The first iteration of the Yacht-Master with Oysterflex bracelet was released at Baselworld 2015 sporting an Everose Gold case and in two different sizes that included a 37 mm —perfectly sized for ladies or for men with smaller wrists— and a 40 mm one. Now, at Baselworld 2019 a new iteration of the Rolex Yacht-Master makes its appearance in 18K white gold and with a 42 mm case diameter. But why go with a bigger case when even the Explorer II at 42 mm is not a Rolex favorite? Well, only Rolex knows why they do things certain way. The new Rolex Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659 is a very casual understated looking watch that looks as good at home as it does on the open sea.
Things to Know About the Watch
The new Rolex Yacht-Master 42 in 18K white gold ref. 226659 features the same type of dial as its other Oysterflex siblings but without the red ‘Yacht-Master’ writing that has been present on the dial of the Yacht-Master since its release in 1992 as ref. 16628. While the 18K white gold model is a great addition to the Yacht-Master collection and a precious metal that many really like, the lack of red writing on the dial makes the watch somewhat meh.
Just like on its siblings sporting an Oysterflex bracelet, the new Rolex Yacht-Master 42 18K White Gold ref. 226659 is fitted with the same black matte sandblasted finished cerachrom bezel with raised highly polished numbers and markers. This matte bezel is only fitted on the Yacht-Master and not present on any other professional Rolex model.
A great looking watch for sure but too bland for our taste. Had this watch featured the red writing or perhaps a Rolex green Yacht-Master writing, we would be all over it. Nonetheless, a good release by Rolex. The Rolex Yacht-Master 42 18K White Gold ref. 226659 is powered by the new Rolex calibre 3235 with Chonergy escapement patented by Rolex. This is the first Yacht-Master to be equipped with this new calibre that provides a power reserve of 70 hours.
The Rolex Yacht-Master 42 is equipped with the same very comfortable Oysterflex bracelet as its 37 and 40 mm siblings. This performance elastomer strap with flexible metal blades in its core 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 it centered on the wrist. The cushion system membrane is extremely smooth to the touch and very comfortable.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the Rolex Yacht-Master 42 white gold ref. 226659 looks and wears slightly smaller than its actual size due to the black on black combination. It for sure looks and wears smaller than a 42 mm Explorer II. Despite its gold construction the watch is not top heavy but instead quite comfortable on the wrist. In summary, this is a great looking watch that is perfect for those wanting to maintain an 'under the radar' look, while still wearing a solid gold timepiece. The only thing that we do have to say, is that due to the lack of any color accent on the dial, the watch seems a little too bland and simple.
Sticker Price $27,800 USD. For more info on Rolex click here.