Wrist Enthusiast

Hands-On Rolex Yacht-Master II Review

So, I got a YachtMaster II. But hear me out… It was an insanely, and undeserved gift (“the company you keep”, right?). This got me to thinking about a lot of Rolexes offerings , and brought me around to the idea that the Yacht-Master II, no matter how niche a complication, no matter how specific, no matter how big, no matter how ridiculous - Might be one of my favorite models - And I’m not just saying that because I didn’t actually make the purchase.

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Let me clear the elephant in the room. That’s the “You’re just saying you like the watch because it was free” statement that is absolutely BOUND to shroud my DM’s after this goes live. And that’s fine, I expect it, I welcome it, and I recognize the privilege that I’m projecting here. However, I would like to clear the air on where this review is going to come from - I have had plenty, and I mean PLENTY of opportunity to buy, sell, handle, photograph, and write about Rolex in the past decade. While I have on occasion, I’ve never particularly found Rolex to be a terribly interesting brand to review. Incremental changes over decades and decades tend to run together, and very few of those changes are worth lengthy, wrist-time in order to trump the (literal) thousands of reviews on the internet already - So I’ve mostly passed up on writing any kind of in-depth article or review on the brand. I’ve always felt that was better left for the Rolex boys, who are probably more qualified than myself to write about them anyway.

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That is, until I have been wearing this particular model for a decent period of time. I started to notice that so many of the Rolex Yacht-Master II reviews on the internet, have often come from people who are attempting to sell you the watch. With the exception of a few “Hands On” articles floating around, I have had a very difficult time finding an open and honest review of this particular watch from someone who has actually owned one, and has worn it for a significant portion of time. So that is what I’m going to attempt to do here. This is going to be a wordy, however, comprehensive review of the Rolex Yacht-Master II (Ref 116680) - Arguably the most polarizing modern watch Rolex has produced.

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If you’ve been around Rolex circles for any serious amount of time, you’ll likely have heard that the Yacht-Master II is simply too large of a watch for Rolex to have made - And to be fair, it’s very big by Rolex standards. The watch is the only Rolex produced that measures in at 44mm with a significant 14mm thickness and is made of 904L Stainless Steel. So to the more introverted Rolex collector, this is probably not the watch for them. While this model is definitely heavy, I have never once felt this watch to be uncomfortable or a nuisance on the wrist.

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I have seen a number of comments that the Yacht-Master II is too bulky and heavy, however I do not feel that is the case. In fact, my Omega Planet Ocean is only 42mm x 15.7mm, and feels much bulkier and heavier than the Yacht-Master II.

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The case is alternating with polished and satin-finished and features a nautical blue ceramic bezel. The pushers are, as is Rolex’s MO, a perfect length. Even though I’m left handed, and therefore wear my watch on my right wrist, I had no issues with the pushers digging into my wrist, or catching on my sleeves. The rounded and tapered case, although thick, cleanly buffers between the oversized bezel and any sleeve you wish to pull over it. I live in Tampa FL, so I am always tucking it away under a sleeve… cause… I don’t want to get robbed in a parking lot.

The pushers are easy to use, cause it’s Rolex, and of course they are. The triple-lock crown screws down easy and fits tight against the case, so I never feel like there is any risk in the water - Even though the watch carries a 100m water resistance rating.

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The bezel is often criticized for it’s ostentatious nature. I mean, there is no doubt what watch is on your wrist with the huge, bold, and easily seen “YACHT-MASTER II” etched into the bezel itself. The bezel function works with the movement (which we will get to in a minute), as it turns 90 degrees in order to program the indicators (which we’ll also get to). The matte finish with crescent grippers makes the bezel easy to use, and readily available when needed.

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This is the ref. 116680, which means there were some moderate adjustments made to the dial by Rolex over the previous er… 116680 (Rolex opted not to change the reference number). Personally, I find them to be minimal, and unless you’re insanely familiar with the Yacht-Master II line of watches, will likely be largely unnoticed, but I feel it important to discuss anyway.

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For starters, the indicators are not simply square all the way around the dial anymore. Instead of every indicator remaining the same shape and angle, the 12 o’ clock indice was changed to an elongated triangle to easily dictate the top of the watch. Additionally, the 6 o’clock indicator was changed to an elongated rectangle, again, to easily dictate it’s location. Is this likely to be a deal-breaker for Regatta enthusiasts when looking to time 60 second intervals with a flyback function? Probably not. But it does make the dial a lot more legible, and I suppose, a certain percentage more useful.

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Additionally, the other major changes were too the handset. Instead of the heat treated blued handset of prior models, the 116680 features skeletonized hands with lumed tips and an added “mercedes” hour hand. This allows for the wearer to see the Regatta timer lap ring with minimal interruption - Although, I think the blue handset would have helped - The polished hands can get lost against the slick white dial in certain light. Lesser changes include some thickening of lines, a bit darker tint of blue, and some added lume.

Overall, the dial is exactly what you’d expect from Rolex. It’s superbly legible, displays the utility of the movement well, and is innately “Rolex”. The updates definitely add to the legibility, even when using the lap timer, however, I’ve never known a Rolex to really struggle in that department to begin with.

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Inside the Yacht-Master II is the Rolex Calibre 4161. The movement is formidable, and the functions make sense for the extremely specific times a captain would need to use it. Essentially, the “chronograph” functions as a 10 minute countdown sectioned off in “laps”. When activated, the movement counts the ten lap starting sequence of a regatta race.

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Interestingly, because of the internal memory, the movement can be programmed for any position within the 1-10 sequence for even more precise timing. This can be done by rotating the “Command bezel” 90 degrees and pressing the start / stop pusher to adjust the position. Interestingly, Rolex boasts that it’s one of the first watches in the world to utilize a bezel in conjunction to the movement.

The 360+ part Calibre 4161 beats at 28,800 VpH, features a 72-hour power reserve, and Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring for better anti-magnetism.

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The watch comes on an Oystersteel bracelet with a pretty unique clasp feature that allows for the adjustment of the links to 5mm - or a half link. This was super handy for my wrist, because the watch sat just a hair too lose, but taking out a third link would cause the watch to flop around more than I’d like. Admittedly, I hadn’t had much experience with this feature, but learned on the fly how easy it was to use. Where the bracelet connects to the clasp, there is a little fold half link. You can either pull up and flip it back down to set it in place, or pull slightly back to release it. This either shortens, or lengthens the link. This is great for hot days when your wrist swells. And the added ability to do it quick, on the fly, and without tools was a huge bonus to the watches utility.

yacht master 2 video

Obviously, there isn’t much improving on the Oyster bracelet. It’s insanely comfortable, it flexes perfectly when it needs to, it’s clasp is solid and doesn’t buckle (no pun intended) and it’s fit to the lugs is perfect for the watch.

