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.
By operating its own exclusive foundry, Rolex has the unrivalled ability to cast the highest quality 18 ct gold alloys. According to the proportion of silver, copper, platinum or palladium added, different types of 18 ct gold are obtained: yellow, pink or white. They are made with only the purest metals and meticulously inspected in an in-house laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, before the gold is formed and shaped with the same painstaking attention to quality. Rolex's commitment to excellence begins at the source.