Worn by the world’s best yachtsmen

For 60 years Rolex has been a privileged partner of the yachting world. Some of the brand’s professional watches are popular with top yachtsmen who wear them during the world’s finest races and regattas.

The most beautiful classic and modern boats in the world meet at the Voiles de Saint-Tropez, from September 24 to October 8. © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

The close links between Rolex and the yachting community date back to the late 1950s. This is when the manufacture teamed up with the New York Yacht Club, co-founder of the America’s Cup together with its British counterpart, the Royal Yacht Squadron. This partnership reflects Rolex’s long-standing commitment to pioneering institutions that have shaped the history of yachting. Continuing its tradition of supporting prestigious sailing clubs around the world, the Swiss manufacture is now present at all the main races and regattas held in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific basin. From 24 September to 8 October it will sponsor the 24th edition of the Voiles de Saint Tropez as a partner. At this event, the most stunning vintage sailboats from the golden age of yachting will share the bill and the water of the bay with incredible modern and avant-garde yachts. 
Elegant, classy, sporty and instantly recognisable thanks to its bi-directional 60-minute graduated rotatable bezel with raised numerals, the Yacht-Master is the nautical watch par excellence. It is equally at home on and offshore: aboard a sailboat, on the dock, or in the relaxed setting of a yacht club. The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II is another favourite dedicated to experienced sailors and yachting enthusiasts alike. Created in 2007, this regatta chronograph boasts an exclusive complication – a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory and on-the-fly synchronisation designed specifically to offer the precision timing needed during the crucial start sequence of regattas.

A shimmering gem-set version of the Yacht-Master 40.

Excellence and performance
Popular with sailors is the Yacht-Master 40, launched in 1992. This year, the manufacture has given it a new look. Crafted for the first time in 18 ct white gold, it features a rotatable bezel set with trapeze-cut precious stones. Pink sapphires, sky blue sapphires, diamonds, purple sapphires and dark blue sapphires create a harmonious sequence, composed of five colours and repeated eight times. This design gives the bezel a unique shimmer, further enhanced by a triangle-cut diamond at 12 o’clock. The case sparkles from the lugs to the protective shoulders of the crown with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds. This new version is equipped with calibre 3235, a movement that displays the hours, minutes, seconds and date. Through its close partnerships with the prime movers behind the sport who safeguard its rich heritage, Rolex supports 15 international races and regattas, including the oldest in the Mediterranean, the Rolex Giraglia. Upcoming events include the Rolex Middle Sea Race, which takes place from 22 to 29 October in Valletta, Malta, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race from 26 to 31 December, and the Rolex Fastnet Race – from Cowes in the United Kingdom to Cherbourg in France – from 22 to 28 July 2023.

By Julie de los Rios

The course of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, with a start and finish in Malta, is one of the most spectacular in the world. © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo