Before we dig into this article, do note that this is not the reference 116622 but rather the reference 126622. But if you are interested in the 116622, this article will be helpful still.
The Rolex Yacht-Master reference was released a Baselworld 2016. The Yacht-Master model has always established itself as a luxury sports watch in Rolex’s range, which is a bit more elegant than a Submariner, but a little more sporty than a Datejust.
It is a great combination of elegance and sportiness – a combination which a lot of people really enjoy.
The two-sided personality Yacht-Master 116622 is meant for yacht-owners, and thereby its name. In this article, we’ll go into detail about the Rolex Yacht-Master 126622.
Rolex Yacht-Master 126622
As mentioned a new Yacht-Master version was released in 2016, but at Baselworld 2019, Rolex found that the model needed to be updated once again. This time, no major visual differences were done, as in 2016 when Rolex introduced a new dial, among other things. This time, the change was simply a step into the direction of moving to Rolex’s new generation movements. This year, it was the Yacht-Master 116622’s time for an update.
And since we have already gotten started talking about movements, let’s begin with that.
Rolex Yacht-Master movement
The previous generation Yacht-Master 116622 is powered by the Rolex caliber 3135. This is considered Rolex’s workhorse and has been used by the brand since 1988. While this caliber has proven the test of time, there is always room for improvements, and this time, Rolex gave Yacht-Master to the new movement, which is the Caliber 3235. Remember, Rolex is about evolution, not revolution, and while this change of movement can’t be seen as a huge update to the model, it does improve its reliability and quality. And this is what Rolex is all about.
The previous caliber 3135 provides a power reserve of around 48 hours and as of 2015—a year before the launch of the Yacht-Master ref. 116622—Rolex redefined its “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” designation to guarantee an impressive accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day. The self-winding caliber also boasts the paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring for improved resistance to magnetic fields and daily knocks.
Now, with the new caliber 3235 and Yacht-Master 126622, things have been updated. And therefore, thanks to a new barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3255 extends to three days. This is an increase of 1 day of power reserve.
The 3255 is a new-generation mechanical movement with 14 patents, which sets new standards of performance for the core characteristics of a watch movement: precision, power reserve, reliability, resistance to shocks and magnetism, as well as the ease and convenience of its adjustment.
The Chronergy escapement’s efficiency has been improved by 15%, it is 2x more precise than an official chronometer. Like the previous 3135, it has a Parachrom hairspring which is insensitive to magnetic fields and temperature variations, and up to 10 times more resilient to shocks than traditional hairsprings.
As you have noticed, the reference has changed to start with 12 instead of 11 for this new model, and this is to demonstrate the use of the new generation caliber.
For some, these slight improvements in the movement of the Yacht-Master may not seem like a lot. But the fact of the matter is that it is because of improvements like these that Rolex is what it is today.
As you would expect, the 126622 features a quickset date function where the date us adjusted independently from the center timekeeping hands in order to make adjusting the date quick and effortless. It is also equipped with hacking seconds which means the seconds hand stops when the crown is pulled out in order to allow for precise time-setting.
Now, the Yacht-Master 126622 is not a full-blooded dive watch, but it does have a water-resistance of 100-meters (330 feet). Think of the Submariner as a robust tool watch and the Yacht-Master as the yacht-owners watch who may just satisfy with a relaxing morning swim from the yacht.
To keep dust and water out from the case, the watch features a Triplock screw-down winding crown and a robust casebook.
Most people have heard of Rolesor – Rolex’s own combination of gold and steel. But not equally many people know what Rolesium is. The Yacht-Master uses Rolesium, and this is when rugged stainless steel and ultra-precious platinum meet on a Rolex watch. The case and bracelet are made of 904L stainless steel, but the bezel of the watch is actually made completely in platinum. While both are white metals, platinum gets a completely unique sheen compared to steel and thus creates a discreet contrast. The use of platinum is also proof of the fact that this model is positioned more as a luxury sports watch.
Because of the fact that both the bezel and steel case is made in white metals, the watch tends to look monochromatic. But this is contrasted by the stunning rich blue dial. If you decide to opt for the rhodium dial, the contrast is not that great as it is with blue.
The case is 40mm in diameter. It has a thickness of 11.5 mm and Lug Width: 20 mm. In comparison, the Rolex Submariner 116610 is 12.5 mm in thickness. So the Yacht-Master is slimmer, which thus also allows it to better slip under a cuff.
This brings us to the bezel:
The bezel of the Yacht-Master 126622 has high-polished raised numerals set against a sandblasted background to the polished center links on the bracelet flanked by the brushed-finish outer links. The Yacht-Master 126622 is the only sports watch from Rolex which features this many polished elements. But this is of course in line with the way Rolex positions this watch as an elegant sports watch – not robust sports watch.
The bezel is bi-directional and has 120 clicks in both directions. As Rolex suggests, ”This functional bezel allows the wearer to calculate, for example, the sailing time between two buoys”.
When it comes to the dials, you currently have two dial combinations to choose from. Either a rich blue sunburst dial which catches the light beautifully and completely changes its appearance depending on how the light hits it. Or, you can choose a rhodium dial which has a not-so-Rolex-like baby blue/Miami blue seconds hand that creates a nice contrast against the dial. You also have the Yacht-Master text printed in the same color.
The only way you will be able to tell the 116622 from the 126622 apart is by looking at 6 o’clock on the dial. On the 116622, it will say ”Swiss made”. But on the new reference, it will say ”Swiss (Rolex crown) Made”. This is to show that it has a new generation movement. Apart from this, it will be impossible to tell them apart (unless you open them up or look at the engraved reference number on the case.
The 126622 has a strong lume which allows for good readability. As mentioned briefly, it features a date function, with the date window placed at 3 o’clock and the Cyclops magnification lens on the sapphire crystal.
Being a sporty watch, it features the iconic and robust Oyster bracelet.
To enhance its elegance, it has polished middle links. The clasp has Rolex’s clever EAslylink comfort extension link which allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, providing additional comfort in any circumstance.
116622 now replaced with the 126622: New dial and Movement
Now, the update from 116622 is obviously not huge. But the fact of the matter is, that’s not what Rolex about. Evolution, not revolution. At the end of the day, the update of the movement was due because of the many years it has been used. Ultimately, this will lead to a more reliable and qualitative timepiece that will last through generations.
What are your thoughts on the Rolex Yacht-Master 126622? Do you think they should have made more major updates to the model?