The Yacht-Master II is very top-heavy, so it’s important for the bracelet to manage that efficiently, and this is Rolex we’re talking about, so it does. Are there times that swelling and moisture, and dirt / sand affect the comfort? Sure, but there’s nothing the bracelet can do to fix that.

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While, admittedly loud, I found myself leaning into the oversized and exaggerated nature of the watch more and more. Is it massive and recognizable? Yes. Obviously. Does it take away from the watch at all? No. I feel it compliments it. Rolex as a whole has a difficult time being identified without, it becoming your entire identity - If that makes any sense, and the Yacht-Master II case is one of the few (in my opinion) Rolex watches that comes with it’s own personality - even if that personality tends to get lumped in with the loud and obnoxiously rich people that tend to strive to own it.

yacht master 2 video

As my first Rolex, I recognize that it’s not exactly the normal “First” for the brand, but I’ve grown to love the watch. In fact, I think it’s a staple in my collection. It’s hefty and legitimately feels like a sports watch worth wearing, and still classic and toned down enough to be a dinner watch. I don’t have much to fault the watch with that isn’t built into the foundations of what the watch is to begin with. I feel and criticism I could really throw at it would be met with “Yeah, we know, that’s the point”, and that just feels… well, pointless.

How much is the Rolex Yacht-Master II?

If you can find one at retail, you’re looking at a price tag of $18,700 USD but is going for around $24,000 to $29,000 on the secondary market.

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yacht master 2 video

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II Hands-On

yacht master 2 video

The year is 2011 and this conversation is overheard in a Rolex boutique.

“Good morning.” “Good morning, sir, how may we help you?” “I’d like a large Rolex.” “That’d be the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II. Here you go, sir.” “I’ll take that, thank you. Bye.” “Bye!”

yacht master 2 video

All images by David Bredan

The Large Rolex

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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We’ll look at how it all works soon but for a second imagine the amount of R&D time and effort that must have gone into designing what is now called the Manufacture Rolex Calibre 4161 “with some 360 components.” What the heck, even Rolex appears to be proud of this movement as this, I believe, is the only movement they proactively communicate the exact component count of. It is known that the 4130 chronograph in the Daytona has 201 parts, but Rolex officially only ever said they managed to reduce the chronograph’s component count by 60%, without providing the total 201 count – and as far as the other movements are concerned, no exact component figure is ever shared.

Give or take the large watch trend, the Yacht-Master II is also something else: it’s Rolex’s love letter to one of its obscure, but long-standing passions, yachting. Worry not, I’ll spare you the long, teary-eyed story of all that’s exciting about yachting. That’s partly because I’ve never been on a racing yacht and partly because it’s irrelevant in this discussion – you either already are a skipper at heart, or if you’re not, my measly few words won’t get you started. Rolex has produced a number of longer videos on the topic, so if you can take 24 minutes of “uplifting-instrumental-music.mp3” and are desperate to learn more about yachting, then I suggest you watch the video above. But only then.

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So, looking at it strictly as a watch, without its implications, customer base, or inspiration, what do we have with the Rolex Yacht-Master II? From my time with it, I came away with a new-found admiration for its many impressive feats starting with its mechanical engineering and ending with its countless neatly executed details. The Rolex Yacht-Master II was specifically designed for regatta yacht races where the starting procedure of the race requires each yacht to be positioned as best as possible when a given time limit expires. From what I understand this time limit before the actual start varies between 5 and 10 minutes and so skippers need a regatta timer watch with a countdown timer (i.e. a reverse chronograph) that can be programmed to count down from a pre-set time between 5 and 10 minutes. When the officials give a signal, the countdown begins, the pre-set regatta chronographs are started, and the maneuvering begins.

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  • How to Set the Rolex Yacht-Master II

This hands-on video guide shows step-by-step how to program the Yacht-Master II Ring Command bezel system and operate the Regatta Coundown Timer on your Yachtmaster.

The impressive and novel functionality is made possible by the Rolex caliber 4160 (and caliber 4161 ) movement containing 360 parts. We also included a quick peek at the official operating instructions as presented in the manual that comes with an authentic YMII. Please feel free to pause the video at which point you need to read more thoroughly.

This should help those of you who don’t know how to set your new Yacht-Master II, and those who are considering the reasons why to embark on purchasing this amazing timepiece.

The watch in the video is the 1st generation Yachtmaster II, but it is functionally the exact same as the updated YMII. Learn more about the differences between the new and old Yacht-Master II versions here .


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Rolex Yacht-Master II Ultimate Buying Guide

Rolex Yacht-Master II Ultimate Buying Guide

In the exclusive world of luxury timepieces, the Rolex Yacht-Master II stands as an example of opulence and precision engineering. Since its unveiling in 2007, it has not simply followed the footsteps of its prized predecessor but has charted a new course in luxury timepieces. This masterpiece blends the functional demands of regatta timing with the uncompromising quality synonymous with the Rolex name. Its signature feature, a programmable countdown with on-the-fly synchronization, showcases Rolex’s commitment to innovation, tailored specifically for the strategic demands of yacht racing.

Rolex Yacht-Master II in Stainless Steel and Rolesor Everose Gold

As we look into its history, features, and most sought-after models, this guide is designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life. Whether you’re looking to invest in a luxury timepiece or expand an existing collection, the Rolex Yacht-Master II represents a pinnacle of horological craftsmanship, a tangible asset that surpasses time and trends. Read on to learn all there is to know about the Rolex Yacht-Master II. <> <>

A Brief History of the Rolex Yacht-Master II

The Rolex Yacht-Master II , introduced in 2007, marked a significant evolution in Rolex’s line of luxury watches, diverging from the brand’s typically conservative design ethos. It was a striking departure from its predecessor, the Yacht-Master, representing a bold new direction in both aesthetics and functionality.

Rolex Yacht-Master II with Yacht-Master Models

The original models of the Yacht-Master II were the 18k yellow gold ref 116688 and the even more luxurious 18k white gold version with a platinum bezel, ref 116689. These models showcased a large, eye-catching design that was an immediate topic of debate among watch enthusiasts. While some admired its noticeable presence, others viewed it as a deviation from Rolex’s traditional design roots.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Steel Everose Gold

Responding to the changing economic landscape following the 2008 financial crash, Rolex expanded the Yacht-Master II collection in 2011 with the introduction of the ref. 116681, a more affordable Everose Rolesor model. This model featured a stainless steel case and outer bracelet links combined with an Everose gold winding crown, pushers, and central bracelet links. The collection further broadened its appeal in 2013 with the introduction of the all-steel version, ref. 116680, which also debuted a new caliber, the Cal. 4161, replacing the former Cal. 4160.

Rolex Cerachrom Bezel Watches - Yachtmaster II, Daytona, GMT-Master II

The only notable design update since its launch occurred in 2017, on the watch’s tenth anniversary. This update included changes to the hour markers and hands, namely the blue hour marker surrounds replaced with white gold, the 12 o’clock marker changed to an inverted triangle, and a taller marker at 6 o’clock. These changes aligned the Yacht-Master II more closely with the rest of Rolex’s Professional Collection, yet the changes were subtle enough that Rolex did not assign a new reference number.

