Rolex 116688 Yacht-Master II 18K Yellow Gold




The Rolex Yacht-Master II model has been inspired by the rich heritage that has bound Rolex to the world of sailing since the 1950. The watch brings together the finest in Rolex Technology with the function and style. The result is a creation of a regatta chronograph built for yachting competitions.

The model was primarily defined by its programmable 10-minute countdown timer and a first in the world of watch-making mechanical memory. While this might sound complex at first, and while the display of its dial is rather unique, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is, on the contrary, an extremely intuitive watch. This watch is all about man/machine interaction and natural use of the commands, thanks to one clever feature, the “Ring Command Bezel” (which is now also used in the Sky-Dweller) and refers to a bezel that is not there to keep track of events but is integrated in the chain of actions and interacts directly with the movement. Even though the Rolex Yacht-Master II is a complex watch, with a proper purpose-built concept behind, it is an often seen as a statement watch, as the largest proposition in the catalog, with the exclusivity of being available in various materials, including precious ones.

Rolex operates it’s own exclusive foundry, that allows it to create the highest quality gold alloys. Rolex’s commitment to excellence begins at the source, all the raw materials are meticulously inspected in an in-house laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment. By carefully mixed proportions of silver, copper, platinum or palladium, different types of 18 ct gold are obtained: yellow, pink or white.

The Oyster bracelet is a perfect blend of form and function, technology and aesthetics, designed to be both robust and comfortable. The Easylink extension provides additional extension that wearer can use at his disclosure. Altogether bracelet and a watch create a seamless packages that projects the high-end nature of the watch with an excellent wrist presence.

Rolex 116688 Yacht-Master II 18K Yellow Gold



Because the crown and the two pushers were already utilized, Rolex had to come out with a new way to set the countdown, without adding any more inputs to the case. The idea was to create a bezel that interacts with the movement. Rotating the bezel 90° gives access to the programming function of the countdown duration, which is set via the winding crown. Turning the Ring Command bezel back in the other direction then locks and memorizes the programming.

Let’s look at real life example.
Unlike racing cars, regatta boats can’t stand immobile on a starting line. Thus, they sail around the starting line, waiting for the departure, which means it’s crucial to know the exact moment of the departure. The starting procedure of a regatta generally unfolds in three stages, marked by sound and visual signals. This preparatory phase lasts from 5 to 10 minutes according to the type of regatta. This where you start to use the Rolex Yacht-Master II for what it is.

Phase 1

The skipper programs a countdown duration of up to 10 minutes on his Yacht-Master II according to the regatta rules. For that, he just needs to rotate the bezel 90 degrees, set the right duration with the crown and the central red arrow hand on the dial will position to the right timing. Once programmed, the countdown duration is mechanically memorized so that when the countdown is reset, it automatically keeps exactly the same setting. Rotating the bezel back to its initial position locks and memorizes the programming.

Phase 2
Launching the countdown

A gun shot and a flag signal the start of the regatta countdown. The skipper launches the countdown by pressing the pusher at 2. The centre seconds hand starts running and indicates elapsed seconds in the same way as a traditional chronograph. The red arrow hand indicates the remaining minutes on the 10- to 0-minute countdown scale on the dial.

Phase 3
Synchronization #1

Race officials give a first preparatory signal by firing the gun a second time and hoisting another flag. The skipper has an opportunity to synchronize the watch countdown with the official countdown – to make sure his timing session is precise. For that, he’ll just have to press the pusher at 4 that acts like a fly-back. The second hand (and only that hand, the countdown hand still runs) reset on the fly and it runs again as soon as the pusher is released. The countdown minute hand is automatically synchronized to the nearest minute to compensate for any premature or delayed launch of the chronograph at the first signal.

Phase 4
Synchronization #2

One minute before the start – A second preparatory signal is given with a blast of a horn, and the lowering of a flag. The skipper can check at a glance that the countdown of the Yacht-Master II is properly synchronized with the official timing.

Phase 5
Start of the race

A last gun shot and lowering of a flag indicates the start of the race. If the skipper managed to use the Yacht-Master II correctly, it will accurately indicate the departure time to the closest second. With this, he or she will benefit from the advantage of knowing exactly what time the race has officially started.

Rolex 116688 Yacht-Master II 18K Yellow Gold



Inside, is the impressive calibre 4161, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement with column wheel and vertical clutch exclusive to the Rolex Yacht-Master II, with automatic winding in both directions, 72-hour power reserve, anti-magnetic Parachrom hairspring and large balance wheel with variable inertia. This abundance of Rolex technology, the result of over 35,000 hours of development, includes a patented function and comprises of more than 360 components. Some of them are made by UV-LiGA, a micro-manufacturing technology that made possible production of components with tiny proportions and complex geometry. Like many technological breakthroughs it was entirely mastered in-house by Rolex.

This complex movement is, as is every Rolex calibre, certified as a Superlative Chronometer, having satisfied a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria, which exceed the COSC standards and which applies to the fully assembled watch, after casing the movement. This results in a a -2/+2 sec/day accuracy and a 5-year warranty.





  REFERENCE   116688  
  MODEL CASE   Oyster, 44 mm, yellow gold  
  OYSTER ARCHITECTURE   Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown  
  DIAMETER   44 mm  
  MATERIAL   18 ct yellow gold  
  BEZEL   Rolex Ring Command (bidirectional 90° rotatable interacting with the movement) in 18 ct gold with blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic and numerals coated in gold  
  WINDING CROWN   Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system  
  CRYSTAL   Scratch-resistant sapphire  
  WATER-RESISTANCE   Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet  
  DIAL   White  
  DETAILS   Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence  
  MOVEMENT   Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, regatta chronograph  
  CALIBRE   4161, Manufacture Rolex  
  PRECISION   -2/+2 sec/day, after casing  
  FUNCTIONS   Centre hour and minute hands, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. Programmable countdown with mechanical memory and on-the-fly synchronization. Stop-seconds for precise time setting  
  OSCILLATOR   Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring  
  WINDING   Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor  
  POWER RESERVE   Approximately 72 hours  
  BRACELET   Oyster, flat three-piece links  
  BRACELET MATERIAL   18 ct yellow gold  
  CLASP   Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link  
  CERTIFICATION   Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)



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