Rolex debuted a Yacht-Master 42 (Ref 226659) at Baselword this year and it’s received mixed reviews so far. This new Yacht-Master model surprised many Rolex collectors. Most folks were expecting something a bit less subtle (and with a lot more wow factor) when Rolex released a teaser video just before Baselworld.

Let’s take a closer look!

All about the Yacht-Master 42 Reference 226659


An Oysterflex bracelet on a Yacht-Master is nothing new. Rolex debuted the pair in 2015, but on an Everose gold, 42 mm model.

But what exactly is an Oysterflex bracelet? To the untrained eye, it may look like just another rubber strap. We ALL know Rolex won’t settle for anything less than premium quality, specially crafted in-house materials. So no- it’s not just a rubber strap. This patented design is comprised of a titanium and nickel-alloy blade clad in black elastomer. The Oysterflex bracelet combines the reliability elements of a metal bracelet and the comfort and flexibly of a rubber strap.

The bracelet’s underside features curved, wing-like rubber cushions, which raise the bracelet from the skin and provide airflow. In addition, it helps stabilize the watch to keep it centered on the wrist.

Rolex has released several models featuring the Oysterflex bracelet since its debut in 2015, most notably select Daytonas (ref. 116515LN, ref. 116518LN, and ref. 116519LN). Additionally, Rolex has used Oysterflex to replace all of the leather strap options within their Daytona collection

Related: A Look at the New Rolex Yacht-Master II Ref. 116680


The previous Yacht-Master and Oysterflex bracelet combo boasted a 40 mm case, but Rolex decided to go bigger this year with 42 mm. An 18ct white gold case gives this particular Yacht-Master a subtle feel, especially compared to the previous Everose gold version.

Rolex operates its own factory and has complete control over the precious metal castings used in their watch models. So far, the Oysterflex bracelet has only been paired with these house-made precious metals- gold, white gold, and Everose gold.


Rolex brought back the black matte dial and all black Cerachrom bezel insert. Monochrome enthusiasts are thrilled, but others were expecting more variety.

The dial showcases hour markers encased in 18ct white gold to match the case, as well as all white text. Past Yacht-Masters have seen text in red, white, and rose gold. We like the subdued, masculine look of the watch, but doubt there will be a waitlist anytime soon for this model.


The Yacht-Master 42 (Ref 226659) is fitted with a new generation movement, the calibre 3235. This self-winding mechanical movement has 14 patents and offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.

Whether you’r on land or sea, Rolex had made sure this Yacht-Master is near indestructible.

Final Thoughts

It’s not the most innovative watch of the year, but there’s a lot we like about this Yacht-Master model. A sport watch that could easily double as a dress watch? We can get down with that.

See also: Our 5 Top Watches for Sportswear

Technical specs


Oyster, 42 mm, white gold


Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown


42 mm


Bidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel with matt black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, polished raised numerals and graduations


Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system


Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date


Waterproof to 100 meters/330 feet


Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding


3235, Manufacture Rolex


-2/+2 sec/day, after casing


Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting


Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor


Approximately 70 hours




Flexible metal blades overmoulded with high-performance elastomer


Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system




Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence

If you are interested in purchasing your own Rolex Yacht-Master, give us a call or fill out our contact form. Check out our Facebook page for box openings and watch reviews by our in-house watch expert Sergio Nuncio!

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