The Rolex Yachtmaster was never intended to be a real tool watch (the Yachtmaster II is a different story with its regatta timer). One could debate whether a sailor should wear a watch at all, as you could easily hurt your hand when your watch get stuck in ropes or something. I loved my Yachtmaster and although that’s probably not a very watch purist thing to say, I especially liked the platinum dial and bezel. I think that the new Rolex Yachtmaster ref. 116655 in 18 carat Everose gold is not much different compared to the rest of the Yachtmaster collection. It isn’t meant to be a toolwatch, but the watch surely has this nautical theme of course.
What’s different from the other Yachtmaster watches, is the use of the 18 carat Everose gold for the case as well as the Cerachrom insert in black ceramic for its gold rotatable bezel. The black dial is something I had to get used to when seeing it, as it makes the watch a bit mysterious. Where platinum and blue were the dial colours associated with this watch before, the new Rolex Yachtmaster ref. 116655 has a totally different appeal due to the new materials and colours. In short, this watch was a bit awkward to me at first. Being unmistakeably a Rolex Yachtmaster but with its black, gold and rubber elements something totally new and different as well.
The raised numerals on the Cerachrom insert are very Yachtmaster-ish, as the platinum and gold editions also have this feature. Where my old Yachtmaster ref.16622 with platinum bezel got some scratches on and between the numerals, chances are very small this will happen to this Cerachrom insert. Another very cool feature, at least I think it is, is the gold printing on the black dial. It perfectly matches the material of the case, bezel and folding clasp.
The new Osyterflex is a wonderful alternative to their metal Oyster bracelets and is perhaps also Rolex’ answer to the 3rd party rubber straps out there. Although chances are very small that Rolex is really bothered with these aftermarket straps. Slipping on the Rolex Yachtmaster ref.116655 watch is a pleasure, the Oysterflex bracelet is amazingly comfortable. According to , this black elastomer strap is very durable, robust and of course resistant to (salt) water. Looking at the inside of the strap, and this is what makes the Oysterflex bracelet so comfortable on the wrist, is the patented cushion system. The cushions on the inside of the strap make the watch being very stable on the wrist and you get the idea that the strap isn’t really touching your skin. Like a floating strap. The Oysterflex bracelet comes with an 18 carat Everose gold Oysterlock folding clasp that is attached to the strap using a flexible titanium and nickel alloy metal blade. The same attachment system is used to connect the strap to the watch itself.