Watches

Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II Watch Comparison

rolex-yacht-master-vs-yacht-master-ii-watch-comparison

Within the greater Rolex Yacht-Master collection, there are two very different lines of watches. Although they share a similar name and are even members of the same collection, the Rolex Yacht-Master and the Yacht-Master II are very different timepieces, both inside and out. Historically, the “II” designation at the end of Rolex watch names has been used to denote an evolution or upgrade to the existing line of watches. However, the Yacht-Master II is not an update to any of Rolex’s previous watch lines, and is truly unlike anything that has ever appeared before in a Rolex catalog.

So, what exactly are the differences between the Rolex Yacht-Master and the Rolex Yacht-Master II? Read the rest of our comparison guide to find out.

Rolex Yacht-Master

Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II Two-Tone Yellow Rolesor

Yacht-Master Collection Key Details:

  • Year of Introduction: 1992
  • Case Size: 29mm (discontinued), 35mm (discontinued), 37mm, 40mm, 42mm
  • Materials: Rolesium (stainless steel & platinum), Yellow Rolesor (stainless steel & yellow gold), Everose Rolesor (stainless steel & Everose gold), 18k Yellow Gold, 18k White Gold, 18k Everose Gold
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Date Display, Elapsed Time Bezel
  • Bezel: Bidirectional, Gold/Platinum/Ceramic w/ 60-Minute Scale
  • Dial: Multiple Options Available w/ Luminous or Gem-Set Hour Markers
  • Luminous Material: Tritium, Luminova, Super-LumiNova, Chromalight
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat w/ Cyclops Lens)
  • Movement: Automatic, Chronometer Certified
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster or Oysterflex Bracelet

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Yacht-Master.

Rolex Yacht-Master II

Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II 18k Yellow Gold

Yacht-Master II CollectionKey Details:

  • Year of Introduction: 2007
  • Case Size: 44mm
  • Materials: Oystersteel (904L stainless steel), Everose Rolesor (stainless steel & Everose gold), 18k Yellow Gold, 18k White Gold (discontinued),
  • Functions: Time w/ Running Seconds, Programmable Countdown Timer w/ Mechanical Memory and Flyback/Fly-Forward Functionality
  • Bezel: Ring Command, Blue Cerachrom or 950 Platinum w/ 10-Minute Countdown Scale
  • Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers
  • Luminous Material: Chromalight
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)
  • Movement: Automatic, Chronometer Certified
  • Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet
  • Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

Click here for our Ultimate Buying Guide on the Rolex Yacht-Master II.

Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II Rolesium Steel Platinum

Design: Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II

First released in 1992 as a luxury-oriented version of the traditional Rolex sport watch, the original Yacht-Master model did not have any specific features or complications that would make it specifically tailored to boating or regatta races. Featuring a fairly standard depth rating of 100 meters and a bi-directional rotating bezel crafted entirely from either solid 18-karat gold or 950 platinum, the Yacht-Master is a watch that is designed for those who enjoy the aesthetic of sport watches, but whose lifestyles do not actually require all of their highly-specialized functionality.

With a 40mm case, a traditional 3-hand display, and a dial that follows the usual Rolex sport watch design, the appearance of the original Yacht-Master can most accurately be described as a luxury-oriented version of Rolex’s iconic Submariner. Although a few key aesthetic differences help distinguish it from Rolex’s other lines of watches, the overall design of the Yacht-Master is one that is fundamentally similar to the classic Rolex sport watch.

In contrast, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is a highly specialized regatta chronograph that features a programmable countdown timer with mechanical memory that allows for on-the-fly synchronization to the official countdown clock with both flyback and fly-forward functionality. With a case diameter of 44mm, and a bezel (and dial) design that are specifically designed for use with its regatta timer, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is a watch that was designed from the ground up for boat racing.

Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II Regatta Countdown Timer Dial

Movements: Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II

Although the aesthetic differences between the Rolex Yacht-Master and the Yacht-Master II are rather dramatic, an even bigger difference lies in the two movements that are used to power each watch. While one movement follows a conventional time plus date setup, the other is a totally unique and highly specialized movement that is unlike anything found inside any other watch.

The current versions of both the standard 40mm men’s size Yacht-Master and its larger 42mm sibling are powered by Rolex’s Caliber 3235 movement, which is Rolex’s latest three-handed, date-displaying movement that can be found throughout a variety of its current-production watches. While it does offer a longer 70-hour power reserve compared to the previous generation of movement, the overall functionality of the Caliber 3235 is not unlike what you will find from many other self-winding mechanical movements.

On the other hand, the Yacht-Master II houses Rolex’s state-of-the-art Caliber 4161 chronograph movement, which is made up of more than 360 components and packed full of Rolex’s latest and most innovative technologies. The patented function of the Caliber 4161 movement is so highly specialized and unique, that some of the parts of the movement must be made by UV-LiGA, a micro-manufacturing technology that has been mastered entirely in-house by Rolex.

Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II rose gold Everose Rolesor

Subtle Differences: Yacht-Master Vs Yacht-Master II

Given how little the Rolex Yacht-Master and the Yacht-Master II resemble one another, some of the less obvious differences can often be eclipsed by the stark visual separation between the two lines of watches. Among the almost endless list of aesthetic differences between the two timepieces are a number of other differences that pertain to a specific part or function of the watch.

From a visual perspective, the bezel on the Yacht-Master and the bezel on the Yacht-Master II could not look anything less alike. Consequently, it can be easy to overlook how differently they function, and how differently the various parts attach to their respective watches. The precious metal bezel on the Yacht-Master has a 60-minute scale in relief upon it, and it has been given bidirectional motion so that it can be used as a rudimentary timer. This type of bezel function is common on sport watches, and can be found on a number of different timepieces, from a wide variety of manufacturers.

On the Rolex Yacht-Master II, the bright-blue Cerachrom insert with 0 to 10-scale and “Yacht-Master II” name in large letters gives the bezel a truly unique appearance. The look is so distinct that one could easily overlook the special function of the Yacht-Master II’s bezel. Unlike traditional rotating bezels that are simply connected to the exterior of the watch, the Ring Command bezel on the Yacht-Master II links the outer rotating bezel to the internal works of the movement, allowing for easier and more efficient setting of the Yacht-Master II’s adjustable countdown timer.

Both the Yacht-Master and the Yacht-Master II are excellent luxury watches from Rolex; however, in terms of functionality and appearance, the two timepieces could not be any further apart. One watch adheres to the traditional form and function of the classic Rolex sports watch, while the other is an entirely new approach to the regatta chronograph that is unlike anything that Rolex has ever put forward. Due to how different they are, neither timepiece can be said to be “better” than the other. Instead, the Rolex Yacht-Master line as a whole benefits from the diversity of the various watches that make up its collection.

Rolex Yacht-Master vs Yacht-Master II 18k White Gold

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