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Mystro 14 December 2020 02:02 AM

Finally broke down and purchased a grail watch of mine. The Yacht-Master II in-depth.
I have been eyeing the Yacht-Master II since 2007. It’s one of those Rolex watches that doesn’t get much attention from the newbie Rolex buyer that goes mainstream with a Sub, DJ, GMT, etc... That’s o.k as I don’t think Rolex is targeting them by its high priced $$ msrp or complex movement. The design and overall look of the YMII has been calling me for over a decade. Perhaps because I have owned all the mainstream Rolex models that generally look similar. I love purposeful big beautiful watches that are a extension of my personality and lifestyle. I wanted to wear it and use it for a bit before I gave a report so now is that time.

The Yacht-Master II looks are flashy but not ostentatious but certainly has a (lack of a better word) “FU” attitude with a masterpiece of a movement to back it up with.
Ah, the movement and here is where I will give this watch its grail level worthiness. As many know, am a pretty advanced watch enthusiast with 30+ years of experience with Rolex and other well established brands. At this point I am a watch movement super nerd and wear that title with honor.

A in-house caliber 4161
count down fly forward/backward programmable chronograph is a masterpiece of design and engineering.
. This was and is a big friggen accomplishment. More so it’s in a watch that has a proprietary “command ring bezel” attached directly to the movement but still yields a water resistance of 100 m! That makes this a watch that can be used for water sports from lite diving to snorkeling and general swimming pool activities. There is the Rolex toughness durability even in one of their opus level complex movements. You don’t have to be a watch nerd to understand how significant this is. Making a timing bezel that attaches to the case?... impressive but generally done well by others. Making a bezel that is attached directly to the movement and used to program a mechanical chronograph???????......:OMG:Bravo Rolex. :cheers::dude:

How it wears:
The YMII is a 44mm watch but with a much more graceful case shape and lugs much like an oversized Daytona. That means it wears significantly more comfortable and more like a traditional Sub than it does my DSSD JC. It’s so comfortable on the wrist because the case is not thick at only 13.5mm which gives it a perfect balance without flopping around. Rolex also got the dial to bezel ratio spot on. This thin case is absolutely amazing considering inside lives a incredibly complexed and masterful in-house Rolex movement.

Here is a comparison with my largest dive watch I own.

Use and Application:
This is one of the most misunderstood ideas about what this watch can be used for. Rolex built this movement as a programmable 10 minute regatta countdown Chronograph timer. This is a show of Rolex technical abilities much like the wr depth of the DSSD. The shortsighted critics get all wrapped up in the “yacht” and “regatta” theming try to poke fun they don’t own a yacht. I would bet most Daytona owners have never set a foot on a racetrack let alone raced a car. Most Submariner owners are not professional divers, etc... It’s that simply how Rolex markets and picks luxury lifestyle “themes” for their luxury watches. It makes a lot of sense having a boating/water themed watch to complement the dive family of watches as well as a platform to showcase their technical movement.

I find the 10 minute countdown timer covers what I use a chronograph for 99% of the time. Cooking, business, general use, etc... It’s significantly easier to see than the small dials on my past owned Daytona. It also doesn’t need the screw down pushers as the Daytona so the buttons are always at the ready to start a timer. It’s a chronograph you don’t need to fuss with and I find myself using a lot.

I purchased my new Yacht-Master II from a trust seller and professional I have done many of deals with in the past. Top shelf service. I received my full box set as well as stickers on the watch.:read: I thought I would take a few pics of removing those sexy stickers for those that have not engaged in this sexy watch striptease.:clap:

I also applied my patented “easy link scratch saver” green felt sticker. This little wonder keeps the clasp from scratching the link when using the easy link extended system. I did a tutorial on this a few years back and it does work and holds up to daily watch washings with Dawn dish soap. I removed only one link to fit my 7”+ wrist. I also kept the micro adjustment inside the clasp on its factory middle position.

One cool trick the count down timer does is when the minute hand reaches 0, the large red sexy second hand continues to sweep around the dial. This can be easily synced to the constant smaller second hand if you want to run it continuously. It also does no harm to the movement as we all know about this with the vertical clutch benefits. Another trick is if the larger second hand is moving and you do need to start a programmed countdown, all you need to do is push the lower button and the hands and movement jump back and instantly start timing again. Button push is smooooooth and clicks with a audible satisfying resistance. It oozes quality in just engaging the buttons. These are the little things you notice that Rolex does on how good a luxury timepiece should feel.

The hue on the blue command ring bezel is spot on with the blue on the dial. It’s a rich nautical blue that makes the platinum filled markings on the bezel “pop”. The touch of red on the dial completes the theme. It’s a show stopper with off the charts wrist presence.

I always feel like I buy watches right before they become the next new big thing???? I did it decades ago with the Daytona and a few years back with the LVC. I can’t say I follow what the herd mentality tends to buy but in a weird way tends to follow my taste historically. I don’t buy watches for investments as I am too much of a watch/movement nerd to even care. I will say the YMII is way ahead of its time like the LVC was but more importantly its movement is a technical masterpiece which really separates it from about everything out there if that matters to you.
I found the YMII incredibly rewarding to own and use. It’s no apologetic look connects to me but it’s technical movement and comfort on the wrist checks all my watch nerd boxes.

Danny83 14 December 2020 02:05 AM

Congrats !!! great pics and review

OpusXIII 14 December 2020 02:19 AM

Your photographs are second to none. So much so that they damn near overshadow that beautiful watch. Extremely well done on all fronts.

Atone 14 December 2020 02:21 AM

:cheers: Amazing pics! Some great sticks there too!!

TswaneNguni 14 December 2020 02:23 AM

EXCELLENT pics ! :thumbsup: Enjoy !! :cheers:

time_and_cars 14 December 2020 02:23 AM

Big congrats... I just started to buy watches that I like not from a investment point of view ... I just want to enjoy my watches

mpnunes 14 December 2020 02:27 AM

Fantastic review. As a lifelong sailboat racer, I fully appreciate the functionality of this watch. When I started racing many decades ago, we would use the timing bezel on a diving watch, but it was never very were always off by a few seconds which can be a killer at the start of a race. Then in the 80s casio g shock with the 10 min count down timer became all the rage The YM 2 is the analog version and really an amazing complication for a watch. Its the only analog regatta timer that actually gets it right. Great review

JodyHighroller 14 December 2020 02:31 AM

As always, awesome pictures and review! :thumbsup:

How do you feel about the bracelet on this reference? I’ve only handled it briefly once, but I felt the bracelet may be a tad too skinny/too much taper for 44mm case.

Avs Fan 14 December 2020 02:33 AM

Well thought out review of an excellent timepiece! Congratulations also!

Mystro 14 December 2020 02:45 AM


Originally Posted by JodyHighroller (Post 11126848)
As always, awesome pictures and review! :thumbsup:

How do you feel about the bracelet on this reference? I’ve only handled it briefly once, but I felt the bracelet may be a tad too skinny/too much taper for 44mm case.

Thanks everyone......

Perfection bracelet taper. The lug design on this watch case are more rounded and organic giving the bracelet to head transitions a natural look. It’s not that blocky super case issue you sometimes see at the lugs. Rolex also rounds the sides of the case into your wrist continuing that organic look that doesn’t make the watch look big. As stupid as this sounds, it’s as if Rolex was taking design cues from a elegant sailboat keeping the case lines graceful with the Yachtmaster line. The DSSD/Sub squared off super case is more utilitarian and sport looking in comparison. It’s a nice contrasting attitude Rolex brings out in how they machine their cases. This may be lost on some but the watch nerds will see this.

I am use to large watches but this watch being a big 44mm is as comfortable as my 40mm Rolex watches. I was expecting it wear maybe closer to my DSSD JC but it is closer to a Sub. I feel like I am getting away with something with this watch as I had issues with my SD43 and it was very uncomfortable even after several link swaps, etc....
This extra comfort on the wrist now makes it one of my favorites to take on extended vacations where I only will have one watch for everything. It does have the new Rolex bracelet squeak we find endearing while it lasts. But under my winter coats or long sleeve dress shirts are not a issue at all. The watch disappears on the wrist and as you know when it does that, it’s comfortable. :thumbsup:

Hard to show in just one pic.

samuel019 14 December 2020 03:11 AM

That’s one of the best write ups of a Rolex I’ve ever read. Pictures as well.

Never been a fan of the YMII but maybe you’ve changed my mind a bit. I’ve never worried about the size (ExpII, SkyD owner) it’s just the bezel. However hell of a review and congrats on the new addition.

Aberdein 14 December 2020 03:22 AM

Great post, outstanding pictures and of course fantastic watch.
Am a fan of the YM II, have been ever since I tried one on a few years back. Perhaps one day will pull the plug and get one.



