There’s perhaps no greater odd, colorful or perhaps niche tool watch than the regatta timer and with no question, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is the peerless leader of that fearless group. Lots of brands – Audemars Piguet, Heuer, Bremont, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Panerai, Girard Perregaux, Bulgari, and Ulysses Nardin to name a handful – have presented this complication but Rolex bests all challengers in simple, legible aesthetics, ease of use and outright cache. The Yacht-Master II line came to being in 2007 but only precious metals or perhaps two-tone when the ref. 116680 was released at the 2013 Baselworld Fair with its brilliant blue Rolex patented Cerachrom ceramic bezel, 44mm solid steel case and Oyster bracelet, Advanced Rolex and triplock crown in house caliber 4161 the avant-garde enthusiasts rejoiced.
This most recent version of the 116680 from 2017 features the ever-present white lacquer dial as well as bright blue sub-dial, but the hour hand has been changed to Mercedes style and so the hour marker at twelve is an inverted triangle, and the square at six has been elongated to a rectangle. Obviously the dial remains almost entirely spoken for by the semi-circular countdown ring, that gives very little question as to the goal of the watch – to help skippers determine when to cross the starting line in a regatta. Generally, from the very first gun (or horn) to the beginning of the race it is a 5-minute countdown but 10 minutes is not unusual, thus the 10-minute scale.
Operating the chronograph could not be a lot easier via a mix of the Ring Command bezel and the winding crown. Just turn the bezel one click on the left, unscrew and take out the crown, set the arrow tipped, red regatta timer hand to the preferred time, return the bezel one click on the right, screw in the crown and…regatta. Moreover, if Ring Command sounds familiar that is since it is exactly the same patented technology used on the Rolex Sky-Dweller, which is yet another fantastic, niche watch that pulls no aesthetic punches. The 116680 is a bold watch that in a roomful of Rolex enthusiasts will be a standout piece along with a conversation starter.
You will find a great deal of Rolex’s to buy at this price but perhaps none more interesting. You owe this to yourself.
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Crystal||Scratch Resistant Sapphire|
|Band Material||Stainless Steel|
|Color/Finish||Brushed & Polished|
|Band Name||Rolex Oyster|
|Clasp||Rolex Folding Oysterlock Safety Clasp|
|Clasp Features||Easylink 5mm comfort extension link|
|Movement||Automatic – Chronometer|
- Distinguished Dial
- Beautiful Aestetics
3 reviews for Rolex Yacht-Master II – 116680 (Stainless Steel)