Throughout its history, the Rolex Yacht-Master II has been distinguished by its unique regatta timer function, a testament to Rolex’s commitment to innovative and functional design. This feature, along with its distinctive aesthetic, has made the Yacht-Master II a popular, though somewhat polarizing, model among collectors and luxury watch enthusiasts.

Rolex Yachtmaster II 44 Blue Cerachrom Bezel Steel Mens Watch 116680

Key Features of the Rolex Yacht-Master II

The Rolex Yacht-Master II stands out from the Rolex catalog with its massive round case and striking dial design. Here are the distinguishing features of the Rolex Yacht-Master II. <>

The Oyster Case at 44mm

The Yacht-Master II’s Oyster case measures a notable 44mm in diameter, contributing to the watch’s bold aesthetic and enhancing the dial’s legibility. This large size is practical for a sports watch, ensuring that crucial timekeeping information is always easily readable. <>

Ring Command System

One of the Yacht-Master II’s innovative features is the Ring Command System. This system integrates the bezel, crown, and internal mechanism, providing a seamless way to set and synchronize the watch’s various functions, including its unique regatta timer.

The Rolex Yacht-Master II allows the wearer to choose a countdown interval, ranging from one to ten minutes, using its programmable flyback regatta timer, displayed on the middle of the dial. Additionally, the watch can be synchronized “on the fly” with audible cues that are commonly given at the start of regatta races. <>

Rolex Yachtmaster II Regatta Chronograph Yellow Gold Men's Watch 116688

Cerachrom Insert Bezel (for steel, Rolesor, and yellow gold models)

For the steel, steel and Everose, and yellow gold models, the bezel features a blue Cerachrom insert, made from an exceptionally hard and virtually scratchproof ceramic. This material is impervious to UV rays and corrosion, ensuring the bezel’s color and finish remain pristine over time. <>

Platinum Bezel in sandblasted finish (for white gold model)

Meanwhile, the 18k white gold model boasts of a platinum Ring Command Bezel, with a sandblasted background and polished graduations. <>

Chromalight Display

The Chromalight display on the Yacht-Master II offers superior legibility in all lighting conditions, especially in the dark. This innovative feature ensures that the watch face is easily readable, which is vital during demanding activities like sailing. <>

Rolex Caliber 4161

Perpetual Caliber 4160 / 4161

At the core of the Yacht-Master II is the Perpetual Caliber 4160, and for later models the 4161, a self-winding mechanical movement developed entirely by Rolex. Known for its precision and reliability, these movements showcase of Rolex’s expertise in watchmaking, featuring a programmable countdown with a mechanical memory, crucial for timing in regattas.

Models from 2007 to 2013 use the Caliber 4160. In 2013, with the introduction of the stainless steel model, the Caliber 4161 was given additional refinements such as a crisper feel to the pushers and greater reliability. Both movements possess the blue Parachrom hairspring that protects the movement from shocks and offer 72 hours of power reserve.

<> Models of the Rolex Yacht-Master II

There are four models available for the Rolex Yacht-Master II, three of which remain in production as of 2024. The white gold ref. 116689 was discontinued in 2022 but remains available in the pre-owned market.

116689 (disc.)18k white gold, platinum bezel
11668818k yellow gold, Cerachrom bezel
116681Oystersteel & everose gold, Cerachrom bezel
116680Oystersteel, Cerachrom bezel

Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel Blue Bezel 116680

Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel Blue Bezel 116680

The Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel Blue Bezel 116680, introduced at Baselworld 2013, is a standout in the Yacht-Master II collection. This model features a large 44mm stainless steel case, showcasing Rolex’s expertise in crafting durable and stylish sports watches.

Rolex Yachtmaster II 44 Blue Cerachrom Bezel Steel Mens Watch 116680

Its most striking feature is the blue Cerachrom bezel, a testament to Rolex’s innovation in materials, known for its scratch resistance and color permanence. The watch is equipped with the Rolex 4161 self-winding programmable flyback regatta timer movement, emphasizing its utility for sailing and regattas.

Its aesthetic is bold and extroverted, with a white dial, contrasting deep blue hands, and a red countdown hand, all contributing to its nautical theme. This model manages to balance Rolex’s high standards of functionality with a distinctive, eye-catching design​​. <> <>

Rolex Yachtmaster II Steel Rose Gold Mercedes Hands Mens Watch 116681

Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel and Everose Gold 116681

The Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel and Everose Gold 116681, introduced in 2011, is a striking addition to the Yacht-Master II collection. It features a unique blend of robust 904L stainless steel and luxurious 18k Everose gold, embodying both resilience and elegance.

Rolex Yachtmaster II Steel Rose Gold Mercedes Hands Mens Watch 116681

This model stands out with its vibrant blue Cerachrom bezel and a white dial – both enhanced with Everose gold elements. The watch is equipped with the advanced Rolex Cal. 4161 movement, offering specialized functionalities like a programmable countdown timer with mechanical memory and on-the-fly synchronization, tailored for yacht racing.

The combination of two-tone metals, along with its functional complexity and sizeable 44mm case, makes the Yacht-Master II 116681 a notable and luxurious sports watch. This model has garnered attention for its blend of technical prowess and bold aesthetic appeal. <> <>

Rolex Yachtmaster II Regatta Chronograph Yellow Gold Men's Watch 116688

Rolex Yacht-Master II Yellow Gold 116688

The Rolex Yacht-Master II Yellow Gold 116688, launched in 2007, is a landmark in Rolex’s esteemed collection. As the pioneering model of the Yacht-Master II series, this timepiece redefined the luxury sports watch segment.

It boasts a substantial 44mm case crafted from luxurious yellow gold, exuding both elegance and strength. The watch is notable for its blue Cerachrom bezel, a material celebrated for its exceptional scratch resistance and enduring color.

Rolex Yachtmaster II Regatta Chronograph Yellow Gold Men's Watch 116688

Inside, it initially housed the Rolex 4160 movement, renowned for its precise regatta timer function, pivotal for yacht racing enthusiasts. In 2013, Rolex introduced an upgrade to the 4161 movement, further enhancing the watch’s performance.

The Yacht-Master II 116688 blends luxurious gold craftsmanship with functional, sports-oriented features, establishing it as a prized and distinct offering in Rolex’s portfolio. This model’s combination of opulence and utility captures the essence of Rolex’s innovation in luxury sports watch design. <> <>

Rolex Yacht-Master II White Gold Platinum Bezel 116689

Rolex Yacht-Master II White Gold Platinum Bezel 116689

The Rolex Yacht-Master II reference 116689, introduced in 2007, is a distinctive model in Rolex’s lineup, combining 18k white gold with a platinum bezel. This watch stands out for its substantial 44mm case size, making it one of Rolex’s largest offerings.