HogwldFLTR 14 December 2020 03:30 AM

Great watch in many ways!!! Congratulations!!! I love it!!! :cheers:

Vivalas 14 December 2020 03:33 AM

That’s an amazing review with amazing pictures to go with it. Congrats on what’s a great watch :-)

tquieng 14 December 2020 03:38 AM

Waiting for them to discontinue this watch- price will skyrocket. Very under-appreciated for such a complicated and unique watch.

fskywalker 14 December 2020 03:50 AM

Finally broke down and purchased a grail watch of mine. The Yach-Master II in-depth.
Congrats and welcome to the YM Club !!!

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RoscoPico 14 December 2020 03:53 AM

simply awesome !!! both watches really

downtorock 14 December 2020 03:55 AM

Awesome review and congrats on your grail!

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Lesnerelli23 14 December 2020 04:06 AM

I appreciate this review as a fellow "nerd". I honestly got into mechanical watches because of this fact alone! The YMII is incredible! Congrats!

Pauln 14 December 2020 04:07 AM

Congrats! Great write up.

willywatch 14 December 2020 04:09 AM

A very underrated watch in my opinion.Hats off to people who have the
courage of their own opinions,and do not give a damn about the little
watch snobs.And a very nice review.

prnceofpersia23 14 December 2020 04:29 AM

Really enjoyable read and such a misunderstood watch. Great pickup, I think the YM II is so interesting and unique. Congrats!

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joli160 14 December 2020 04:41 AM

Huge congrats, this is the thread of the year. Great write up and as we know from you amazing pictures. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

T4ME 14 December 2020 04:47 AM


brandrea 14 December 2020 04:52 AM

Congratulations, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this reference:cheers:

Maxy 14 December 2020 04:54 AM

Congrats.. I always loved the look of this watch! It's also one watch SS is better looking than WG version!

Ringhio 14 December 2020 04:56 AM

Beautiful watch and beautiful pics, congrats!

Do you mind if I say that your POC is simply stunning!! I know it should be all about the YM on this topic, but that bad boy is super cool as well.
Very nice duo there ;)

Rado63 14 December 2020 04:58 AM

Agree the ten minute countdown is actually useful for other things and not just timing a yacht race start. Also on this watch the scale is actually legible unlike the small subdials in most chronographs.

waynorth 14 December 2020 05:01 AM

I could never pull that watch off, but that looks great on your wrist. Cool choice, and I like to hear and see that everyone has different tastes and leanings.

S1mplee 14 December 2020 06:03 AM

I love mine as well and I've been telling people that it's more comfortable than wearing a SS GMT to me. The 10 min timer is very useful for cooking as well as this is what I usually use the watch for, cooking.

ilovethiscity 14 December 2020 06:08 AM

What a total stunner! Thanks for sharing OP, enjoy it, well deserved no doubt!

Oldfellow 14 December 2020 06:23 AM

Great watch, and excellent review and photos.
Best post here for a while. Congratulations. :cheers::thumbsup:

climblaw25 14 December 2020 07:02 AM

Dude -- you are making want one of these REALLY bad. Great write up. Congrats, and enjoy!!!

JSol1 14 December 2020 07:42 AM

As a sailor this watch was always something I wanted for the movement, but I can’t wear it with my chicken wrists. I always wondered if the case size was strictly due to the movement or more about legibility. Perhaps yo would know?

PNBLWZD 14 December 2020 08:13 AM

Great pics and write up! I too had this watch on my wishlist for a long time and kept putting it off. After watching gray prices keep going up I finally got one a few months ago and really like it also. I agree; Super comfortable and looks great, like a super sized Daytona.

drrd 14 December 2020 08:14 AM

Thanks for this.

Very nice write up and great pictures.

DoDe 14 December 2020 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by Danny83 (Post 11126795)
Congrats !!! great pics and review

This. Amazing :clap:

Doood 14 December 2020 08:24 AM

This is a great reference. Love the case silhouette. Do you like the new hands? I regret not getting one before they made the change, but was just not ready yet to confidently pull this off and am still not, but maybe in 10 years. This is an unapologetic watch, for sure, maybe even more so than the TT sea dweller. Congratulations and great pics as always. Do you miss your hulk?

jerryguo 14 December 2020 08:30 AM

fantastic pick up, itís an awesome watch if you have a place for it in your collection!

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forgedblades 14 December 2020 08:45 AM

This is a watch I love and have had my eye on for a few years. Love the way it looks and feels on the wrist. Have not been able to pull the trigger on one yet but soon..very soon.

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