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Hands-On Rolex Made A Wearable Titanium Watch – How Are People Not Freaking Out?

Any other year, the titanium yacht-master 42 would steal the show for rolex. this year, the brand has so many crazy releases that the ym flies under the radar. here's why it still matters..

rolex yachtmaster forum

A year ago, the very idea of a titanium Rolex was relegated to wild dreams. A prototype had been seen on the wrist of British competitive sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, but the widely circulated online photo had gotten so old that some of us began to wonder if the watch would ever see the light of day.

rolex yachtmaster forum

The pic that launched our titanium dreams. Image by Ineos Britannia Team / C GREGORY

Now, in less than five months, we've gotten two watches from the Crown cased in RLX Titanium (a grade 5 titanium). The first was last year's 50mm Deep Sea Special , the mega dive watch that obliterated the water-resistance record. And now this week we have the Yacht-Master 42, which unlike the DSS is sized so that a normal human being could conceivably wear it. 

Rolex Yacht-Master titanium watch

Here it is. The first practically sized titanium Rolex, the new Yacht-Master 42. 

It's a big deal. But when seen next to Daytonas with display casebacks, Day-Dates with emojis, a solid-gold GMT-Master II, and an entirely new line of dress watches, a titanium Yacht-Master barely moves the needle of surprise and excitement. What a wild 48 hours this has been for the House of Wilsdorf.

In some ways, it feels like the appropriate response to not be that excited. After all, at this point every other watchmaker under the sun has made a titanium watch, from affordable Citizens in multiple colors of bezels and dials to Jean-Claude Biver's $500,000 minute repeater tourbillon announced Sunday.

Rolex Titanium Yacht-Master

And yet, as soon as the new titanium Yacht-Master ref. 226627 started to be passed around the room of Hodinkee editors during this week's Watches & Wonders trade show, the general reaction was just to laugh with surprise. This 42mm watch, which looks so sturdy, feels so unbelievably light. I mean, that's titanium for you. But still. You can't quite believe this watch is real, on a number of different levels. 

Rolex Titanium Yacht-Master

For any of us who've ever tried on a steel Submariner (a.k.a. anyone with a passing interest in Rolex), it's kind of comical to find out how much your brain is preconditioned to see a 42mm steel Oyster case, round indices, and Mercedes hands and think about the luxurious heft that awaits you.

Rolex Titanium Yacht-Master

At around 100 grams, according to Rolex, the titanium Yacht-Master is so light it breaks your brain.

For a moment, let's compare the new YM to last year's titanium Pelagos from Rolex's sister brand Tudor. Rolex's choice to put the watch on a bracelet instead of a sportier Oysterflex makes the comparison obvious. I've now spent time with both pieces, and I prefer the Yacht-Master. 

Lume shot of the Yacht-Master titanium

The YM, like the Pelagos, is distinctly a tool watch – something that would have been hard to say about Yacht-Masters in the past. But the finishing a world apart, which is saying something for such an understated metal as titanium.

Rolex Titanium Yacht-Master

Rolex's proprietary grade 5 "RLX Titanium" (stronger than the grade 2 of the Pelagos) has the curious property of being equally able to be brushed satin or polished, which means it has the nice sharp and shiny chamfers that you'd like to see contrasted against the dark grey and relatively matte metal. That combination also works well with the more matte and textured dial – and with the contrast of the raised black numerals against a matte ceramic bezel insert, which is is the main giveaway that this is still squarely a Yacht-Master.

Rolex Titanium Yacht-Master

My main critique (which I share into the void, knowing that Rolex designers will do whatever they think best) is that I wish they'd  stuck to the no-date design of Ainsilie's prototype. In the practical application of most sailing races, there's really no use for a date. If you're blue-water sailing and circumnavigating the globe, maybe its useful, though just like dive watches the practical application gives way to the reality of technology. So why not refine the design further and leave the date off altogether? And while we're at it, a better quick-adjustment option would be great.

Rolex Titanium Yacht-Master

The price is somewhat immaterial – CHF 13,400 – since the average collector won't be able to get it at retail anytime soon. But the new Yacht-Master 42 is more than a solid release. It's a more than a titanium proof of concept. It's a wearable piece that portends at least the possibility of future experiments with this fascinating material. 

