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The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II is a unique regatta chronograph dedicated to yachting enthusiasts, experienced sailors and connoisseurs of luxury watches. First introduced in 2007, the Yacht-Master II features an exclusive function developed by Rolex, a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory that can be synchronized on the fly. A function that 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.

As in any contest of speed, precision is of the essence in a regatta. The Yacht-Master II features an unprecedented mechanical function: a countdown that can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes and allows skippers to precisely time and follow each race’s specific official starting procedure. This flexibility is one the major assets of the Yacht-Master II; its development was a considerable mechanical challenge. Furthermore, the programming can be mechanically memorized so that the hand returns to the same setting at a reset. Once launched, the countdown can also be synchronized on the fly to match the official countdown (fly-back reset function of the seconds hand, and adjustment of the countdown minute hand to the nearest minute).

The countdown’s sophisticated functions were designed to be easily set and operated. The preliminary programming of up to ten minutes is accessed, and then locked, via the rotatable Ring Command bezel. This innovative interaction between the movement and the bezel elevates the Yacht-Master II model to the rank of a new-generation watch and redefines the functions of the rotatable bezel. A technical prowess made possible by Rolex’s in-house mastery of the entire watch design and manufacturing process, from the case to the movement.

The Ring Command bezel on the Yacht-Master II in the 18 ct yellow gold, Everose Rolesor or 904L steel versions is equipped with a 10 to 0 minute graduated blue Cerachrom insert. This insert, made of an extremely hard and corrosion-resistant ceramic, is virtually scratchproof, and its color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The numerals and the graduations are engraved in the ceramic and coated with gold or 950 platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process patented by Rolex. The 18 ct white gold model features a bezel in solid 950 platinum with raised markers.

Like all watches in the Oyster collection, each Yacht-Master II is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that it has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards. These tests are carried out on the fully assembled watch, in order to guarantee its superlative performance on the wrist.

The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) – is, therefore, tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria for precision that are far more exacting than those for an official chronometer. The tolerance for the average rate of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer after casing is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day. Its precision is tested by Rolex using an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and is much more representative of real-life experience. The certification testing is carried out using state-of-the-art equipment specially developed by Rolex. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches. These tests systematically complement the qualification testing upstream during development and production that ensures the watches’ reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks.

The unique way in which Rolex watches are designed, manufactured and tested, together with the exclusive innovations from which they benefit, push back the limits of performance for mechanical watches and make Rolex the benchmark for watchmaking excellence. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.

The Yacht-Master II’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of metal. The fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown, fitted with the Triplock triple waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crown guard is an integral part of the middle case. The crystal is made of virtually scratch-proof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides the Yacht-Master II’s high-precision mechanical movement with optimal protection.

The Yacht-Master II is equipped with caliber 4161, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make it singularly precise and reliable.

This abundance of Rolex technology, the result of over 35,000 hours of development, introduces a new patented function and comprises some 360 components. Some of them are made by UV-LiGA, a new technology entirely mastered in-house by Rolex. This technology allows the production of components whose tiny proportions or complex geometry rule out manufacturing by traditional machining methods.

The Oyster bracelet of the Yacht-Master II is equipped with an Oyster lock safety clasp, designed and patented by Rolex, that prevents accidental opening. The bracelet is fitted with the Easylink comfort extension link, also exclusive to Rolex. This ingenious system allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, providing additional comfort in any circumstance.

The unique programming and on-the-fly synchronization functions of the Yacht-Master II’s countdown allow skippers to time their start to coincide precisely with the regatta’s official starting procedure. This generally unfolds in three stages, marked by sound and visual signals. It can last from 5 to 10 minutes according to the type of regatta. The Yacht-Master-II is available in a steel version, steel & everose gold version, 18 carat yellow gold version and 18 carat white gold version.