Rolex came out with a few new pieces for Baselworld2015. The his and hers watch pairing Rolex Yacht-Master Everose Gold Ceramic Watches reference 116655 and reference 268655 adds a few subtle changes that worth noting.
The most obvious is the size. You can either choose a size 40 mm (reference 116655) or a size 37 mm (reference 268655). This option makes it a very good reason to get as a couple’s set. I was made to understand there is no special watch box that could host both watches together. This situation could change if there is demand for such a thing. I won’t be surprised if these models are bought as a pair.
Apart from the size difference, there are a few other things that are unique to each model.
The most striking change is the introduction of a strap instead of a typical bracelet for a Rolex sport watch. Rolex named the strap Oysterflex and defines it as a bracelet. This is no ordinary strap/bracelet as it was developed and patented by Rolex. The Company maintains the Oysterflex to be as robust and reliable like its metal bracelets. At its core lies an elastic metal blade molded with high-performance black elastomer. Unfortunately, this particular Oysterflex system is only compatible with these watches.
Generally, using black rubber-like strap on gold casing does make it look good. It also makes it sportier which reflects its pedigree. In fact, compared to the previous Yacht-Masters, this is by far the prettiest.
Both models use difference movements. For the 40 mm version, the movement of choice is the self-winding Calibre 3135. In this particular movement, the oscillator has a blue Parachrom hairspring. For the 37 mm version, Rolex chose the new Calibre 2236 that is fitted with the Syloxi hairspring in silicon. Both calibers are COSC certified and were developed and patented by Rolex.
The use of two difference movements could be because of the size limitations. Although both are in-house movements and COSC certified, apart from the choice of size, buyers have another worry of which movement they want to get. As time progresses, we will be able to see whether this interesting design strategy translates to better sales.
The 18k Everose gold Oyster case includes a Cerachrom black ceramic bezel. Like a diver’s bezel, you can turn in one way only. The inserts are polished raised numerals on a matt background.
The black dial contrasts with the broad hands and hour markers filled with a luminescent material emitting a blue glow. Like all Yacht-Masters, the date window is at 3 o’clock. Protecting the dial is a sapphire crystal with a cyclops eye over the date window.
The crown in a screw-down and the watch is water rated for 100 meters.
The only Yacht-Master model that interests me is the Yacht-Master II. I find the rest to be too sedated for my liking. However, these new models are refreshing. Although I am not keen on the choice of Everose gold, the color combination between the casing, the strap (or bracelet as Rolex would have us believe), the ceramic crown and the black dial has a nice contrasting balance. This in itself makes it very desirable.
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western WatchRead his articles here.