Rolex Yacht-Master 226659 White Gold [Complete Guide]
Finally, the time has come.
Basel world 2019 is finally here. Not only is Basel world watch fair the world’s most anticipated event for horology in the world, but it is also an event where some of the top watch brands in the world release their new models. As a result, a lot of people follow Basel carefully, whether from a distance or directly, to get a first glimpse of the new watches that are released.
Probably the most hyped and anticipated brand at Basel World is Rolex.
And it is especially interesting to see what Rolex releases because Rolex is generally very good at keeping their new releases a secret until the point when they are released. Rolex may release one or two teasers before the actual launch, but these teasers normally just get a quick glimpse of the new release.
But finally, the time is here, Rolex Basel world watch release 2019. Rolex has just released a number of new watches, but one of the stars of the show for many is the Rolex Yacht-Master 226659.
“Rolex is extending its Yacht‑Master range with a new 42 mm model: the Oyster Perpetual Yacht‑Master 42.”
In 2018, Rolex released the 126710BLRO, which was the star of the show. And in true Rolex fashion, few people expected it. And this is what contributes to the mystery of Rolex’s Basel world releases.
Just like every year, far from everyone thought that Rolex would release a Rolex Yacht-Master 226659 with a 42mm 18K white gold case.
Rolex shared a teaser video of the watches that would be released, including the Yacht-Master.
Now, as with Rolex teasers, this did not reveal a lot, however, it did reveal some things.
In the video, Rolex hints at the Yacht-Master with the flat lugs, and devoted watch enthusiasts could draw the conclusion that Rolex would either release a new Yacht-Master or a Daytona, as these are the watches in Rolex’s lineup that have flat lugs. Furthermore, in the first few seconds, Rolex shows the dial of the Yacht-Master, however, since a lot of Rolex watches have the text “Oyster Perpetual Date”, including the Submariner, GMT-Master II, and several others, it was not necessarily given that Rolex would release a new Yacht-Master. However, when you put together two and two and combine the flat lugs with the “Oyster Perpetual Date”, you could assume that a new Yacht-Master was coming.
“On the Yacht-Master 42, the bidirectional rotatable bezel is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom bezel insert in matt black ceramic.
Its raised graduations and numerals are first moulded into the ceramic and then polished.”
Rolex Yacht-Master 226659
In 2016, Rolex released the first version Yacht-Master with the Oysterflex bracelet. This was also the year when Rolex introduced its Oysterflex rubber strap for the first time. Since then, Rolex has released a number of watches with the Oysterflex bracelet, but something that is interesting to point out is that all watches in Rolex’s lineup that are equipped with the Oysterflex bracelet are made in full 18K gold. This means either white gold, yellow gold, or Everose gold.
An interesting aspect of the Rolex Yacht-Master 226659 is that it has a 42mm case. It is very interesting that Rolex decided to make the case of the new Yacht-Master 42 mm as it is a first for the model. The largest Yacht-Master case prior to this is 40 mm. Another first for this model is the use of white gold. Prior to this, no Yacht-Master was available in white gold. The options were either rose gold, Everose Rolesor (two-tone), or Oyster steel and platinum.
Furthermore, the Rolex Yacht-Master 226659 is also the first non-Everose Yacht-Master to come with an Oysterflex bracelet. There are several reasons that Rolex decided to use the Oysterflex bracelet. Not only does it look extremely good, but it also aligns perfectly with the model as it is a nautical watch. Also, since the case is white gold, if Rolex would put this on a bracelet, it would mean that they would have to make the bracelet in 18K white gold. Not only would this make the watch considerably more expensive (and thus much less popular and obtainable), but it would also make the watch heavier and clumsier. Now with the Oysterflex bracelet, the result is an elegant white gold sports watch that is both comfortable to wear but also quite durable.
The case is a monobloc middle case that features a screw-down case back and a Triplock screw-down winding crown that improves the watch’s water resistance.
Let’s have a look at the specifications of the Rolex Yacht-Master 226659.
Rolex Yacht-Master 226659 Specifications
The dial of the watch is matte black and has a texture to it, just like some of the other existing Yacht-Master models. The indices of the watch are made in 18K white gold to prevent tarnishing – in true Rolex fashion.
Rolex describes its Oyster bracelet the following way, “The Yacht-Master’s new Oysterflex bracelet, developed and patented by Rolex, offers a sporty alternative to metal bracelets. The bracelet attaches to the watch case and the Oysterlock safety clasp by a flexible titanium and nickel alloy metal blade. The blade is overmoulded with high-performance black elastomer which is particularly resistant to environmental effects, very durable, and perfectly inert for the wearer of the watch. For enhanced comfort, the inside of the Oysterflex bracelet is equipped with a patented longitudinal cushion system that stabilizes the watch on the wrist and fitted with an 18 ct Everose gold Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening.”
The Oysterflex bracelet has, like all Oysterflex bracelets, a Patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp. For the Yacht-Master, this clasp has been made in 18K white gold. This clasp also features the Rolex Glidelock extension system which allows fine adjustment of the bracelet length by 15 mm in increments of approximately 2.5 mm without the need for any tools.
The Yacht-Master is equipped with Rolex’s new generation caliber 3235. This movement is, of course, entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. It is a self-winding mechanical movement that has 14 patents. The movement uses Rolex’s new Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex. The result is a combination of high energy efficiency with great dependability. Thanks to the material nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference.
Something interesting to add is that with the introduction of the new 3235 caliber (second generation) for the Rolex Yacht-Master 226659, Rolex stopped the use of the 3135 caliber in all Yach-Master models and replaced it with the new 3235 caliber.
The previous generation caliber was the caliber 3135.
Bidirectional rotating bezel
The Rolex Yacht-Master has an all-black sporty bezel inlay with raised numerals. The inlay is made of black Cerachrom (ceramic). The raised polished numerals are contrasted against a matt, sand-blasted background. The unidirectional rotating bezel allows the wearer to, in Rolex’s own words, “calculate, for example, the sailing time between two buoys”.
The watch has a scratch-resistant sapphire and a cyclops lens over the date to improve its readability. The watch offers a water resistance of 100 meters / 330 feet