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Baselworld 2019 saw the hotly anticipated release of the Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR. Its black and blue bezel has carried a few nicknames over the years, but none is more widely used than the “Batman.” The previous iteration of the “Batman” debuted in 2013 but was only available on the classic professional bracelet. 2019 saw the black and blue bezel paired with a jubilee bracelet for the first time. The result was a waiting list that continues to grow to this day.
The demand for 2018’s Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” proved that the consumer base for stainless steel GMTs from Rolex on a jubilee bracelet presented a ravenous captive market. It was only a matter of time before the industry’s most recognized brand released another product into that category to take advantage of the frenzy caused by the Pepsi’s release. Predictably, the sales of the “Batman” were similarly rapid, which is good news for those who purchased one at retail and very bad news for anyone who didn’t and still wants one.
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At the 2019 Basel International Watch and Jewelry Show, replica Rolex watches launched the new reference 226659 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42, which is currently only available in 18ct white gold. This is all technical specifications as well as price and quick analysis, and then we will conduct hands-on practice at the 2019 Basel International Watch and Jewelry Show.
Rolex is known for its rapid and crazy response to the trend of luxury watch taste development. The trend of large watches has been around for almost two decades, but Rolex has been spending time in introducing larger variants of its beloved basic models. 2017 witnessed the release of the 43-mm-wide Sea-Dweller, which is now accompanied by this 2019 new 226659 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 adding a distance of 2 mm to the yacht master.
We decided on the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42, but the larger case now encapsulates the new-generation Rolex 3255 movement. This is the latest development of a Rolex movement, which started before the Day-Date in the 1940s and has since reached the selected model in the selected collection. The new movement provides a longer service period (I heard that Rolex’s AD first movement service price is 10 years), and the power reserve has been extended from 48 hours to about 3 days or 72 hours. The new movement also has a more efficient train architecture, matching the Chronergy escapement, which can further optimize energy efficiency.
The bezel also seems to use a novel process: on the Yacht-Master 42, the two-way rotatable bezel is equipped with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom bezel insert, which is now made of matte black ceramic. In addition, the raised scales and numbers are first molded into the ceramic, and then polished to make these scales become small islands floating in the ceramic.
at BaselWorld 2019, the replica Rolex Day-Date watches finally got to catch up with its big brother, the Day-Date 40. For four years, those privileged with their eyes and wallets set at the Day-Date 36, had to wait for this high-prestige range to receive all those useful and impressive technical updates that the 40mm wide version had had all along. With 2019, these technical improvements, some minute changes to the case, as well as notable new dial options have all arrived to the Day-Date 36, along with some notable limitations, as well.
It was back in 2015 that we debuted the new Day-Date 40 that, in turn, first introduced Rolex’s new generation of 32xx calibers, Superlative Chronometer -2/+2 second daily accuracy tests, and the ceramic inserts in between the precious metal links of its President bracelet. Those, in a nutshell, made for a major product update, and it was just a matter of time that the 36mm version received them. On that note, I had expected the Day-Date 36, “the be all, end all” prestige watch of Rolex, to not lag behind quite so long — but it has to be said that four years, by Rolex standards, is but a blink of an eye.
We’ll get to discussing those technical updates soon, but I’ll begin with what I think actually is a lot more important to anyone looking to buy a Day-Date 36 in the foreseeable future — and that is configurability. For the time being, the new Day-Date 36 is not available in platinum — again, a real head-scratcher and something that will surely have to be rectified soon. For now, it can only be 18k yellow gold, white gold, or Everose gold.
Another important thing to note is that, with this update, all previous Day-Date 36 dial options are gone with the wind. We have new ones, three for the Everose, four for the white gold, and six for the yellow gold version — plus all three metals have an extra option of a pavé set dial with “rainbow” sapphire indices. That, I think, is a bummer, as many enticing dial options had come to be for the Day-Date 36 over the years.
All the rage this year seems to be the “fumé,” “smoked,” “vignette” or, as Rolex likes to call them, “ombré” dials. These colorful dials are darker around their edges and lighter by their center — H. Moser & Cie is often credited for bringing this style to light, although one must not forget that this was a popular design choice a number of decades ago, all the same. On a personal note, I have yet to grow used to these vignette dials on the Day-Date 36. There somehow is not enough room on the Day-Date 36’s — mind you, beautifully proportionate — dial. The Day-Date 40, by contrast, often looks vast, like a saucer, and that certainly would have been my choice to introduce this style.
More to the point, this transitional execution doesn’t look elegant — not to me, at least. It is a brand new watch that somehow looks old and dated. Whereas the presentation of the Day-Date 36 itself, meaning the case, fluted bezel, and President bracelet, are as timeless as a Roman marble bust, this vignette effect reminds me of the cheap plastic cover on an ’80s Rolodex. Needless to say, the fact that I am yet to get it doesn’t mean others won’t.
