In 2009, the very idea of a titanium Rolex was relegated to wild dreams. A prototype had been seen on the arm of British competitive sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, but the widely circulated online photo had gotten so old that some of us began to wonder if the watch would look at the light of day. Now, in less than five months, we've gotten two watches from the Crown cased in RLX Titanium (a grade 5 titanium). The first was last year's 50mm Deep Sea Special, the mega dive watch which obliterated the actual water-resistance record. And now this week we have the particular Yacht-Master 40, which unlike the DSS is sized so that a normal human being could conceivably wear it.
It's a big deal. But when observed next to Daytonas with display casebacks, Day-Dates with emojis, a solid-gold GMT-Master II, and a wholly new line of dress watches, a ti Yacht-Master barely moves typically the needle associated with surprise and excitement. What a wild 48 hours it had been for the House of Wilsdorf.
In some ways, it feels like the appropriate respond to not be that will excited. After all, at this point every other watchmaker under the sun has turned a titanium watch, from affordable Citizens in multiple colors regarding bezels as well as dials in order to Jean-Claude Biver's $500, 000 minute repeater tourbillon announced Sunday.
And yet, as soon as the new titanium Yacht-Master ref. 226627 started to be passed around the room of Hodinkee editors during this week's Watches & Wonders trade show, the general reaction was just to laugh with surprise. This 42mm watch, which looks so sturdy, feels therefore unbelievably light. I mean, that's titanium for you. But still. You can't quite believe this view is real, on a number of different levels.
For any of us with ever tried on a steel Submariner (a. k. a. anyone with the passing interest in Rolex), it's kind of comical to find out how much your brain is preconditioned to see a 42mm metal Oyster case, round charge, and Mercedes hands and also think about the luxurious heft in which awaits you.
At around 100 h, according to Iwc, the ti Yacht-Master is so light it breaks your brain.
For a moment, let's compare the new YM to final year's titanium Pelagos through Rolex's sister brand Tudor. Rolex's choice to put this timepiece on a bracelet instead of a sportier Oysterflex makes the comparison obvious. I've now spent time with both pieces, and I prefer the Yacht-Master.
The YM, such as the Pelagos, is actually distinctly an instrument watch - something that would have been hard to say about Yacht-Masters in the past. But the finishing a world apart, which is saying something for such an understated metal as titanium.
Rolex's proprietary grade 5 "RLX Titanium" (stronger than the quality 2 of the Pelagos) has the curious property of being equally able to be cleaned satin or polished, which means it has the good sharp along with shiny chamfers that you'd like to see contrasted against the dark grey in addition to relatively matte metal. That combination also works well with the more matte plus textured face - and with the contrast from the raised black numerals against a matte ceramic bezel insert, which is is the main giveaway that this is still squarely any Yacht-Master.
My main critique (which I share into the void, knowing that Rolex designers will do whatever they think best) is that I wish they'd stuck to the no-date design of Ainsilie's prototype. In the practical application of the majority of sailing races, there's really no use for a date. If you're blue-water sailing and even circumnavigating the planet, maybe its useful, though just like jump watches often the practical application gives way to the reality of technology. So why not refine the design further and leave the day off altogether? And while we're at this, a better quick-adjustment option would be great.
The price is somewhat immaterial -- CHF 13, 400 : since the average collector won't be able to get that at retail anytime soon. But the brand new Yacht-Master 49 is more than a solid release. It's a more than a ti proof of concept. It's a wearable piece this portends at least the possibility of future experiments with this fascinating material.Richard Mille Watches Replicaperfect clones watchesg shock watches replicalouis vuitton watch replicavan cleef watch replicafashion watches wholesale