For more information visit Rolex. 

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Owner Review: Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622

What's it like to wear the rolex yacht-master.


| Wrist Size: 7 inch

Rolex Yacht-Master 126622

Before we get to my Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622 review, we need some background. In 1992 Rolex introduced a watch that shared the silhouette of their beloved Submariner but in solid 18k yellow gold, embossed YG bezel insert soldered to the bezel, funky white dial, and the unusual name “Yacht-Master” written where “Submariner” would normally live. People then and now still wonder.. “Why?”.

Rumor has it Rolex wanted to drastically update the Submariner but were scared that the changes were too extreme. The Submariner was essentially their poster child and arguably their most iconic watch. Fearing backlash, they created a whole new line. Rolex rarely creates completely new watches, the last time they made a new watch before the Rolex Yacht-Master was in 1964 when the Daytona was introduced. Luckily it paid off as the Yacht-Master was pretty well received!

Even though the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 at first glance looks very similar to the Submariner it’s a totally different wearing experience. The case shape is completely different from the Sub. Its case profile is composed of compound curves with the lugs swooping downwards very similar to a Daytona, the case is also fully polished. My particular Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622 being Roleisum (Rolex’s term for the combination of Platinum and Steel which was first introduced in 1999 with the ref. 16622), in combination with the blue sunburst dial and red accents, gives it such a unique aesthetic it sets it apart in Rolex’s catalog. Rolex I think perfected their blue dials, it’s absolutely gorgeous! Pictures do not do it justice whatsoever. In person, it appears much darker, almost black however in direct light that’s when the striking blue hue pops. The date function is also very convenient!

Rolex Yacht-Master

What is it like to wear a Rolex Yacht-Master? I would describe it as the most comfortable and stressful watch I have ever worn and owned. What most people don’t realize is that it’s a thin watch and I mean THIN. At 11.5mm it’s just as thin or even thinner than a 34mm 114200 Air-King! Like what? The case hugs your wrist amazingly while the oyster bracelet seems to caress you. It makes you want to wear it every single day, I mean how could you not? Thin, sporty, beautiful, comfortable and low key a strap monster. Until you see a scratch or nick on the solid Platinum bezel insert, call up Rolex Service Center to see how much it would be to replace it and they slap you in the face with a $2500 (before taxes) quote for JUST the bezel/bezel insert assembly (they’re soldered together remember?). Then you think “Okay, okay which Seiko ’s do I sell to cover the cost of a freaking bezel”. Did I mention the case is fully polished?

Has this ever happened to me? No, because I’m extremely OCD, however I was curious and called RSC, I also used to own the 16622 and was trained to wear long sleeves only, only wear it sparingly, cover my wrist when walking through doorways, never let it touch denim (yes, denim will scratch it apparently), and for all I know never sneeze near it or even look at it too long because for all I know that could probably scratch it too. To top it all off, of COURSE the bracelet and clasp has Polished Center Links! While I am exaggerating the fragility of the Rolex Yacht-Master, the stress of potentially scuffing it is real.

Rolex Yacht-Master

The Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622 is arguably one of my favorite watches ever made. I never thought I’d ever get to own one. It’s beautiful, ridiculously comfortable, relatively uncommon, however so stressful to wear. I have owned it for almost exactly one year and I personally try to enjoy every second I wear it; I even strap changed it with zero scuffs! I have and I do but my OCD and extreme caution lends itself to be a difficult one to fully appreciate without worry. I’ve debated if this watch was right for me all the time. However, I would recommend this watch to anyone minutely interested. I have no regrets having owned two of them like an insane person, but who in the watch collecting world isn’t insane?

Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622

  • Very comfortable to wear.
  • Beautiful aesthetics.
  • Has many color ways.
  • Stressful to wear.
  • Scratches relatively easily.
  • Difficult to even buy.

Review Breakdown

  • Wearability 0%

rolex yachtmaster forum

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The best Rolex yachtmaster homage

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Bought a Rolex ym back in 2017 from davidsw in Orlando and I love it. What I didn't love is that it showed wear very easy. Secondly the 7,500 looked better in my bank account. So I discovered this homage that has long since been discontinued probably the best ym homage ever made . Anyone else have this model  


Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

Dedan said: Very nice! I own a Yacht Master 'homage' (I realise it's more a copy tbh) from Parnis: View attachment 14848161 Can't say I've seen that Invicta for sale anywhere. Click to expand...


yankeexpress said: Have several YachtMonster Click to expand...

rolex yachtmaster forum

hmm some nice watches in a style that i havent come across before. thanks guys for the photos and keep them coming.  

