Rolex continues its association with nautical pursuits, with its updated Yacht-Master II timepiece playing an invaluable role in the cockpits of racing yachts around the world, not least the coming China Sea Race. It’s not surprising that Rolex, as a great innovator in the field of waterproof watches and a leader in precision timekeeping, has long gravitated to the world of competitive yachting.

In a discipline where every split second counts, where the timepieces measuring results and assisting in navigation must not only be unerringly accurate but also impervious to the elements, Rolex’s peerless “tool watches” truly come into their own. Of course, the Swiss watchmaker is also renowned for the luxurious craftsmanship of its products, making it even more of an apt match with the rarefied pursuit of yachting—and its affluent enthusiasts.

Highly legible and impeccably waterproofed, Rolex’s seminal diver’s watch, the Submariner, found favour with yachtsmen from the moment it was released in 1954. Nevertheless, in the 1960s, the company experimented with a model specifically tailored for sailors, producing a handful of prototype Yacht-Master chronographs, melding the performance timekeeping of the Daytona with the anti-moisture properties of the Seamaster.

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