Notably, the 116689 was part of the initial Yacht-Master II launch, which marked Rolex’s venture into more complex watch designs. This model features a regatta countdown timer, which was a significant technical achievement for Rolex.

Rolex Yacht-Master II White Gold Platinum Bezel 116689 with Rolex Pearlmaster

The innovative Ring Command Bezel, directly linked to the watch’s internal movement, enables easy setting of the countdown timer. Inside, the watch initially used the Caliber 4160, which was updated to the Caliber 4161 in 2013.

The ref 116689’s unique combination of luxury materials, substantial size, and advanced functionality make it a noteworthy and potentially future classic Rolex model​​.

<> Final Thoughts

The Rolex Yacht-Master II series, with its unique blend of luxury, precision, and specialized functionality, offers a remarkable range of choices for collectors and enthusiasts. Whether it’s the bold statement of the Yellow Gold 116688, the innovative design of the Stainless Steel and Everose Gold 116681, or the understated elegance of the White Gold Platinum Bezel 116689, each model holds a special place in Rolex’s illustrious lineup. These watches are not only timekeeping instruments but also symbols of a luxurious lifestyle and a passion for the maritime world.

For those seeking to acquire or learn more about these exquisite timepieces, SwissWatchExpo presents an ideal destination. Their expertise and collection cater to a discerning clientele, making them a valuable resource for anyone looking to invest in a Rolex Yacht-Master II or expand their luxury watch collection.

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A valuable tool watch

A technical and elegant watch, the Yacht-Master is a reliable nautical instrument on the wrist.

Its graduated bidirectional bezel allows for precise measurement and reading of time intervals when navigating. This tool watch benefits from innovations that improve its legibility and wearers’ comfort in all circumstances.

Graduated bidirectional bezel Precision and legibility on the wrist

The bidirectional bezel with raised 60-minute graduations is a key feature of the Yacht-Master. Entirely crafted in precious metal – 18 kt Everose gold or 950 platinum – or fitted with a black Cerachrom bezel insert in high-technology ceramic, it is an essential part of the watch’s identity.

With its polished markers and numerals, which stand out clearly from the matt surface, the bezel guarantees optimal reading of time intervals, for example, the sailing time between two buoys. Furthermore, the detailed graduation of the first 15 minutes offers extra precision when reading navigational time.

The bidirectional rotating mechanism relies on a ring bearing 120 notches for precise and fluid adjustment to the nearest half-minute. Lastly, the bezel has a knurled edge, making it easy to manipulate in all conditions.

Gold, Rolesor and Rolesium Precious alloys and exclusive combinations

Rolex gold is an intrinsic part of the Yacht-Master’s identity: 18 kt yellow, white or Everose gold are comprised of 750‰ pure gold and blends of silver, copper and palladium. They are all entirely created and cast in our own foundry.

The Yacht-Master in 18 kt Everose gold is available in two diameters: 37 mm and 40 mm. Each of these versions is also available with a diamond-paved dial. The 18 kt yellow gold and 18 kt white gold versions are reserved for the Yacht-Master 42.

Rolex gold is also combined with Oystersteel – a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy – for the Everose Rolesor versions of the Yacht-Master 37 and Yacht-Master 40. They combine a bezel and centre links in Everose gold with a middle case, winding crown, case back and outer links in Oystersteel.

The Yacht-Master 37 and the Yacht-Master 40 are also available in Rolesium versions, an alliance of platinum and steel. They combine a platinum bezel with a middle case, winding crown, case back and bracelet in Oystersteel.

RLX titanium Robustness and lightness

RLX titanium made its first appearance in the Yacht-Master range in 2023. The grade 5 titanium alloy selected by Rolex is a particularly lightweight metal and is noted for its mechanical strength and corrosion resistance. Its use for the Yacht-Master 42’s case and bracelet has reduced the weight of the watch by around a third compared to a similar watch in steel. RLX titanium is complex to work with and has required the introduction of special production processes.

The combination of polished, high-sheen and technical satin finishes illustrates our excellence in machining and finishing techniques. Together, they produce a subtle blend of textures and light, setting off the gleaming polished surface of the crown guard and the lustrous high-sheen on the top edges of the lugs against the matt of the technical satin finishing – with its pronounced grain – visible on the rest of the case and bracelet.

Bracelets, clasps and extension systems Comfort and security on the wrist

Chromalight display and cyclops lens for optimal legibility.

Equipped with the Chromalight display and the Cyclops lens, the Yacht-Master combines two exclusive Rolex features that improve legibility.

The Chromalight display provides optimum legibility, whatever the light conditions. The luminescent material is applied by experts to the hands and the large hour markers which have simple shapes (triangle, circle and rectangle) that are characteristic of Rolex professional watches. Brilliant white in daylight, this material emits an intense blue glow in the dark.

Introduced in 2008, the Chromalight display was optimized in 2021 to maintain the intensity of the blue glow for longer. The performance of this luminescent substance clearly exceeds the standards required by watchmaking norms.

Designed to improve the readability of the date thanks to its magnifying effect, the Cyclops lens is both an aesthetic and technical signature of the brand. This Rolex invention was patented in the early 1950s. Like the crystal of the watch, it is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire and benefits from a double anti-reflective coating.

Calibres 3235 and 2236 Superlative performance

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Rolex Yacht-Master II Ultimate Buying Guide

Rolex Yacht Master 2 buying guide

There are some Rolex watches that are more or less universally loved, with a simple and versatile aesthetic that leaves little room for any sort of animosity. However, there are others within the portfolio that almost seem to have been created specifically to invite controversy, taking the brand away from its traditional design base and into more contentious territories. The Rolex Yacht-Master II collection is one of those watches.

When it arrived in the mid-2000s, the Yachtmaster II was so far removed from anything Rolex had created before that nobody seemed to know quite what to make of it. The watch was a big, bold and extremely expensive addition to the catalog, and while it was obviously slotted into the brand’s Professional Collection, it stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb. However, that was back then. Looking at the brand’s catalog today, it seems that Rolex was simply ahead of the game.

The Yacht Master II’s once challenging looks have matured, and although it is still most definitely a visually striking watch, it is no longer considered completely over the top. Mechanically, it is also incredibly impressive. On its debut, it instantly became Rolex’s most complicated watch, with a one-of-a-kind functionality aimed at about as niche a group as you could imagine. Below we have laid out a complete guide to the Rolex Yacht-Master II with everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision.

Rolex Yacht-Master II

Rolex Yacht-Master II 116688 Yellow Gold

Yacht-Master II Key Features:

– Year Introduced: 2007

– Case Size: 44mm

– Materials: Oystersteel; Everose Rolesor; 18k Yellow Gold; 18k White Gold & Platinum

– Functions: Time w/Running Seconds, Programmable Regatta Timer w/ Mechanical Memory

– Dial: White w/ Luminous Hour Markers

– Bezel: Ring Command, Blue Ceramic or Platinum Insert w/ 10-Minute Countdown Scale

– Crystal: Sapphire (Flat)

– Movement: Rolex Caliber 4161

– Water Resistance: 100 Meters / 330 Feet

– Strap/Bracelet: Oyster Bracelet

– Retail Price: $18,750 – $48,150 USD (Approx.)

