Rolex, one of the major Swiss watchmakers, has recently updated its range of “professional” Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master (Ref. 16622) automatic watches with a new model in their proprietary “rolesium” alloy of 950 platinum and stainless steel that features a blue dial. Besides offering more contrast display, the new watch looks plain more elegant than the previous variants of the piece, including those with platinum dials.
Comparing the newly introduced watch with previous models, I don’t see any significant visual differences between them. Probably, because there are none.
The new timekeeper comes in the same 40 mm case, which is referred to as “large” and combines highly corrosion-resistant 904L low carbon stainless steel and so called Rolesium: an expensive alloy of the same 904L steel and 950 platinum. Although the difference is very subtle, a watch crafted from the alloy actually looks more imposing since the presence of platinum gives the polished parts a sense of depth that you will never experience when it comes to plain steel. The difference in perception, by the way, is not merely a sort of self-suggestion induced by the alloy’s higher price: even in a blind test it usually takes just a moment to see the difference between two similarly styled models done in stainless steel like this Submariner 116610LN and Rolesium.
The composition is finished with a bidirectional rotating bezel, which is wholly crafted from solid platinum, brushed and then polished.
The dial of the new Yacht-Master features the same set of luminous hour markers and hands that are covered with their proprietary Chromalight substance (it is claimed to be brighter than the famous Superluminova and also emits blue glow, which is more pleasant for the eye and also makes easier to tell an original from a counterfeited piece of garbage).
As the previous iterations of the model (and many other members of the Oyster range), the watch is animated by the well-known Caliber 3155 self-winding movement.
First introduced back in late eighties, the caliber is equipped with an antimagnetic Parachrom hairspring, which is crafted from a niobium, zirconium and oxygen alloy, and is also officially certified by the Swiss-based COSC authority as a chronometer.
The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master Blue Dial in Rolesium (Ref. 16622) watch was introduced in March, 2012 during the Baselworld 2012 event and is already present on their corporate web-site so there is a good chance that it will soon go on sale in an authorized dealership near you. Price is still unknown, but it will surely be quite expensive.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master Blue Dial in Rolesium (Ref. 16622) Automatic watch specification
Price: Approx. $15,000
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 3135, COSC-certified chronometer, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 31
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Rolesium and Satainless steel
Bezel material: 950 Platinum
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 13.00 mm
Lug width: 19 mm
Numerals: Arabic (on the bidirectional rotating bezel)
Hour markers: Luminous (Chromalight)
Hands: Luminous (Chromalight)
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Solid-link Oyster bracelet in 904L stainless steel with a new-generation Oysterlock safety clasp, regulated in 5 mm increments
Crystal: Sapphire, Cyclops lens over date window at 3 o’clock
Case back: Solid, fluted, screwed down