Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116680: Malaysia Price And Review

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Sail away with this beauty.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116680
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That seems to be the mantra Rolex has adopted for the latest version of the Yacht-Master II. The last time they took it out for a spin was in 2015 and this year, Rolex has freshened up the model with slight tweaks.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116680
Instead of the thin centre hour and minute hands of past models, the new Yacht-Master II features Mercedes-style hands (above) that can be found on other Professional Oyster models such as the Submariner or GMT-Master IIs.

There’s also a new triangular hour marker at 12 o’clock and a rectangular hour marker at six o’clock compared to the previous square indexes. This of course adds a touch of professionalism and greatly increases the functionality of the watch for sailors as the triangular and rectangular hour markers allow for a more intuitive reading of the watch due to the distinguished patterns the markers have from the rest of the dial.

Inside the watch, you’ll find this model powered by the in-house Calibre 4161 based on the Daytona’s 4130 chronograph movement. The result of 35,000 hours of development and comprising 360 components, the movement powers the distinctive regatta chronograph function that gives the Yacht-Master II its unique appeal.

What is a regatta chronograph you ask? Well, like its name suggests, the Yacht-Master is made with the sea in mind—not for diving, mind you, but for racing. Featuring a very special type of chronograph function known as the regatta chronograph function, it allows for a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory that can be synchronised on the fly. This serves a very specific purpose that is especially important for racing sailboats.

You see, sailboats can’t just hover around the starting line of a yacht race. A countdown period is required during which the boats move ever so slightly back and forth at the starting line without actually crossing it. A countdown is then initiated and it can be anywhere from five to ten minutes. This is where the regatta function kicks in, as the skipper of the sailboat would need the timer to determine when to actually cross the line.

Sounds like a complex affair right? Well, not really. The regatta function is actually quite a simple thing to work. One simply turns the bezel (or the Ring Command as Rolex would call it) a quarter to the left and this will lock the chrono pusher while engaging the setting mechanism for the triangular countdown hand. You then unscrew the crown to its first position and set the countdown hand. When you’re done, screw the crown back down, turn the bezel back to its original position and you’re ready to sail!

Now back to the looks, it doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor, as we mentioned earlier. With a case size of 44mm, the watch bears a sporty blue bezel with Cerachrom inserts and coated in platinum. Though it might be a little too loud for some and the very niche function not applicable to all, the new Rolex Yacht-Master II is definitely an interesting piece to have and surely a reason for you to consider buying that sailboat you’ve always been dreaming about, no?

 Case

44mm, steel with polished and satin finish

 Dial

White lacquer

 Movement

Manufacture Rolex self-winding Calibre 4161

 Bracelet 

9040L steel Oyster bracelet with Easylink 5mm extension link

 Functions

Centre hour and minute hands, small seconds hand at six o'clock, programmable regatta countdown with mechanical memory, retrograde minute hand, on-the-fly synchronisation of countdown seconds and minute hands, stop-seconds for precise time-setting

 Power  Reserve

72 hours

 Price

RM73,000

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Sim Wie Boon

Sim Wie Boon loves classy dress watches from timeless Swiss and Japanese marques. Wrist affections aside, he finds comfort in quiet rainy evenings with a hot cup of coffee and a stable internet connection.