Never, ever would I have thought my first watch would be a Rolex. Since I approached and approached the world of watchmaking I have always had a strong interest in technical, complicated watches, characterized by innovative and exotic materials; yet as the first important watch I decided to take a "crowned", in particular a Yacht-Master 126622 with blue dial. In this article I want to describe the characteristics and peculiarities of the most underrated sports Rolex currently in the collection.
Every time I refer to a Yacht Master, I will imply the reference 126622, without considering the gold versions or the Master II yacht.
Some historical notion
The name "Yacht-Master" was first used in 1969 with the construction of 3 prototypes and then abandoned until the early 1990s. These prototypes were chronographs with an increased 39.5mm case and steel ring based on the 6239 hand-loaded Daytona produced until the late 1960s.
Following the abandonment of the idea of producing watches with a 39.5 mm case, much greater than the 36mm daytona 6239, Rolex forgot about this name for over 20 years until 1992. In that year, the reference 16628, that is the Yacht Master with case and bracelet in yellow gold 18ct., white dial and equipped – like the Submariner and sea-dweller – with the Triplock crown.
As can be seen from the (few) dates above, the history of this collection is not multi-fifty years and fundamental for the fate of the Rolex company as happens for the Submariner, but not for this reason the Yacht-Master deserves less attention. indeed it's a very underrated model which has exceptional details and finishes for a sports watch.
Yacht-Master oppure Submariner?
Let's get rid of this doubt right away, often the Yacht-Master is mistaken for a Submariner. As similar as they may be at first glance, these are two completely different models from each other, intended for different customers and the two collections cannot be superimposed.
If the Submariner is a sports Rolex aimed at being used in a maritime environment for diving (it is a diver with all effects waterproof up to 300 m) with the ring capable of turning exclusively counterclockwise (to avoid mistakes in timing the remaining oxygen in the cylinders), the Yacht-Master is intended instead for nautical use (waterproofness 100 m) , on board a boat, and features a two-way ring to be able to time different types of events.
Given the different uses, case, closure and material cannot be the same between the two collections. especially:
- The cash desk of the YM is much closer to that mounted on the Daytona, rounded and not straight, without edges, completely glossy and not satin, with rounded anes.
- The bracelet presents the glossy central shirt showing the alternation between glossy and satin finishes.
- The Oysterlock closure it is adjustable via Easylink and does not have the Glidelock clasp mounted on the Submariners for more precise adjustments, necessary if the watch is worn above a wetsuit.
- The bezel is made of Platinum 950 with glossy numerical scale in relief and sandblasted bottom. There is no trace of the pottery on the submariner.
How does the Yacht-Master fit into the Rolex range?
The Yacht-Master, among all the "professional" Rolex, is the one that comes closest to the concept of luxury (let's take a moment from the fact that on the dial there is the inscription Rolex). the materials used (platinum) andalternation of finishes adotatte (polishing, sandblasting of the ring) make this watch decidedly precious, almost distant from the professional world, while maintaining the characteristics of precision, reliability and quality that distinguish the collection.
The selling price fully respects these characteristics, consistently going beyond the threshold of 10,000 euros. Following the new list increases valid from January 2020, the Yacht-Master 126622 presents a price to the public of 11,450 euros, detaching the Submariner Date 116610LN by 2,900 euros and positioning itself just 1,150 euros from the Daytona 116500LN. The target of customers to whom this watch is reserved, therefore, embraces all those who are willing to spend a considerable amount (for only one time) to be able to stand out by wearing a Rolex quality watch but decidedly brighter, precious and finished.
The most underrated Rolex
Due to the similarity, to an inexperienced and unentent eye, with the Submariner and the much higher price the Yacht-Master has never been able to assert itself in the desires of the general public and replicate the success of Sub and GMT. Think that to date (and I do not know how long given the market trend) it is still available for purchase in the various Rolex boutiques for a reasonable wait of a few months, far from the years required by the various Pepsi, Batman, Hulk and Daytona. The list price is therefore high, but it is necessary to consider the presence of exceptional finishes and materials that require higher costs to be treated and processed.
Why did I choose a Yacht-Master 126622?
Buying the first watch, for a enthusiast, is an important moment, such as buying the first car for a race car enthusiast. fundamentally I was looking for a watch that could distinguish me, which is not frequently seen on people's wrists and which has unique characteristics of its kind, niche. According to the available budget, therefore, the 126622 had all the features I was looking for, in particular the presence of the platinum bezel.
Finally, I waited for the arrival on the market of the new reference 126622 in order to finalize the purchase, which, compared to the previous 116622, mounts the new Rolex in-house caliber 3235. This new movement is able to improve the now proven and reliable 3135 by increasing its precision and power reserve from 48 to 72h thanks to the use of the new Chronogergy escapement.
The Rolex Yacht-Master 126622 is a watch:
- Reliable,thanks to a very efficient caliber
- Robust,due to the use of the Triplock crown and the construction technique of oyster cases and rings
- Sophisticated and very beautiful to see, given the alternation of the fniture and the use of platinum. The watch shines and does not go unnoticed
- Comfortable,thanks to the rounded case, absent from sharp-edged profiles
Like all watches, this one is not free from defects, which can be summarized in thehigh price and in delicacy of the finishes. The presence of glossy parts on almost the entire watch requires some care on the part of the user to avoid scratches and airlines and do not forget that the hardness of platinum is lower than that of steel, so the ring can easily spoil as a result of careless use of the watch.
- CASH Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel steel and platinum
- Mechanical MOVEMENT, self-loading CALIBER3235, Rolex Manufacture
- PRECISION -2/+2 sec./d, with recessed movement
- DIAMETER 40mm
- MATERIAL Rolesium (combination of Oystersteel steel and platinum)
- BEZEL 60-minute 950-minute platinum two-way revolving with embossed numbers
- CROWN OF CHARGE Screw, with Triplock triple waterproofing system
- GLASS Anti-scalfit sapphire, Cyclope magnifying glass on the date display
- WATERPROOFING Waterproof up to 100 meters