Wow didn't know there were so many homages . Great pics  

Any sub 200$ YM homages that are 200m (or greater WR)? I think the original YM was only 100m WR.  

The Invicta is 200  


Pagani Design of Aliexpress fame just came out with a YM homage. It seems to be getting good reviews. Ceramic bezel, sapphire crystal...and I believe it's running a nh35.  

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Introducing The Rolex Yacht-Master 42 In RLX Titanium

  • Thread starter BloominCookie
  • Start date Mar 27, 2023


  • BloominCookie

AKA "Mr. Biscuit" Throughout the British Empire

  • Mar 27, 2023

Introducing: The Rolex Yacht-Master 42 In RLX Titanium

Nothing haunts us like the watches we didn’t buy.

Rolex is copying Tudor with its metal choice now? They’re running out of ideas.  

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  • Mar 30, 2022


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rolex yachtmaster forum

Hands-On: Rolex Yacht-Master 42 Watch Reference 226627 In RLX Titanium

rolex yachtmaster forum

The visceral experience of wearing the Yacht-Master 42 titanium is very odd for any long-time Rolex fan. Rolex more or less helped create the 20th-century notion that you can often measure the value of a watch by feeling how solid and weighty it is. Rolex watches have never been designed for lightness, so most of them are quite hefty, and beloved for that reason. It is common for someone to admire a precious metal Rolex simply by feeling its mass in the open palm of your hand.

rolex yachtmaster forum

The Rolex Yacht-Master 42 was introduced in 2019 with tones very similar to this titanium model, but rather in 18k white gold and on a black Rolex Oysterflex strap. A yellow gold version was eventually added, and it seemed as though Rolex’s largest Yacht-Master was destined to be a precious-metal-only product. The 2023 226627 Yacht-Master 42 changes that paradigm by adding in a full grade 5 titanium case and matching bracelet to the product family. This is what people should consider the first “wearable” Rolex watch produced from titanium.

Even though Rolex uses the same grade 5 titanium as other brands, it focuses a lot on surface finishing and polishing for this timepiece. Rolex uses a sort of deep-grain engraving, which is somewhat different from the same effect on steel. Titanium as a color is also a bit darker than the comparatively bright 904L steel that most other (non-precious metal) Rolex sport watches are made out of. Titanium does scratch, and I asked Rolex about the service plan for the Yacht-Master 42 in RLX titanium. To make a long story short, Rolex will offer the same “case refresh” service for its titanium watches as it does for its steel and gold watches, though in reality, Rolex will have to use some special processes to polish titanium so that it looks fresh and new again. “RLX titanium” is really just Rolex’s way of indicating that it polishes and finishes titanium metal differently from other brands (according to Rolex).

rolex yachtmaster forum

Other than being in titanium with the matching bracelet, there isn’t too much new here. The Yacht-Master 42 case is 42mm-wide and has similar proportions as other watches in the larger Oyster Perpetual watch. The case is water resistant to 100 meters, and around the dial is a uni-directional rotating bezel with a matte-black ceramic insert that matches the matte-dark-gray tone of the Yacht-Master 42 dial.

Inside the watch is the Rolex in-house-made caliber 3235 automatic movement that operates at 4Hz with about 70 hours of power reserve. The movement offers the time with date and on the sapphire crystal is a Rolex “cyclops” magnifier lens. Titanium is considered by many engineers to be the perfect material for wristwatch cases. While I don’t think it is possible to ever determine “bests” in regard to an emotional product, it is true that you can easily enjoy the Yacht-Master 42 in titanium from purely a tool watch perspective. The lighter weight and large size give this 42mm-wide Rolex an interesting and desirable personality. It also makes us wonder whether or not there will be more titanium Rolex watches in the future. Possibly some, but I don’t think that Rolex, primarily a maker of conspicuous jewelry-style watches, will heavily focus on a material that will not hold a high polish as nicely as steel, gold, or platinum watches.

rolex yachtmaster forum

For watch lovers and Rolex collectors, there really is a lot of novelty to wearing a Rolex watch in titanium simply because most people haven’t ever done so before. The sister brand Tudor has had the Pelagos, which, for a while, was really the more sober equivalent of this Rolex Yacht-Master 42 226627. It is also much less expensive, but it doesn’t have the iconic Oyster Perpetual case shape and the famous Submariner-style dial that this Yacht-Master does.