For more info, visit our guide on how to use the regatta timer on the Rolex Yacht-Master II.

Rolex Yacht-Master II 116680 Stainless Steel

Rolex Yacht-Master II History

Launched in 2007, the Rolex Yacht Master II debuted some 15-years after its original Yachtmaster namesake. However, the similarities between this watch and the model that first carried the Yacht-Master name are pretty much zero.

Where the earlier model is essentially a more luxurious take on the Rolex Submariner, the Yacht-Master II is a fully-fledged item of luxury professional sailing equipment, designed from the outset to assist skippers keep track of time during the complicated starting sequence of a regatta. That technically leaves the Yacht-Master II in the tool watch category, but this is a long way from the likes of the more utilitarian Explorer II and evidence of that can be found in its release schedule.

The first versions of the Rolex Yacht Master II to be unveiled were the 18k yellow gold ref. 116688 and the even more opulent 18k white gold version fitted with a platinum bezel, the ref. 116689. Quite a bit removed from the brand’s usually conservative styling, this large, gleaming, in-your-face effort that shouted its own name across its bezel, was an immediate opinion splitter. Traditionalists were horrified, lamenting Rolex’s continued straying from its roots, while others who enjoy having their watches noticed, embraced it wholeheartedly.

The financial crash that followed in 2008 altered the landscape for watchmakers (along with everyone else) and called for more affordable pieces to come forward. The Yachtmaster II collection expanded in 2011 with the unveiling of the ref. 116681, an Everose Rolesor model with a stainless steel case and outer bracelet links paired with a winding crown, pushers, and central links in Everose gold. That was followed by the version everyone was clamoring for in 2013 – the ref. 116680 in full stainless steel, which also introduced a new caliber, the Cal. 4161, replacing the former Cal. 4160.

The only other change the watch has undergone since then occurred on its 10th anniversary in 2017, when it was given a facelift so slight that Rolex didn’t even feel it warranted a new reference number. The square hour markers at the six and 12 o’clock were changed to a rectangle and inverted triangle respectively, and the simple stick handset was swapped for the Mercedes type to bring them in-line with much of the rest of the brand’s Professional Collection.

Rolex Yacht-Master II 116618 Two-Tone Everose Rolesor

How Much Is A Rolex Yacht-Master II?

When the Rolex Yacht-Master II first arrived, the combination of its exclusively precious metal construction and the extraordinary engineering going on inside its movement meant that it was among the most expensive offerings in Rolex’s catalog . This left many admirers priced out of the picture, but the introduction of stainless steel and two-tone references would soon open the Yacht-Master II up to a much wider range of buyers.

The Rolesor model from 2011 sacrificed some of that wall-to-wall gold for 904L stainless steel and more or less cut the asking price in half, while the full steel version dropped the retail price even further. Today, brand-new examples vary from $18,750 for the full stainless steel model up to $48,150 for the white gold and platinum version. But what about pre-owned prices?

The rather love-it-or-hate-it visuals of the Rolex Yacht Master II means that it doesn’t attract quite the same level of universal frenzy as the Daytona or Submariner. It is not completely out of the question for an authorized retailer to even have a model or two in stock, which isn’t something that can be said about the vast majority of the brand’s other sports watches. For that reason, pre-owned models do command a bit of a premium, but nowhere near as much as some of the other models in the brand’s catalog.

You can expect to pay a minimum of around $18,000 for an unworn steel piece on the secondary market, while the Everose Rolesor edition comes in closer to about $25,000. The 18k yellow gold ref. 116688 also holds pretty steady, with most examples falling somewhere in the $40,000 to $45,000 range, depending on age and overall condition. Finally, the ref. 116689 – the top-of-the-line model in white gold and platinum, is where the biggest discounts can be found. A brand-new example costs $48,150 at an authorized dealer, but an older example on the pre-owned market can often be found for just under $30,000.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel 116680

Rolex Yacht-Master II Design

The Yacht-Master II is arguably the least “Rolex-looking” Rolex watch ever made, which is the core reason behind why it ruffled so many feathers among purist collectors upon its release. It’s arrival took the brand down previously unexplored experimental paths, a very far cry from the sort of discreetly restrained icons present throughout the rest of its portfolio.

The Yacht-Master II is a hard-working watch with a lot of information to present and as a result, it has what initially looks like somewhat of a cluttered dial. However, a lot of that is down to a trick of the eye concerning the bezel’s 1-10 numerals being mirrored exactly around the horseshoe-shaped track on the face. This is obviously the regatta countdown scale, designed to help yacht skippers synchronize their boats’ movements with the race’s starting gun (we’ll get onto this more a little later).

What it means for the overall styling is a lot of numbers on the watch that you will not be using for the vast majority of the time you are wearing it. But while it may come across as a little jam-packed – particularly when you add in the chronograph hand, arrowhead countdown pointer, and a small running seconds sub-dial at the bottom – once you get used to it, you can’t help but be impressed with how much Rolex’s technicians have achieved with so little. No, it isn’t exactly the Explorer’s 3/6/9 arrangement, but it is perfectly readable with a little familiarity and conveys the information it provides in a clean and legible manner.

Despite only containing four models (all of which have white dials), the series actually covers a good range of tastes. The ref. 116688 could be in the running for most showy standard-production Rolex currently available, its all-yellow gold case somehow making the bright blue bezel pop even more. At the other end, the white gold and platinum ref. 116689 is as low-key and reserved as a 44mm wide, 14mm thick, highly-complicated, solid-gold sports watch can be. The virtual monochrome is lifted only by the red chrono hand and arrowed pointer.

In-between, the stainless steel and Everose Rolesor models do the job of appealing to more middle-of-the-road palates. Their color combinations, along with the mix of brushed and polished elements on the watch itself, keep it all on the right side of overdone, and the two-tone model’s bezel numerals also being filled in Everose gold is a nice touch. Unlikely to ever be described as subtle, any version of the Rolex Yacht-Master II is guaranteed to receive some attention.

Rolex Yacht-Master II 116689 White Gold Platinum Bezel

Rolex Yacht-Master II Functions

Looks aside, the big talking point around the Rolex Yacht Master II lies in what it can do. There is a strong argument against calling the watch a genuine chronograph as it doesn’t so much keep track of elapsed time in the traditional sense, as it does count backwards from a specific starting point, up to a maximum of 10-minutes.

