Published by Pierre-Paul Godts
As they move to the line for the start of the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race off the southern coast of England in August 2013, skippers will be able to trust the pioneering mechanical countdown of their Rolex Oyster Perpetual YACHT-MASTER II regatta chronograph in order to cross the line as soon as possible after the starting gun. This chronometer-certified professional regatta chronograph is a marriage of state-of-the-art technology and time-honoured tradition – like the regatta yachts themselves.
At BASELWORLD 2013, Rolex is introducing a new version of the Oyster Perpetual YACHT-MASTER II. Rolex’s revolutionary regatta chronograph, launched in 2007, is available for the first time in 904L steel, fitted with a CERACHROM bezel insert in blue ceramic. A high-performance timekeeping instrument, designed for professional skippers as well as yachting enthusiasts, the new YACHT-MASTER II is a pure example of Rolex expertise in terms of precision, functions and reliability.
PROGRAMMABLE COUNTDOWN AND RING COMMAND BEZEL
The YACHT-MASTER II features an exclusive function developed by Rolex: a countdown which can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes and incorporates a mechanical memory, allowing it to be reset to the same countdown duration. Once launched, it can also be synchronized on the fly, enabling it to be adjusted to match the official regatta countdown. The countdown function responds ideally to the need for precise timing during the crucial starting sequence of a regatta. Although technically complex, it is essentially very simple to use: the countdown programming is accessed via the rotatable RING COMMAND bezel, an innovative interface between bezel and movement developed by Rolex.
THE OYSTER CASE, SYMBOL OF WATERPROOFNESS AND ROBUSTNESS
The YACHT-MASTER II’s 44 mm OYSTER case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness, proportion and elegance. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant 904L steel. The fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool exclusive to Rolex watchmakers. The winding crown, fitted with the patented TRIPLOCK triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. It is protected by a crown guard that forms an integral part of the middle case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof OYSTER case ensures optimal protection for the YACHT-MASTER II’s high-precision movement.
CALIBRE 4161, REGATTA CHRONOGRAPH AND SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER
The YACHT-MASTER II is equipped with calibre 4161, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement with a column wheel entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Like all Rolex PERPETUAL movements, the 4161 is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation reserved for high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests. Its design and quality manufacture provide peerless precision and reliability. The oscillator, the true heart of the watch, has a blue PARACHROM hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the PARACHROM hairspring offers great stability when exposed to temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise in case of shocks than a traditional hairspring.
SOLID-LINK BRACELET WITH SAFETY CLASP
The new YACHT-MASTER II’s solid-link OYSTER bracelet in 904L steel is fitted with an OYSTERLOCK safety clasp that prevents accidental opening. It also features the ingenious Rolex-patented EASYLINK rapid extension system that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, for additional comfort in any circumstance.