Now, this newest version of the Yachtmaster does take a few pages from the existing Yachtmaster playbook: 100-meter water resistance, a bidirectional turning bezel, and a dial and hands that echo the Submariner. There are also a couple of features that may make vintage Sub enthusiasts wonder if Rolex mightn’t have an exceedingly subtle sense of humor; the gilt coronet and “Rolex,” and the red lettering, both features which according to HODINKEE founder Ben Clymer would have, had they appeared on a Rolex dive replica watches, made it instantly the single most popular watch in the modern Rolex inventory. The case is rose gold – Rolex famously makes their own, called Everose, in their own foundry, with a bit of platinum mixed in to prevent discoloration – and the bezel, rather than being some other precious metal (as is the case in the “standard” Yachtmasters) is in black Cerachrom – a very technical-looking matte black that contrasts sharply with the gold case. Somehow, between the rose gold, the Cerachrom bezel, and the new Oysterflex bracelet this manages to be the most luxurious and at the same time most technical Yachtmaster yet.
The two different versions of the Everose Yachtmaster (40 mm and 37 mm) sport different movements; the larger uses the caliber 3135 and the smaller, the newer 2236, which sports the “Syloxi” silicon balance spring (first used by Rolex in 2014).
The Oysterflex bracelet is, in a nutshell, quite a piece of work. One of the most endearing traits of Rolex as a company is that it tends to demonstrate what we can only describe as a laudable degree of corporate obsessive-compulsive disorder when it comes to research and development, and it does so, often, without making any sort of fanfare about it at all. In this case we do know a little bit about the Oysterflex, however – it is basically designed to have the hypoallergenic and comfort properties of a rubber strap and the durability and shape-retention properties of a bracelet. At the core of the Oysterflex bracelet are metal inserts made of titanium and nickel, which are used to affix the bracelet to the clasp and Rolex Replica Yachtmaster watches case; over those is a sheathing of “high-performance black elastomer.” “Elastomer” is a portmanteau word, formed from “elastic” and “polymer” and is a general term for natural and synthetic rubbers. In addition to the materials complexity of the Oysterflex bracelet, it is also shaped in a rather unusual fashion – there are ridges molded into the the wristward face of the bracelet, which are intended to allow the bracelet when worn to better approximate the natural curvature of the wrist.
They might look a bit odd but in practice, the design works out quite wonderfully; this is easily the most downright comfortable and organic-feeling rubber strap I have ever worn, and like the entire watch manages to be both extremely technical in feel, and very luxurious at the same time; I doubt whether any company has ever taken so much trouble over the design of a strap (for all that Rolex prefers the term “bracelet” in describing the Oysterflex, habit dies hard and you’ll probably find yourself calling it a strap, just as we did). On the wrist, the two stabilizing ridges do exactly what they are supposed to: keep the watch from shifting, as heavier watches on rubber straps are wont to do, without requiring you to have the strap uncomfortably tight. The Everose Oysterlock clasp does a superb job mechanically and also looks fabulous into the bargain; the quality of finish on the clasp and case may not seem terribly elaborate at first, but it is as technically flawless as anything I have ever seen at any price, on any watch.
What we have here, in other words, is a very Rolex interpretation of luxury. Yes, this is a gold watch, and a gold Rolex replica watches, and wearing a gold Rolex always carries with it, shall we say, certain semiotic complexities. However there is also another side to the watch, and to the Rolex approach to luxury in general: the taking of such pains to produce technical perfection that technical perfection becomes a luxury in itself.