How is that useful? It is all down to how a professional regatta gets underway. Due to the nature of wind and water, it simply isn’t possible to get a bunch of yachts all lined up at a particular spot in the ocean and have them set off at the same time. Instead, the start of a race goes in stages, with each one marked by a gunshot or other audible signal. The first is usually sounded 10-minutes before the start (although it can also be seven or even five), and the skippers must maneuver their boats back and forth in front of the line without crossing it, jockeying with the other competitors for prime position.

There follows two further preparatory signals at precise intervals, and crews must coordinate their approach so they are as close to the start point as possible at the exact moment the race officially begins. It is that pair of additional signals that call into action one of the party tricks of the Yacht-Master II’s unique complication. Should the watch fall out of sync with the regatta reference clock for any reason, a press of the lower pusher activates the flyback (or fly-forward) function, snapping the chronograph hand to the nearest minute to allow the two timers to match up again. Even more notably, it is the only mechanical watch in the world with a programmable memory, meaning the wearer can reset back to the specified original countdown point at any time.

Giving access to all this engineering virtuosity is what Rolex has dubbed its Ring Command Bezel. This was the first appearance of the concept, with the second generation taking control of the Sky-Dweller’s myriad of functions a few years later. On both models, the bezel is directly linked to the internal movement, and on the Yacht-Master II, it acts as an analogue on/off switch. Rotating it 90° unlocks the functionality and allows for the countdown timer to be set with the crown. Turning it back again locks everything in place, and engages the memory. The watch is then operated as a standard chronograph, with the top pusher activating the starts and stops, and the bottom taking charge of the reset or flyback/fly-forward functions.

For a manufacturer not renowned for the complexity of its watches (quite the opposite, in fact) Rolex’s regatta timer is a seriously impressive performer. It may have been created for an especially select group, but it is truly surprising how useful it can be to count down accurately from 10-minutes, even for those of us who may not own a yacht – particularly if you like your pasta al dente.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Two-Tone Rolesor 116681

Rolex Yacht-Master II Movement

The first run of the Rolex Yacht-Master II was powered by the in-house Caliber 4160. At the time, it was the most component-heavy movement the brand had ever created, but it was essentially a heavily reworked version of the Cal. 4130 from the Daytona. The column wheel, vertical clutch and ball-bearing rotor were all carried over from the brand’s legendary racing chronograph.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with that, and the Rolex Daytona’s movement remains one of the most reliable and accurate mass-produced chronograph calibers of the modern era. However, with the arrival of the long-awaited stainless steel Yacht-Master II in 2013, Rolex also unveiled a new mechanism, the Caliber 4161, the product of additional refinements and some 35,000 hours of development.

Made up of over 360 components, including those produced via a highly specialized fabrication process called UV-LiGA which uses ultraviolet light to build microstructures, this dedicated movement provided a crisper feel to the pushers and greater reliability. With that in mind, both the Cal. 4160 and the Cal. 4161 benefitted from Rolex advances such as the blue Parachrom hairspring, as well as providing users with a highly-respectable 72-hour power reserve and a 28,800vph balance frequency.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel 116680 Blue Cerachrom Bezel

Rolex Yacht-Master II Bracelet

At the present time, all of the various Rolex Yacht-Master II models are fitted with the three-link Oyster bracelet, as befits a true sports watch. On each version, the inner links have been given a high polish to match the gleaming case, while the outer links receive a satin finish to provide a contrast against the lugs.

As for material, the bracelet is crafted from the same metal as the watch head: stainless steel, yellow gold or white gold. With the Rolesor example, the innermost links are forged from Everose gold, leaving the outer side links in 904L stainless Oystersteel. Tying it all together is the Oysterlock folding clasp, equipped with the brand’s Easylink extension system that allows for approximately 5mm of tool-free bracelet adjustment, completely on the fly and without the use of any tools.

The Yacht-Master II was something of a retaliation from Rolex against decades-worth of naysayers criticizing the brand for the lack of complicated watches in its lineup. Rolex’s rebuttal, while not the most all-encompassing in terms of looks or utility, still stands as a hugely significant piece of technical dexterity. Rolex has always produced tool watches, but as the company continues to make the transition towards being a true luxury manufacturer, the tool watches it produces also take on a more luxurious nature and the Yacht-Master II perfectly embodies this. Large and uncompromising, it is perhaps the most eccentric model Rolex has to offer – and it is always happy to take center stage.

Rolex Yacht-Master II 116688 18k Yellow Gold

About Paul Altieri

Paul Altieri is a vintage and pre-owned Rolex specialist, entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of BobsWatches.com. - the largest and most trusted name in luxury watches. He is widely considered a pioneer in the industry for bringing transparency and innovation to a once-considered stagnant industry. His experience spans over 35 years and he has been published in numerous publications including Forbes, The NY Times, WatchPro, and Fortune Magazine. Paul is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest research and developments in the watch industry and e-commerce, and regularly engages with other professionals in the industry. He is a member of the IWJG, the AWCI and a graduate of the GIA. Alongside running the premier retailer of pre-owned Rolex watches, Paul is a prominent Rolex watch collector himself amassing one of the largest private collections of rare timepieces. In an interview with the WSJ lifestyle/fashion editor Christina Binkley, Paul opened his vault to display his extensive collection of vintage Rolex Submariners and Daytonas. Paul Altieri is a trusted and recognized authority in the watch industry with a proven track record of expertise, professionalism, and commitment to excellence.

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Bob's Watches / Rolex Blog / Watch Buying Guides

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yacht master 2 video

WatchTime – USA's No.1 Watch Magazine

Close-Up: Rolex Yacht-Master II in Stainless Steel (with Video)

yacht master 2 video

Fans of the Rolex Yacht-Master will remember that Baselworld 2012 saw the debut of a new version of the Rolex Yacht-Master in a Rolesium case. In 2013, that model’s larger successor, the Rolex Yacht-Master II, was the focus, with Rolex introducing the first version of the popular regatta-countdown chronograph watch in a 904L stainless steel case with a blue Cerachrom bezel insert.

The signature feature of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II , first introduced in 2007, is its regatta countdown function, developed exclusively for Rolex, which can be programmed from 1 to 10 minutes and incorporates a mechanical “memory” that  allows it to be reset to the same countdown duration used previously. Once launched, the countdown can also be synchronized on the fly, enabling adjustment to match the official regatta countdown — an important feature because of the need for very precise timing during the crucial starting sequence of a regatta. Programming the countdown is easy, by means of the rotatable Ring Command bezel , a Rolex-developed system linking the bezel to the movement.

The Rolex Yacht-Master’s Oyster case is 44 mm in diameter (as compared to 40 mm for the original Rolex Yacht-Master) and water-resistant to 100 meters. The middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant 904L steel. The fluted caseback is hermetically screwed down with a special tool used exclusively by Rolex watchmakers. The screw-down winding crown of this Rolex Yacht-Master is fitted with the patented Triplock triple-waterproofing system and is protected by a crown guard integrated into the case middle. The crystal is made of scratch-resistant sapphire. The bidirectional rotating Ring Command bezel adds a splash of nautical blue with its Cerachrom insert, made of extra-hard corrosion-resistant ceramic, with engraved numerals and inscription coated in platinum. (Click photos to enlarge the images.)