A number of previous Day-Date 36 models suffered from at least some legibility issues, and these new “ombré” dials don’t appear to help with that. The hands often turn dark in their reflectivity; pair that with the transitional colors of the dial, and you have a camouflage effect, which really isn’t what you want if it’s legibility you’re after. I am an absolute sucker for a Rolex with baguette-cut diamond hour markers — and diamond indices in general — and yet, here, they appear to strangely blend in.
The President bracelet on the Day-Date 36 has, at last, received ceramic inserts. Rolex introduced these, as I said, with the Day-Date 40 back in 2015, the idea being that these super-hard ceramic inserts would save the links from becoming sticky — allowing for a more comfortable wear — and also eliminate the stretching of the bracelet. If you don’t know what bracelet stretch is, just take a look at any vintage Rolex bracelet that hangs loose — its pins and holes are so worn out that the bracelet isn’t quite as tight and robust as it once was. As far as I know, to date, only the President bracelet — now in its every iteration — has this upgrade, while precious metal Oyster bracelets don’t.
For the longest time, and I’ll take the blame for this, I couldn’t see the Yacht-Master II as nothing more than The Large Rolex. The 44mm wide Yacht-Master II was the go-to large Rolex, with a massive gap in size between it and the 40mm Sea-Dwellers, Submariners, and others. Debuted in 2007, the Yacht-Master II was followed just next year by the absolutely massive Deepsea that had the same width at 44mm but was considerably thicker, so it both appeared and wore much, much larger than the YMII, placing it far off the map for most replica rolex watches .
The Sky-Dweller made its debut in 2012, and while it also looks and wears large, until 2017 it was exclusively available in solid gold cases, rendering it about 40% more expensive than the two-tone YMII that had already been available by 2012. I did look these things up – wouldn’t want to pose as someone who remembers all this. No wonder then, that the Yacht-Master II became The Large Rolex worn by premiership ballerinas footballers, celebrities, and… basically everyone who wanted in on the large watch craze with a Rolex, but didn’t like or couldn’t afford the Sky-Dweller. The fact that Rolex took so long and only debuted the larger, 43mm wide Sea-Dweller in 2017 is just Rolex being its usual cautious self that caused it to nearly miss the boat on the large watch trend – but that’s for another discussion replica watches uk.
Stars aligned and I ended up in a Rolex boutique with a camera in one hand and the Yacht-Master II in the other – welcome to watch blogger life. It was only there that I realized I should have cared about the Yacht-Master II because my goodness, it is a truly impressive piece of watchmaking. It’s the Bentley of watches: big, brash, and showy, bought by a demographic that people not part of are keen not to be associated with… But beyond all that lies a deeply impressive, well-made, uniquely cool product.
I am realizing now that it might as well just be my boredom with the Submariners and Datejusts speaking, but as I was reviewing my images on the spot on the camera’s screen (not even a larger, better display) I realized the many intricate and well-made details of the Yacht-Master II. It’s proper Rolex through and through – you’d never ever mistake the entire watch or any of its details for anything but a Rolex – but at the same time its functionality, layout, as well as its case and dial design are all refreshingly unique.
Yes, that’s what got me. The weird, piston-style pushers (that need not be screwed down), the weird, but strangely beautiful proportions of the lugs and bezel, the incredible quality of the blue ceramic bezel and its laser-etched, PVD-coated numerals, the weird arch of the dial that resembles (in my mind at least) a gauge of a submarine, and the ADD-curing tactile feel of the Ring Command bezel. These make the Yacht-Master II not only unlike any other Rolex, but unlike any other watch. How did this happen?
Whether or not Rolex had the large watch trend on its mind when designing the Yacht-Master II, we’ll never know. I have no hopes in receiving a definitive “yes, we did” or “no, we didn’t” answer from them. The Yacht-Master II was designed with a programmable fly-back regatta chronograph (ooooh, just writing that down felt strangely satisfying) and it was also the watch to debut Rolex’s Ring Command rotating bezel system that was later also used in the Sky-Dweller.
since 1956 Rolex replica watches has been producing the Day-Date watch as their flagship men’s model. The most recent version of the Day-Date (also commonly referred to as the “Rolex President”) is the Rolex Day-Date 40 reference 22823X series that includes the 18ct yellow gold reference 228238, the 18ct Everose gold reference 228235, the 18ct white gold reference 228239, and the smooth bezel 950 platinum reference 228206. This aBlogtoWatch review is of the 18ct white gold Rolex Day-Date 40 reference 228239BLRP with the blue colored dial. In addition to the four precious metal case materials, Rolex offers a compelling range of dial color and style options, as well as versions of the Day-Date 40 with varying levels of precious stone decoration.
Early on in my career reviewing watches, I always found the Rolex President to be a challenging watch to categorize. That is because the Day-Date does not fit into any of the traditional categories of watches that we tend to think of. It isn’t simple and basic enough to be a traditional dress watch, it isn’t built for specific physical activities even though it has the resistance of many sport watches, and its design isn’t inspired by any specific items that might put it in the category of an art or “design” watch. Despite its iconic status and massive global popularity, what exactly is the Rolex Day-Date President?
