Haute Time: Complicated Countdown–Rolex Introduces the Yacht-Master II in “Rolsesor”

Yacht racing is a special blend of luxury and skill; and for the lovers of this princely but demanding sport, Rolex makes the Yacht-Master II. Though it’s not the best known Rolex, it is the most complicated. The Rolex Yacht-Master II is also the most recently introduced major new model from Rolex, having debuted in 2007 as the second member of the Yacht-Master family. (The original Yacht-Master, which does not feature any complications, was introduced in 1992.)

While the original Yacht-Master does appeal to the luxury water sports enthusiast with its 100 meter water resistance and rotating timing bezel, the Yacht-Master II is tailored made to suit the needs of the hard core sailor. It’s nothing less than a programmable countdown timer, designed specifically for the most critical minutes of a sports sailor’s life: the countdown to the start of a regatta or yacht race.

According to the rules governing yacht racing, the start of a race is indicated by two signals. At the first, the competitors start maneuvering for position near the starting line; at the second, they may actually cross it.  Crossing early incurs a penalty while crossing late means losing the lead position.  The Yacht-Master II has a minutes countdown hand that can be set to start counting down anything from a 1 to 10 minute starting interval, and when it’s re-set, it will return to the pre-programmed starting position.

It’s highly complicated inside, but easy to use and read, and for 2011 Rolex introduces it in Rolesor (18k rose gold –Rolex uses its own alloy, called “Everose” a combination of gold and platinum that won’t fade) with a scratchproof, brilliant blue ceramic “Cerachrom” bezel.  It’s the ultimate luxury sports watch for the ultimate luxury sport.

Jack Forster is the Editor in Chief of Revolution Magazine, a quarterly publication celebrating the world of fine watchmaking, and he also manages Revolution Online www.revo-online.com, the foremost information and discussion site on the internet for watch enthusiasts.