The Rolex Yacht-Master II contains Rolex’s automatic Caliber 4161, a column-wheel chronograph movement that has been certified as a chronometer by the Swiss testing agency COSC. The oscillator at the heart of the watch has boasts another Rolex-exclusive development, a blue hairspring made of Parachrom, an patented alloy that Rolex claims makes the hairspring more resistant to magnetic fields, more stable when exposed to temperature variations, and more capable than a traditional hairspring of maintaining the watch’s timekeeping precision in case of shocks.

The solid-link, steel Oyster bracelet is fitted with Rolex’s hallmark Oysterlock safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening, and features the Rolex-patented Easylink comfort-extension system that allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet’s length by about five millimeters. The stainless steel version of the Rolex Yacht-Master II is priced around $18,500.

Click below to watch Rolex’s official movie presenting a 3D view of the Rolex Yacht-Master II.

For more watch videos, including original videos shot exclusively for WatchTime, click here  to visit our YouTube page.

Technical Specifications of this Rolex Yacht-Master:

Movement: Rolex caliber 4161, automatic; COSC-certified chronometer; chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch; bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor on ball bearing; frequency = 28,800 vph; 42 jewels; paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring; Breguet overcoil; large balance wheel with variable inertia; high-precision regulating via four gold Microstella nuts; traversing balance bridge; approximately 72-hour power reserve

Functions: Central hour and minute hands, small seconds at 6 o’clock, programmable regatta countdown with mechanical memory, retrograde minute hand, on-the-fly synchronization of countdown seconds and minute hands, stop-seconds for precise time setting

Case and bracelet: Monobloc 904L stainless steel Oyster case with screw-down fluted caseback, satin and polished finishing, diameter = 44 mm, bidirectional 90° rotatable Ring Command bezel with blue Cerachrom insert in ceramic (engraved numerals and inscription coated with platinum via magnetron sputtering), screw-down crown with Triplock triple waterproofness system, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 100 meters; on 904L steel Oyster bracelet with polished center links and satin-finished outer links with polished edges, folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm extension

Dial and hands: Matte white lacquer dial, blue lacquer small seconds counter with 18k white gold border; Chromalight appliqué hour markers for long-lasting luminescence in 18k white gold with blue PVD coating; Chromalight hands in blued 18k gold; red seconds hand

This article was originally published on February 14, 2014, and has been updated.

Beautiful watch, no doubt. However difficult to tell time especially at night when you have to rely on its luminous features. Single purpose.

Unless you actually use the watch for its intended purpose, it would seem a guy could only wear it on a yacht or at a yacht club. Please explain how such a sophisticated crown and case back only earns a 100m water resistance rating!

It is truly an outstanding watch and hope to get one shortly.

When I can by it pre-owned I am getting one all Rolex’s are over price

Beautiful watch

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These families escaped the Gaza war but they're struggling with survivor's guilt

Composite photo of two men and one woman.

At the Islamic College of Brisbane in the city's south, three families sit around the kind of large circular tables you get at every school function.

They're refugees from the war in Gaza, and the college has welcomed them with a huge spread of traditional Palestinian food.

After many months of chaos, it's a small moment of familiarity.

But the presence of a television camera moving about the room is anything but familiar, and is making some feel self-conscious.

One man, Amer Elhabbash, would later confide that being filmed eating, while his friends and family back home endured terrible suffering, made him feel guilty.

"Many people will see and believe that I am now comfortable after I arrive in Australia," the father of three told 7.30.

"Yes, I feel safe, but I don't feel comfortable at all because my friends and relatives are in Gaza.

"These feelings I have at night … what have I done? It was just I and my family who escaped Gaza and the death and the war."

Running from death

A father sits on the grass with his daughter and son eating food.

Before the war, Amer and his family lived a very prosperous life by Gazan standards.

He was an institutional development consultant while his wife Nevin worked for the local water authority.

Man sitting at a desk with his three children, and a laptop in front of him.

"Our life was very good, very nice. We are educated also, me and my wife holding master's degrees," he said. 

But that changed very quickly after October 7.

One of the first rounds of Israeli air strikes on Gaza City, following the Hamas terror attacks on Israel, destroyed the family car parked out the front of their building.

A car is covered in rubble.

"My daughter came and woke me up and was very scared. She stayed in my arms for maybe four hours," Amer told 7.30.

Soon afterwards, their section of the city was declared a 'military zone', and Amer and Nevin decided to flee south to Khan Younis with their children Faisal, 14, Aws, 13, and Saba, 8, as well as Amer's 72-year-old mother Sadeya.

"On our way to Khan Younis I had a call and they told me my wife's uncle and all his family, his wife and his sons, were killed by the Israeli [air strikes]," he said. 

Amer was also sent photos and videos showing that their home in Gaza City had been destroyed.

In Khan Younis they lived with a large group of extended family members, but after the city also came under attack, they split up: one group living with one uncle, the rest with another.

"[The other] home with my uncle, aunt, uncle's wife was bomb-striked by the Israelis," Amer said. 

"My aunt and uncle's wife were dead. Also, my cousins, they were all dead."

The last option was a move to the extreme west of the strip, to a refugee camp overlooking the sea near Al Mawasi.

Dozens of tents pictured in a refugee camp. The sea is in the distance.

They would spend many weeks living in tents, waiting for a visa application to Australia to be processed.

"We were civilians; now they returned us to the stone age," Amer said.

A man sitting in the sand with a tent behind him and small cooking setup in front of him.

"Each day we have to wake up to cut off the roots of trees and start to search for water.

"Many times, I, my wife and my kids were eating bread with some sand."

Desperate to get out, Amer said he eventually bribed Egyptian border officials the equivalent of more than $26,000 to get his family's application put through.

"In the middle of February … many people called me to say, 'your name is on the list!'

"The following morning, we went to the border crossing at Rafah, and thank God we succeeded to get out of Gaza."

A man stands in a crowded street wearing a green hoodie.

'I was very afraid' 

Tamer Abunada, his heavily pregnant wife Afnan, and their three children Ismail, 13, Raseel, 12, and Adam, 7, also fled Gaza City when the war broke out.

Tamer and Afnan had recently opened a kindergarten, after struggling to find work in accountancy and pharmacy respectively, which Tamer blamed on "politics".

Two young kids holding up a sign reading 'My 1st Day'.

"I rented a place; I made a prestigious kindergarten and I have a Facebook page and everything," Tamer said.

One hundred children were registered to come to the kindergarten, which opened in September last year.

"We did this for one month only, and then we lost everything."

The school was destroyed by an Israeli bombing, just a few days after October 7.

Tamer's brother had migrated to Brisbane a couple of years earlier and offered to submit visas on their behalf.

