Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Two Tone Everose Steel Chocolate Dial
What if, instead of going for a Daytona, a Submariner or a GMT Master II, your choice is to go for a Yacht-Master? Let's find out!
The Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Two Tone Everose Steel Chocolate Dial: the unconventional choice
While focusing on a policy aimed at continuously improving models and collections, with the aid of Jean-Frèdèric Dufour’s energy and leadership, Rolex has come up with a new Yacht-Master 40mm collection that didn’t exactly represent the first buying option of every person looking for a Rolex, whose main objective is the actual acquisition of stainless steel Daytona, a Sea-Dweller or a Deepsea. Or, if you're looking for a smaller Rolex Oystersteel, a Rolex Air-King 116900.
The recent evolution pathway of the Yacht-Master started in 2007 the Rolex Yacht-Master II 116680; a timepiece for sailing professionals that showed, in conjunction with the Rolex Sky-Dweller 2017 Steel and Gold, Rolex’s ability to craft complicated timepieces and that also paved the way for the use of the bezel as a concrete part of the mechanic movement – an idea that has been subsequently imitated by other brands too -.
The latest Yacht-Master enriches a collection made up of three models with a bracelet, whose size goes from 40mm all the way down to a smaller 37mm-size. The Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Two Tone Everose Steel Chocolate Dial is a Rolesor and it is the last one within this specific collection; the other timepieces are made of Rolesium (stainless-steel and platinum). A quick note for those who are not familiar with Rolex’s codes; in this Rolesor timepiece, the bezel and the central mesh of the bracelet are gold-made, while the case-back, the crown, and the side mesh are made of stainless-steel (on the Date-Just timepieces, even the crown is gold-made).
The Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Two Tone Everose Steel Chocolate Dial, fuses together two main alloys; the first alloy is the 904L austenitic stainless-steel, while the second one is the Everose alloy; Rolex’s own interpretation of rose gold that maintains the basic standard – that is to say 18 karat yellow gold, while working on the other metals instead – silver and copper – using a particular technique that the brand has not disclosed for obvious reasons linked to intellectual property, whose main aim is the creation of an alloy that features a superior level of resistance, brightness, and tone.
Quite an uncommon bezel for a Rolex Oyster is what makes this Yacht-Master unique
One of the characteristics that the Yacht-Master has faithfully maintained – the version II excluded – is the crafting of the bezel; indices and numbers are raised if compared to the base of the bezel; in a few words, it is a single Everose-made ring, where the Arabic numbers and the indices are polished, while the base is sand-blasted; a reference that ideally follows the alternated polished and brushed surfaces made of gold and stainless-steel that start off from the bracelet.
The biggest difference between the modern Yacht-Master and some references from the past – like, for instance, the 69623 reference or the 169622 reference - lies, from a style point of view, in the well thought-out choice of tones and matches; the blue dial is no longer associated to the Rolesor but rather to the Rolesium, this also gave room to a chocolate colour dial with sunray finish that well fits the stainless-steel and rose gold tones, it is also quite elegant. The only thing I am not 100% sure about is the red writing “Yacht-Master” that I actually find quite successful on the Rolesium.
It's all about details (when will it be, however, equipped with the new caliber 3235?)
The process that gave birth to the Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Two Tone Everose Steel Chocolate Dial is similar to the process that gave us the Date-Just 41mm; that is to say a well-developed aesthetic coherence coupled with the timepiece’s proportions; a process that has affected all the new Yacht-Master watches. It is quite odd that Rolex decided to not equip this timepiece with the new 3235 caliber that equips the Rolex Date-Just 41mm instead and that basically surpasses the 3135 caliber on every level; from the mechanic precision up to the finishing lines; this decision might be a matter of manufacturing volumes and phase-in/phase-out processes affecting the old and the new caliber.
The 3135 caliber is nevertheless a very good caliber that benefitted from the introduction of the certification standard that crowned it a superlative chronometer, thus surpassing the obsolete COSC certification. Despite everything, I reckon that Rolex – the very first real integrated manufacturer that has always projected itself towards innovation – is getting ready to respond to Metas’s and Omega’s recent moves.
Time to choose: is the Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Two Tone Everose Steel Chocolate Dial a good option?
The Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm 116621 Two Tone Everose Steel Chocolate Dial retails at 13,100 euro and features two options for Rolex aficionados and non-aficionados alike; the first option is to choose your watch among the brand's collections. For this Yacht-Master, Rolex has come up with a decisive personality that is not to be mistaken for that of a Submariner but that places itself on a different level - not necessarily at a higher one - and is geared towards a more mature clientele, who is looking for something peculiar, like the historic 16713 reference, the GMT-Master II with its tiger-eye dial, from which this Yacht-Master takes in my opinion inspiration. The only Rolesor that is similar to this watch is the Date-Just 41 126301 reference that is, nevertheless, much more classic.
The second option is to choose your watch among the stainless-steel and gold made timepieces manufactured by other brands; in this specific case, your choice is even easier, as there are quite a very few sports watches made of stainless-steel and gold, while the three-hands-timepiece-selection is divided between those timepieces that try to imitate the style of Rolex and those brands, who have designed something entirely different. The pros about the Yacht-Master are as follows; the easily-recognizable and well-balanced style, a timepiece that is entirely in-house manufactured, reliability and acquired value with the passing of time. All these pros are something that no other brand can objectively boast nowadays.
(Photo credit: courtesy of ROLEX; Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®