This cool, calm and collected new Yacht-Master almost slipped past me. I was too busy falling in love (again) with the gold and chocolate Rolesor Yacht-Master, which was distracting me and dazzling my senses, but then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a flash of almost-iridescent blue, and my curiosity was piqued.
I’m so glad it was, because this steel and platinum Yacht-Master with its dark rhodium dial and blue highlights is an absolute stunner, even though it’s a much more restrained affair than its Everose-embellished siblings (in both Rolesor and Oysterflex variants). This is partly down to the dark dial, but it’s also the bi-directional platinum bezel, which might sound weird given the material, but with a predominantly sand-blasted finish, it’s actually far less in-your-face than ceramic. Not that it’s plain, by any stretch. The shimmering dial, polished bezel elements and centre bracelet links mean it pops where it counts, and the overall effect of metallic grey on metallic grey adds up to a truly luxurious watch on the wrist.
Then there’s the blue. It’s funny how that single line of text and sweeping second hand – a comparatively small amount of real estate – can have such massive impact on the general feel of the watch. This bright slash of colour adds energy to the Yacht-Master, once again proving Rolex’s mastery of the minuscule.
Aside from that, it’s business as usual. You have the 40mm case, rated to 100m, robust 3135 calibre, with 49 hours of power reserve, and parachrom hairspring, all backed by the Superlative Chronometre standard which guarantees -2/+2 seconds of accuracy per day, after casing.
Rolex has spoiled us for choice this year, with the attention-grabbing Daytona, the youthful Air-King and numerous two-tone options. But if you prefer your Rolex to be more stealth than statement, you can’t go wrong with this excellent new steel and platinum Yacht-Master 40.
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 with dark rhodium dial (ref. 116622) Australian pricing
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 in steel and platinum, reference 116622, $14,600.
Images by Jason Reekie.