Rolex achieved perfection when it turned its attention to redefining the purpose and functionality of the bezel. Typically, a bezel operates independently from the internal mechanism; however, the Ring Command bezel in the Yacht-Master II regatta chronograph operates in conjunction with it. As a mechanical component linked to the movement, the bezel literally acts as the key to the programmable countdown, allowing it to be set and synchronised to the sequence of race start times. Complex in design, but simple in use, it is functionally beautiful.
The Yacht-Master II is equipped with a new dial, and new hands that are characteristic of Rolex Professional models, enhancing legibility and sharpening its aesthetic appeal. The dial now features a triangular hour marker at 12 o’clock and a rectangular hour marker at 6 o’clock for more intuitive reading of the watch. A luminescent disc on the hour hand clearly distinguishes it from the minute hand. The Yacht-Master II’s countdown can be programmed for a duration of between 1 and 10 minutes. The programming is memorized by the mechanism so that at a reset it returns to the previous setting. Once launched, the countdown can be synchronized on the fly to match the official race countdown.
Rolex uses Oystersteel for its steel watch cases. Specially developed by the brand, Oystersteel belongs to the 904L steel family, alloys most commonly used in high-technology and in the aerospace and chemical industries, where maximum resistance to corrosion is essential. Oystersteel is extremely resistant, offers an exceptional finish once polished and maintains its beauty even in the harshest environments.