Rolex has always been close to the nautical world and actively participates by sponsoring the most important events of this fascinating universe such as the SailGP, a revolutionary event in the world of sailing, of which Rolex is Presenting Partner and Official Watch.

The SailGP was created in 2018 and is an international sailing tournament that sees the most advanced technologies and the most extraordinary athletes at work. This inshore competition takes place in some of the most celebrated ports in the world and culminates in a breathtaking winner ‑ takes ‑ all competition. We are talking about upgraded F50 catamarans, milestones in the evolution of yachting, optimized to achieve high performance: from the rudders foil to hydraulic and electronic circuits. This category of boats are able to exceed 50 knots (over 90Km / h) and thanks to their stability that literally allows you to "fly" over the water, since they are raised 2 meters above sea level.


As evidence that the partnership between Rolex and the nautical sector is not just a commercial partnership, the brand has created a one-of-a-kind Rolex Yacht-Master 42 for nautical champion Sir Ben Ainslie, winner of the 2013 America's Cup with Oracle Team USA and protagonist of SailGP2021 with the Great Britain team. But let's go into the details of this unique example, the first in “non-traditional” Rolex material and the only Yacht-Master without a date window.

Sir Ben Ainslie's supplied Rolex Yacht-Master has a 42mm in Titanium RLX, an extremely light titanium alloy resistant to deformation and corrosion. In fact, the case color has a color tending to anthracite gray and is completely satin. The bezel is also in RLX titanium with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert.

Unlike the white gold Rolex Yacht-Master 42 currently in production, the black dial is matte with fine satin finish. The white gold indexes are satin-finished, coated with a long-lasting luminescent substance. The watch is equipped with the caliber 3230, presented in 2020, with a power reserve of 72 hours and running precision with a daily deviation of between -2 / + 2 sec. .

The strap is a single body, which passes under the case and attaches to the two spring bars at the lugs (like the nato straps, so to speak), it closes with a Velcro that allows you to adjust the length depending on whether it is worn on the wrist or over a technical garment. The strap material is Cordura and high performance elastomer.


Compared to other brands that have long been experimenting with new alloys to be used on the cases and bracelets of their watches, Rolex is perhaps the one that has "experimented" the least in this area, leaving maximum freedom to its sister Tudor. The Geneva brand has preferred to optimize the materials, to make them even more performing and unique: it is the Rolex mentality, to innovate in the wake of tradition. See the escapement Chronergy presented in 2015 and now equipped on most of the Rolex collections.

My consideration is that with this one-of-a-kind example, Rolex wants to test the “Titanium RLX” in the most challenging and real conditions possible and then debut this type of material in its range of professional watches in the near future. What is certain, beyond the feedback that this Yacht-Master 42 will give, is that Rolex - once again - has given life to a new icon thanks to a clean and essential design, which takes its cue from the functionalities for which the watch was born. .