Insider: Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655. Hands-on with the Watch of the Open Seas and Explanation on How to Size the Oysterflex.

Just released last year at Baselworld 2015, the Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 is the 37 mm sibling of the Yacht-Master 40 Everose Gold ref. 116655. Sporting the more rounded case construction of the Yacht-Master line, the Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 comes in a perfectly sized case for men with smaller wrists or for ladies not wanting to wear a watch that looks too small or too big. While in recent years, we've seen a trend of women wearing men's watches —especially Rolex sports models—, there are many ladies out there that want to make sure that everyone knows that the watch they're wearing, is not her husband/boyfriend's hand me down or a watch they are borrowing from their man. The Rolex Yacht-Master 37 is revered for its casual yet purposeful allure and is at home on deck on the open sea as well as on land in an elegant yacht club lounge.

The Case

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 is fitted with an 18K Everose gold case. Everose gold, is Rolex's proprietary patented 18K pink gold alloy that is actually cast in its own foundry. Rolex is the only watch manufacturer out there with its own foundry for precious metals. This special alloy —with a mix that includes some platinum— was introduced by Rolex in 2005 and since then, it is being used for all Rolex Oyster models in pink gold. The Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold, just like its 40 mm sibling, is equipped with a triplock screw-down crown ensuring waterproofness to a depth of 100 meters.

The Dial

The Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 just like the Yacht-Master 40 Everose Gold, is fitted with a gorgeous matte black dial that reminds us of the matte vintage Rolex dials from the late 60s and 70s.

The dial, which is fully designed and manufactured in-house, features 'gilt' Rolex logo and 18K gold round markers. Adding an interesting contrasting touch, the Yacht-Master writing appears in crimson red like that on those coveted Rolex Red Submariners we all love. Lastly, as with all other Rolex sports models, the Rolex Yacht-Master 37 features ultra-bright chromalight luminescent material for great readability at night or in low-light situations.

The Bezel

For the very first time since the release of the first Rolex cerachrom bezel, the black bidirectional cerachrom bezel on the Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 features a matte sandblasted finished background and raised highly polished numbers and markers, following the exact same design of the bezel on all other modern iterations of the Yacht-Master.

This cerachrom bezel, is manufactured following the same stringent process as all other Rolex cerachrom bezels and rotates in both directions to calculate elapsed times of up to 60 minutes. One thing we did notice while reviewing this watch, is that the bezel rotates so freely —in both directions— that is almost impossible to not accidentally move it when keeping track of an elapsed time or simply when wanting to keep the bezel lined up at 12 o 'clock.

The Oysterflex Bracelet

While Rolex calls it Oysterflex bracelet, this is in reality a high-performance elastomer strap with flexible metal blades in its core. The Rolex Yacht-Master’s Oysterflex bracelet was developed and patented by Rolex using a high-performance elastomer overmoulded over a flexible titanium and nickel alloy metal blade. To provide higher resistance, the metal blades are located within the areas where the strap connects to the case and to the clasp.

For enhanced comfort, the inside of the Oysterflex bracelet is equipped with a patented longitudinal cushion system that stabilizes the watch on the wrist to prevent it from turning around and maintaining centered on the wrist. The cushion system membrane is extremely smooth to the touch and very comfortable.

Matching its Everose case construction, the black bracelet/strap is equipped with an 18K Everose gold Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening. Opposed to what Rolex states on their website, the clasp doesn't feature the Easylink system link that allows the wearer to extend the last link. However, micro-adjustments are still feasible by moving the solid link throughout the three small holes on the interior of the clasp.

How the Fitting of the Oysterflex Strap is Done

Without a doubt, the biggest design flaw of this new bracelet/strap is the fact that unlike the strap on the Patek Philippe Aquanaut, the Oysterflex bracelet cannot be sized to an exact fit. While on the Aquanaut, one would cut the strap to the exact length as necessary, on the Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 or the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Everose Gold ref. 116655, one needs to get fitted for the right strap size while purchasing the watch at an authorized dealer. Not only this prevents the owner from making additional adjustments after the purchase, but also impossible to have anyone else with a bigger or smaller wrist, to borrow the watch or try it on. Also, this is a big problem and one thing to keep in mind for those wanting to purchase this watch in pre-owned condition in the secondary market.

So here is how it works. There are six different sizes in total for the Oysterflex strap segments —one is missing in our picture. While the strap for the Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 is 18 mm at the lugs and the strap for the Yacht-Master 40 Everose Gold ref. 116655 is 20 mm at the lugs, both straps are identical in length when it comes to the segments. To avoid multiple trips to an AD, just make sure you get the right width if you are trying to replace the strap on a pre-owned watch you just purchased.

The codes for the strap segments are the following: 350557 for the Yacht-Master 37 and 350501 for the Yacht-Master 40. Underneath these codes, you will find a set of two-letters that start with the letter 'E'. The second letter on that code, dictates the length of the strap segment —from 'C' to 'H'. Since there is no 12 or 6 o'clock side on the Oysterflex, the strap segments can be used on either side of the case and two different sizes of segments are usually combined —shorter at 6 and longer at 12— to get the best fit and to keep the clasp centered on the bottom of your wrist.

For those of you interested in buying a pre-owned Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 or a Yacht-Master 40 Everose Gold ref. 116655, think about it twice. Now, if you end up doing it, always make sure to ask the seller what the double-letter code is on each segment of the Oysterflex bracelet. Otherwise, you'll have to spend $290 USD for each segment/side you have to replace —$580 USD for a full new strap.

To make things easier on you, we are including the size of each segment per the measurements we took at an AD. We measured from the hole where the springbar connects to the case to the hole where the screw connects to the Oysterflex solid link that goes into the clasp. The measurements are approximate at best, as unfortunately the information on the exact length is not available on the Rolex parts database.

The codes are: EC-4cm/1.57" , ED-4.5cm/1.77", EE-5.5cm/2.16", EF-6.5cm/2.56", EG-7.75cm/3.05" and EH-9.0cm/3.54". i.e. A typical combination on a Yacht-Master 37 on an average lady's wrist would be an ED at 6 and an EE at 12 o'clock. For a Yacht-Master 40 on a 7.5" wrist it would be an EE at 6 and an EF at 12 o'clock.

The Movement

The Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 is not powered by the same Rolex automatic in-house calibre 3135 that powers its sibling the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Everose Gold ref. 116655, but by an improved in-house calibre released in 2014. The Rolex in-house automatic calibre 2236 powering this watch, is entirely manufactured by Rolex and inaugurates a new generation of movements. To ensure unparalleled precision and reliability, this COSC movement features a new silicon 'Syloxi' hairspring —instead of the Parachrom—, that Rolex rolled out with this particular calibre. Thanks to this new generation of hairsprings, the Rolex calibre 2236 provides a longer power reserve of 55 hours.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Everose Gold ref. 268655 looks and wears smaller than its actual size and more like a 35 mm watch —next to a Rolex Datejust ref. 116200, it looks somewhat smaller. Additionally, for those of you concerned about the watch being too heavy due to its 18K Everose gold construction, there is nothing to worry about. This watch is actually quite light, with a total weight of only 126.1 grams —in comparison, a stainless steel Rolex Datejust on Oyster bracelet has a total weight of approximately 118 grams.

In summary, this is a great looking watch that is perfect for those wanting to maintain an 'under the radar' stealth look, while still pampering themselves with a solid gold timepiece.

Sticker Price $22,000 USD. For more info on Rolex click here.