Rolex Yacht-Master II
Reference 116688

12 minutes read

A uniquely engineered timepiece that impresses equally by its presence and its outstanding complications. Today, we have the pleasure of presenting the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II. The only chronograph watch in the world with a programmable countdown and mechanical memory, the Yacht-Master II is an essential tool for skippers to gauge their best course of action.

The Yacht-Master range, composed of the Yacht-Master 37, Yacht-Master 40, Yacht-Master 42 and Yacht-Master II lines, is inspired by the rich heritage that has bound Rolex to the world of sailing since the 1950s.

The Yacht-Master II stands out as an ode to the world of competitive sailing.

Bringing together the finest in Rolex technology this regatta chronograph is built for yachting competition.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Reference 116688

The watch of the open seas: the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master symbolizes the privileged ties between Rolex and the world of sailing which stretch back to the 1950s

It is for these cutting edge, highly complicated races with state-of-the-art yachts and world-class teams – informally often referenced as the “Formula 1 of sailing” – that Rolex has developed and produced one of its most complex timepieces ever. The start of a regatta race is one of the highest intensity moments in sport, as every competitor tries their best to negotiate the elements in a way so that their yacht crosses the start line at the ideal moment. That moment is determined by the race officials somewhere within a 5-to-10-minute period that the skippers have to adhere to as they position their boats for the start. The crews must keep track of every last second of this pre-race countdown, and it is for this daunting task that they need a reliable, easy-to-use timekeeper. The Yacht-Master II has been engineered to best fulfil this specific and complex requirement.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Reference 116688

Crafted from exceptionally finished 18ct yellow gold with a virtually scratchproof blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel insert and a white dial, the Yacht-Master II features a versatile, yet timeless colour palette

For this purpose, beyond telling the time through its central hour and minute hands and subsidiary seconds hand, this specialized stopwatch features two extra displays.

One with a red-triangle-tip arrow hand that points to a 10-minute graduated scale, and a centre-mounted chronograph seconds hand that resets to zero at the traditional 12-hour marker.

This unique display is combined with a truly outstanding device, the Ring Command system, that interacts between the bezel, winding crown and movement. Rolex engineers devoted 35,000 hours to developing this countdown complication, which led to a new movement, calibre 4161.

Once the pre-start countdown period has been specified, the Yacht-Master II can be called into action. To programme the purely mechanical Rolex movement of this regatta chronograph the wearer first rotates the bezel by 90 degrees. This accesses the countdown timer which can be set to between 1 and 10 minutes. Once the desired duration has been selected, it can be locked into the system, therefore allowing the chronograph to always return to this time when it is reset.

To stay in perfect harmony with the start of the race and the signals of race officials, the Yacht-Master II chronograph can be stopped, reset and restarted on the fly at the press of a single button.

This in itself is a rare extension of a mechanical chronograph, but paired with a regatta timer is nothing short of exotic.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Reference 116688

Nothing compares to the lustrous sheen of the 18ct yellow gold created in Rolex’s own foundry and used for the case, bezel, bracelet, clasp, crown, pushers and dial elements of the Yacht-Master II

The Yacht-Master II’s Manufacture Rolex calibre 4161 stands at the forefront of the art of watchmaking. Certain of its 360 components are produced using state-of-the-art UV-LiGA micromanufacturing technology that allows metallic structures to be grown in a resin mould and which is revolutionizing watch movement design. Without these components – and without this UV-LiGA technology entirely mastered in-house by Rolex – the Yacht-Master II would simply not have seen the light of day. The innovations underlying the Yacht-Master II illustrate how Rolex stopped at nothing to bring skippers an elegant, reliable regatta chronograph; a watch that is simple to use and which responds ideally to their needs at the start of a race, when perfect timing is of the essence.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Reference 116688

The 18ct yellow gold case is accentuated by the Rolex Ring Command bezel crafted from 18ct yellow gold with a virtually scratchproof blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic and numerals coated in gold

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II is available in four main variations primarily differentiated by the materials of their case and bracelet. Stainless steel, Everose Rolesor (a combination of 18ct Everose gold and stainless steel), solid 18ct yellow or white gold, and platinum.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Reference 116688

Details of stunning beauty are to be found on every component of the Yacht-Master II, including its blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel with special gold-coated markings

Seen here is the 18ct yellow gold reference with a most elegant combination of a 44mm wide Oyster case and an Oyster bracelet all rendered in 18ct yellow gold.

The case is accentuated by the Rolex Ring Command bezel that is crafted from 18ct yellow gold with a virtually scratchproof blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic and numerals coated in gold.

The Yacht-Master II combines character and performance. The 100-meter waterproof and robust qualities of this model make it the ideal watch for water sports and sailing in particular, while its extraordinary quality of craftsmanship and execution render it perfectly suited for every occasion aboard and ashore alike.


Yacht-Master II

Ref: 116688

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Yacht-Master II

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