Rolex Yacht-Master 42 Ref. 226659: Singapore Price And ReviewWritten by Joshua Yap
Bigger and undeniably better.
In what many watch pundits consider to be a year of consolidation for Rolex, the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 Ref. 226659 easily emerges as a headliner, and for good reason. While the rest of the 2019 novelties from the Manufacture offer design tweaks and updates under the hood on existing collections, the latest iteration of the nautical watch holds more unexpected twists than the rest of its brethren.
Right off the bat, at 42mm, there is literally more to love about the Ref. 226659. This may not sound like a huge deal for those accustomed to case dimensions of 45mm and up, but it’s an answered prayer to loyalists of the brand, whose standard size for men’s watches has long been 40mm. This also makes it one of the bigger time-and-date models in the current Rolex line-up. In addition, its case is rendered in 18K white gold – a first for the collection – that gives it that luxurious heft that only precious metal can yield while keeping things low-key for those who prefer to flex in stealth.
Design-wise, the Yacht-Master 42 borrows heavily from another well-received model in the family – 2015’s Ref. 116655 in Everose gold. Most notably, it retained the near-indestructible Cerachrom bezel insert in matte black with raised and polished indexes and numerals, maxi markers and hands on a black dial, and the Oysterflex bracelet. The latter is essentially an elastomer strap with flexible titanium and nickel alloy blades at its core, marrying the toughness and durability of a metal bracelet with the comfort and sporty look of a rubber strap.
The Yacht-Master 42 also benefits from the latest movement advancements by Rolex. Fitted in its case that is watertight to 100m is the self-winding Calibre 3235 boasting 14 patents, the energy-efficient Chronergy escapement, 70-hour power reserve, and resistance to shocks and magnetic fields. If the Yacht-Master is the flag bearer of Rolex’s luxury tool watch offering, it certainly has come a long way, as the Ref. 226659 is arguably its boldest and purest expression to date.
|42mm white gold Oyster case|
|Black with Chromalight display|
Manufacture Rolex Calibre 3235
|Centre hour, minute and seconds hands, instantaneous date with rapid setting, stop-seconds for precise time setting|
Though he wasn’t inducted into the world of watch journalism by choice, Joshua was hooked by mechanical horological wonders in no time. Although he personally favours modestly sized, no-nonsense timepieces, he sometimes misses the outrageous mind-bogglers of the pre-Credit Crunch years. As he dreams of owning a modern haute horlogerie watch one day, he’s currently content scouring the Internet for vintage value buys.