While the Yacht-Master 42 in RLX titanium raises a lot of interesting philosophical questions about what Rolex should and shouldn’t be doing, the product will be a commercial success given the current latent demand for high-end titanium sport watches and anything even remotely interesting from Rolex. Rolex has made it clear that production of the titanium Yacht-Master 42 is going to be limited in scope, in large part because there are so many pieces of titanium in the case, and especially the bracelet, that all need to bear precisely matching polishes and finishes. I don’t imagine that this watch is easy for Rolex to make, but we do know that Rolex could increase production of titanium watches if it ever wanted to. Price for the very interesting and comfortable reference 226627 Rolex Yacht-Master 42 in RLX titanium is $14,050 USD . Learn more at the Rolex watches website here .

rolex yachtmaster forum

Oyster Perpetual


Stay the course, mapping invisible routes.

For those at sea, staying the course is a constant challenge. Defying the laws of logic, bearings can be lost suddenly in difficult conditions, thus requiring adaptability and the capacity to react quickly. Since 1992, the Yacht-Master – equipped with a bidirectional rotatable bezel – has become the established watch of masterful sailors who know how to react in order to keep their heading, in any situation.

Technical and elegant, the Yacht-Master is a reliable nautical instrument.

Bidirectional rotatable bezel

The Yacht-Master’s bidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel is made entirely from precious metal (gold or platinum) or fitted with a Cerachrom insert in high-technology ceramic. The raised polished numerals and graduations stand out clearly against a matt background. This functional bezel – which allows the wearer to calculate, for example, the sailing time between two buoys – is also a key component in the model’s distinctive visual identity.

Oysterflex bracelet

This technical bracelet, developed by Rolex and patented, singularly combines the robustness and reliability of a metal bracelet with the suppleness, comfort and aesthetics of an elastomer strap.

Yacht-Master 42

Oyster, 42 mm, yellow gold.


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    Posts: 127. The YM is on a higher level in terms of proportions design material finish you really feel it's a luxurious watch. it looks like a sub and is even better but will never feel like a sub. On the other hand the sub is simple. Nothing fancy. It's a robust tool watch, also expensive for what it is.

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  4. Yacht Master, possible?

    I know given the wider world context it all seems ridiculous but since this is a Rolex forum I genuinely feel sorry for any newbies trying to get their first piece. _____ Yacht-Master 126622, GMT-Master II 16710, Submariner 114060, Sea-Dweller 16600, Panerai Luminor PAM111 Lange Saxonia Moon Phase 384.029, Tudor Black Bay Harrods M79230G. ...

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    Yacht master question. Hey all, I'm looking to join the Rolex club very soon and the watch I've had my eye on is the 40mm yacht master with the rhodium dial 126622. I have to 2 questions regarding how I could attain it with no ad purchase history 1. Can I walk into an AD and place a deposit for one and be guaranteed that I will get one or ...

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  10. Rolex Titanium Yacht-Master 42 Review (Ref. 226627)

    The first practically sized titanium Rolex, the new Yacht-Master 42. It's a big deal. But when seen next to Daytonas with display casebacks, Day-Dates with emojis, a solid-gold GMT-Master II, and an entirely new line of dress watches, a titanium Yacht-Master barely moves the needle of surprise and excitement. What a wild 48 hours this has been ...

  11. Owner Review: Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622

    Before we get to my Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622 review, we need some background. In 1992 Rolex introduced a watch that shared the silhouette of their beloved Submariner but in solid 18k yellow gold, embossed YG bezel insert soldered to the bezel, funky white dial, and the unusual name "Yacht-Master" written where "Submariner" would normally live.

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  16. Hands-On: Rolex Yacht-Master 42 Watch Reference 226627 ...

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  19. Rolex Yacht-Master

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