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A Closer Look at the Rolex Yacht-Master 42

Rolex Yacht-Master 42

In 2021, the leading watch manufacturing brand Rolex decided to add the 42mm variant to its Yacht-Master model collection, becoming the largest three-hand sailing size of the brand. One notable feature of the Rolex Yacht-Master 42 is its white gold color presented in a traditional black dial and a black rubber Oysterflex bracelet. Standard in most Rolex Yacht-Master models, this 42mm watch incorporates an 18-carat gold case with subtle copper, palladium, copper, and silver proportions. The model is also made with the purest and most meticulously inspected metals in an in-house lab with modern equipment. Moreover, this new Rolex yellow gold timepiece comes with a black bi-directional rotational bezel and Rolex’s latest-generation automatic movement. Read on to learn more about the Rolex Yacht-Master 42 watch.


The first Yacht-Master model was launched in 1992 to be used specifically for skippers and navigators. As a symbolic maritime watch, it is easily recognizable by its bi-directional, rotational 60-minute bezel made from precious metal and comes with a matte black Cerachrom insert in high-tech ceramic. This new version of the yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Master 42 comes with various unique features, including; a black lacquer dial with yellow gold indices, a bidirectional rotating 60-minute bezel, and a Chromalight display with blue luminescence. Unlike the earlier Yacht-Master white gold model, this new Rolex Yacht-Master 42 timepiece features a black dial with a yellow gold index and dot hour hands and markers.

Embodying Rolex’s rich heritage in the production of high-end timepieces for professional skippers and navigators, the new version Yacht-Master 42 watch offers a perfect combination of nautical style and functionality, making it the ideal timepiece for on and off the water activities. In addition to the date feature at the 3 o'clock mark fitted with a cyclops lens, the watch comes with a well-polished solid 18-karat white gold case with a black rubber Oysterflex bracelet. This timepiece comes with the Superlative COSC Chronometer Certified self-winding automatic Rolex 3235 caliber movement with a 70-hour power reserve. The crown is perfectly screwed down with a Triplock waterproofing system, which provides the watch with 100m water resistance.


The yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Master 42 comes with a black lacquered dial, which helps highlight the unique features of this high-end watch. The watch has yellow gold hour hands and markers (rectangular, round and triangular) that are well-coated with Rolex's signature luminescent material known as Chromalight, which emits an aesthetically pleasing blue glow in the dark. This black lacquer dial is also updated with the hallmark yellow gold Mercedes hours, minutes, and the central second's hand, incorporating the same stunning luminescent coating as the hour markers. Like the previous white gold model, this new Rolex version of the yellow gold Yacht-Master 42 watch includes a bi-directional rotating 60-minute bezel with a matte black and three-dimensional Cerachrom ceramic insert. The first 15-minutes are well-graduated minute-by-minute to allow great time precision between intervals. Moreover, the bezel has raised numerals and graduation that are well-molded and polished into the ceramic. The Yacht-Master 42 bezel also features a knurled edge, which allows it to be turned with minimal effort.


One notable feature of the new Rolex Yacht-Master watch is its 42mm Oyster case, which is made from a solid block of 18-karat yellow gold and is water-resistant to a maximum depth of 100m. The crown is also perfectly screwed down to improve the watch’s water resistance. When it comes to the bezel, it is made from Cerachrom, which is a rigid ceramic material that is impressively corrosion-resistant, scratch-proof, and resistant to ultraviolet rays. According to Cortinawatch, the bi-directional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel is made of precious materials that help add a more contemporary, technical finish, and provide a nice matt, sand-blasted background for the raised black graduations and numerals on the bezel. Furthermore, the bezel is fully functional and provides the sailing time between two buoys, which is a vital component of the model's unique visual appearance.


First introduced in 2015, the yellow gold Yacht-Master 42mm watch comes with a high-performing caliber 3235, which replaces the previous caliber 3135. The most notable innovation in this watch is the new Chronergy escapement and date-function movement. The Caliber 3235 is made from anti-magnetic nickel-phosphorus—contributing to around half of the impressive 70-hour power reserve and further improved with the newly designed Chronergy escapement. Yacht-Master's 42mm caliber was the first movement in the collection to receive Rolex's certification as a Superlative Chronometer with an accuracy rate of +2/-2 seconds in a day. It also provides around ten times more precision than the traditional hairspring used in the previous models. Furthermore, the Paraflex shock absorbers come fitted with a Parachrom hairspring, which increases the caliber's insensitivity to temperature variations and magnetic fields.

Bottom Line

The new yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Master 42mm timepiece, with reference number 226659, is only available in precious metals. All Rolex timepieces are assembled by hand with the utmost precision and care to ensure high quality. At times, such exceptional standards limit Rolex’s production capacity, which results in a deficit where the demand for Rolex timepieces is more than its market supply. Nonetheless, new Rolex timepieces are exclusively marketed by Cortina Watch, which is part of the Official Rolex Retailers network worldwide. Cortina Watch usually independently manages the sales and allocation of Rolex watches to customers and receives deliveries on behalf of Rolex. According to tourneu, Rolex is expected to release some appealing timepieces to the Yacht-Master line comprising of high-end models that accurately reflect Rolex’s costly price points. With a retail price of $28,300 to $32,250, the Rolex Yacht-Master 42mm timepiece is listed among the most expensive sports models of all time.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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