I’ve come up with a two-part answer to that question and it is that the Rolex Day-Date is both the quintessential men’s jewelry watch, and the quintessential masculine gold watch. Each part of the Rolex President theme is about combining core horological utility with a status-communicating showiness that isn’t meant to be particularly brash or assertive. Rolex seemed to hit on a design that said “look at me” without saying “look too closely.” The outcome is a product that clearly says “I have money and at least recognize good taste, but I’m also concerned about long-term value and functionality.”
For a long time the Rolex Day-Date replica watches and Datejust rode a similar path along side one another as appealing to very similar demographics. You can read my long-term review on the Rolex Datejust 41 watch here. The Datejust is less expensive, not currently produced in all precious metal, and has a slightly more simple movement. What originally made the Day-Date standout from the Datejust was the inclusion of a day of the week indicator – with the day fully spelled out at the 12 o’clock hour position. My understanding is that this feature was originally intended for active business people (men) who found it useful to not only know the date but the current day of the week. This was especially important for people who had reoccurring obligations and would be regularly (and clearly) reminded of what day of the week it was.
Over the years the importance of having the day and date on your wrist diminished – especially as technology put the date and calendar information everywhere. Still, Rolex is a “heritage” company and continued to produce the Day-Date out of both habit and obligation to keep this important family of watches lively and relevant for luxury watch consumers around the world. The 1980s and 1990s were an important time for Rolex and the Day-Date President (as well as Datejust), as the brand experienced a high-point in its watches because they were used by people to communicate not just status but also success.
The Day-Date watch earned the nickname “President,” which is what it is often referred to. This originated from the fact that several United States Presidents (among other world leaders) wore Rolex Day-Date watches. One source refers to an actual Rolex advertisement from 1966 where Rolex itself describes the Day-Date as “The President’s Watch.” At the time, US President Lyndon B. Johnson wore a Day-Date, and prior to that so did President Dwight Eisenhower. Our colleague and Rolex historian Jake Ehrlich discusses the “Presidential history” of Rolex and the Day-Date watch here.
When Rolex initially debuted the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller watch collection at Baselworld 2012, the watch world acted predictably.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller watches introduced a brand new movement, which happens to be the most complicated movement that Rolex produces. This annual calendar GMT is their “grand complication” and is assembled by a dedicated team among the larger Rolex watchmaker staff. The movement is a beautiful thing in operation and concept, but we will get to that more later Replica Rolex Watch . What also set the Sky-Dweller apart from most other Rolex watches was the size. Even though the case design continues to be the Rolex Oyster that we know and love, Rolex produced it in a 42mm wide case, making it the largest “dressy” timepiece produced by the brand. Also predictable at the time of release was that that Sky-Dweller would be very expensive. Rolex tends to debut new models and movements in all-gold cases, only to release the watch in a two-tone or all-steel variety later. As such, Rolex didn’t debut a Rolesor (steel and gold) version of the Sky-Dweller until 2017. There are no all-steel models because Rolex’s signature fluted bezel is made in gold. However, the most “accessible” version of the Sky-Dweller comes with an all-steel bracelet and case with just the bezel in 18k white gold.
The purpose of the Sky-Dweller was to introduce a timepiece for the modern jet-setter who uses his watch both for utility and as a status item. Rolex listened to the desires of many people to produce a larger, everyday non-sports watch and also understood that something many of its customers have in common is travel. The in-house made caliber 9001 automatic movement offers the wearer a different GMT time read-out as compared to Rolex’s other GMT-hand equipped watches, and introduced one of the best annual calendar systems on the market. Annual calendars tend to be considered an ideal combination of complexity and practicality in the context of a mechanical calendar – especially when considering how today’s mechanical watch wearers rely on their watches and often wear multiple watches. Perpetual calendars are indeed more complex, but for many people they simply aren’t practical when you consider that today’s luxury watch lovers tend to wear more than one watch in rotation.
What everyone loved about the Sky-Dweller when it first came out is still one of its best and most innovative features – that being the annual calendar display. Rolex’s goal was to keep the dial as clean and legible as possible – so adding yet another dial or window to indicate the month in addition to the date wasn’t ideal. More so, the month indicator isn’t something you tend to look at constantly, so having it in front of your face all the time doesn’t seem necessary. The result was using a place near the hour markers to indicate the current month. This is based on the idea that there are 12 hours as well as 12 months. When the window next to 1 o’clock on the dial goes from white to red, that means the current month is January. When the marker next to 2 o’clock is red, it is February, and so forth. Despite the logic of this simple system, people (not familiar with the watch) still need to be educated on what the dial is showing. I consider the Sky-Dweller to be a “stealth” annual calendar watch – and I’ve been very happy living with it.