a visible grain, unique to Rolex watches in RLX titanium. High gloss is applied to the chamfered top edges of the middle case lugs, and the crown guard is polished.
The Yacht-Master 42 in RLX titanium stays true to the design of the 2019 original model with its bidirectional rotatable bezel featuring a Cerachrom insert in matt black ceramic with raised and polished numerals and graduations. It has an elegant satin-finished black dial and an Easylink comfort extension link for its Oyster bracelet.
The new Yacht-Master 42 features the cutting-edge calibre 3235 movement, which shows the date in addition to the time, minutes, and seconds.
The Oyster Perpetual Yacht- Master 42, like all Rolex timepieces, has been certified as a Superlative Chronometer, indicating that it performs exceptionally well while worn.
The Enticement of Open Waters
This Professional-category timepiece embodies the deep history that has connected Rolex and the sailing world since the 1950s, and it is at home both on and off the water thanks to its seamless combination of practicality and nautical flair. Its distinctive 60-minute graduated bezel, which can be made entirely of precious metal or fitted with a Cerachrom insert in high-tech ceramic, makes it instantly recognisable as an iconic nautical timepiece.
Rolex’s RLX titanium is a high-quality, grade 5 titanium alloy. It shares the properties of being lightweight, strong in mechanical applications, and resistant to corrosion with other titanium alloys. Additionally, RLX titanium can be finished with a polished or satin sheen per the manufacturer’s instructions. It is difficult to work with due to its high mechanical strength, and the choice to use it has necessitated the development of novel manufacturing techniques.
When it came to monobloc bezels and bezel inserts, Rolex was an early adopter of specialised ceramics. These materials have a rare intensity of colour and are resistant to environmental effects; they are also nearly scratchproof. The chemical make-up of the high-tech ceramic also renders it inert and corrosion-proof. Rolex’s independence in producing these ceramic parts stems from the company’s development of proprietary expertise and innovative manufacturing methods.
The new Yacht-Master 42 features a black ceramic Cerachrom insert graduated to 60 minutes that can be rotated in either direction. A ceramic mould is used to create the raised graduations and numerals, and then the piece is polished to a high sheen. Minute markers are used for the first 15 minutes to make reading time intervals easier. The knurled edge of the bezel provides a firm grip, making it easy to turn.
Water-resistant Symbol: The Oyster Case
The 42 mm Oyster case of the new Yacht-Master 42 is a model of durability and reliability, with a 100-meter water resistance rating (330 feet). The middle section of the case is made out of premium-grade RLX titanium. The movement can only be accessed by certified Rolex watchmakers, who use a special tool to hermetically screw down the case back, which is trimmed with fine fluting. The Triplock winding crown is protected by a triple-sealing system and a crown guard that is permanently attached to the case. The crystal is made of scratch-resistant sapphire and features an anti-reflective coating, making it easy to read the date through the Cyclops lens located at 3 o’clock. The Oyster case is watertight, providing maximum security for inside movement.
Perpetual Calibre 3235
Since its 2019 debut, Rolex has equipped the Yacht-Master 42 with the calibre 3235, a movement designed and built from the ground up for this model. This mechanical movement winds itself and boasts exceptional accuracy, power reserve, ease of use, and dependability; it is a technological masterpiece.
Certification of a Superlative Chronometer
The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42, like all Rolex watches, is protected by the Superlative Chronometer certification, which Rolex re-defined in 2015. In addition to the official certification of the movements by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, this label attests to the fact that every Rolex watch that leaves the brand’s workshops has passed a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria (COSC). After the movement has been housed in the watch case, the final product undergoes a battery of tests designed to ensure it will perform flawlessly when worn, including tests for accuracy, power reserve, water resistance, and automatic winding.
The Calibre 3235 features an automatic winding mechanism with a Perpetual rotor. The caliber 3235 has an impressive 70-hour power reserve made possible by its barrel design and highly efficient escapement.
Oysterlock Security Clasp And Bracelet
The new Yacht-Master 42 is an RLX titanium model with an Oyster band. Designed at the tail end of the 1930s, the Oyster Perpetual three-link bracelet is the most popular and widely worn style in the collection.
The new Yacht-Master 42 comes equipped with the Oyster bracelet and the Oysterlock folding safety clasp, both of which are designed to prevent the bracelet from opening inadvertently. Rolex included their patented Easylink comfort extension link, which allows the bracelet to be lengthened or shortened by about 5 mm. For comfort and durability, the links of the RLX titanium Oyster bracelet feature patented ceramic inserts developed by the company.
Is it the year of titanium timepieces?