Tamer initially resisted.

Afnan, Ismail and Tamer Abunada.

"I told him, 'no, no, inshallah, in 10 days it will be finished,'" he said. 

"After that, when I saw the bombing everywhere, destruction everywhere, I told him, 'Yeah, go for it.'"

Bombs dropping every night

The family travelled to Rafah and lived on blankets and wooden chairs while they waited for their turn to cross into Egypt.

"Everything is hard. You cannot find clean water to drink, to cook. You cannot find some kinds of food, because there is no electricity from day one.

"There is no safety. You cannot feel safe anywhere."

Hearing bombing all around them every night, the family would huddle together.

"Every night before sleeping I go to my kids one-by-one, I kiss them, I hug them, [I tell them] 'Daddy inshallah tomorrow, I'll see you in the morning'.

"I told them, 'Don't worry baba, if we pass away, we are shahid, we will all go to the heavens inshallah.'"

A heavily pregnant woman sleeps across a car seat.

For months, Afnan was unable to see a specialist or doctor of any kind regarding her pregnancy, as the hospitals were "only for the injured".

Finally, in late March, a cousin came to Tamer with good news.

"He said 'your name has appeared on the Egyptian authority border (list).'

"I said 'you are a liar; I need to see with my own eyes'!"

The Abunada family would first head to Cairo and then onto Brisbane, where Afnan gave birth to a baby girl, Celine, just a few days later at Redland hospital.

"I'm very lucky to have joined this country, but still my feeling is very bad [for] my people," Tamer said.

People waiting in a room with suitcases.

"Now I have 90 days in Australia and every day I hear [of] bombing and killing more than before.

"My family and my wife's family — her father, mother, brother, sisters — are all in Gaza, and it was very impactful on her while she was pregnant … and I was very afraid."

Nidal's lucky escape

Fifty-year-old Shahrazad Haseera and her 14-year-old son Nidal are also trying to adjust to life in Brisbane.

Woman in a brown hijab and floral dress.

The pair lived in the Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza before the war, a city created by refugees from the 1948 conflict.

Shahrazad and Nidal had been on a UN refugee waiting list since 2016 and were approved for repatriation to Australia in 2022.

However, when war broke out in late 2023 they were still waiting, and Shahrazad told 7.30 they saw many friends and neighbours killed and injured when the bombing came to their city.

"There was a bombing on a field where Nidal and another one of his friends were playing, standing right next to each other," she said. 

"Nidal's friend was hit in the head by shrapnel from the explosions. The ambulance came and took him. He was not dead, but he was completely paralysed.

"I was so frightened and worried for my son Nidal, because he wasn't showing any emotions.

"He wasn't crying. He seemed emotionless, and very hardened."

After several weeks of moving between camps and schools, all the while begging UN staff to fast-track their visas, they were finally approved to leave.

With just Nidal's school bag and a change of clothes packed onto a donkey, they made a tear-filled journey out of Nuseirat Camp towards the border crossing at Rafah.

"We passed through the streets and all the houses were destroyed," she said.

"People were trying to get the trapped or dead people out from under the rubble, others were burying the bodies of the dead people. [We could see] body parts, limbs of the dead.

"We were so exhausted, and emotionally distressed … especially that I had to leave my parents and family behind."

Families still processing their grief

Now in Brisbane, Nidal has been enrolled in the Islamic College of Brisbane and, according to his teachers, has made remarkable progress.

Three young children standing on a footpath in their green school uniforms.

The other refugee children are also enthusiastic learners, which the head of the college attributed to a return to feeling safe and stable at school.

But the school community is very aware that both parents and students carry with them deep emotional wounds.

They know these families need support to establish themselves in a new city, to live with the grief they have for their friends and family left behind, and to cast off any guilt they have for getting out.

"I know that most of Australia's population are refugees," Shahrazad said.

"That's why they must empathise with us more than the people of any other western country because they lived through oppression, injustice, colonisation, wars, famine, and disease.

"Everything I just said, we have in Gaza."

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  1. Rolex Yacht-Master II Updated 2017 Edition

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  2. 6 Beautiful Pictures of the Rolex Yacht-Master II

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  3. Close-Up: Rolex Yacht-Master II in Stainless Steel (with Video

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  4. 6 Beautiful Pictures of the Rolex Yacht-Master II

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  5. Rolex YACHT-MASTER II 44mm Steel & 18K Rose Gold 2 Tone Mint

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  6. Rolex Yacht Master II 116688

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  1. Unboxing Rolex Yacht-Master II Watch

  2. ROLEX Yacht Master II Luxurious 18ct Gold watch

  3. Rolex Yacht-Master II 18ct White Gold

  4. ▶ Rolex Yacht-Master II REVIEW & How to use the Regatta Timer

  5. Boat Master: Yacht Gameplay

  6. Rolex Yacht Master 37mm DARK RHODIUM 268622 Platinum Stainless Steel Luxury Watch Review


  1. Rolex Yacht-Master II User's Guide: How to Operate the Rolex Yacht

    Watchuwant is now WatchBox. Subscribe for the best luxury watch content.The Rolex Yacht-Master II is the largest and most complicated Rolex chronograph ever ...

  2. How To Use Your Rolex Yacht-Master II

    This video will teach you how to set the Rolex Yacht-Master II. Shop our entire collection of pre-owned Yacht-Master II watches here: https://www.bobswatche...

  3. The Rolex Yacht Master II Review

    Welcome to Watches That Rock!In our latest video we showcase the breathtaking Rolex Yacht Master II. A dive deep into the world of horological excellence as...

  4. Hands-On Rolex Yacht-Master II Review

    In fact, my Omega Planet Ocean is only 42mm x 15.7mm, and feels much bulkier and heavier than the Yacht-Master II. The case is alternating with polished and satin-finished and features a nautical blue ceramic bezel. The pushers are, as is Rolex's MO, a perfect length. Even though I'm left handed, and therefore wear my watch on my right ...

  5. The Rolex Yacht-Master II: How does it work, and why is it so

    To set the timer on the Rolex Yacht-Master II, begin by turning the bezel until it clicks into place. This happens when the "1" on the bezel is around the 12 o'clock position. Then, press the push-piece at 4 o'clock, which will stay engaged. Once you unscrew the crown, you can set the duration of the countdown in minutes.

  6. Rolex Yacht-Master

    Sailing occupies a special place in the world of Rolex. In 1958, the brand partnered the New York Yacht Club, creator of the legendary America's Cup. Rolex then formed partnerships with several prestigious yacht clubs around the world and became associated with major nautical events - offshore races and coastal regattas.

  7. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II Hands-On

    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 ...

  8. How to Set the Rolex Yacht-Master II (Video Instructions)

    This hands-on video guide shows step-by-step how to program the Yacht-Master II Ring Command bezel system and operate the Regatta Coundown Timer on your Yachtmaster. The impressive and novel functionality is made possible by the Rolex caliber 4160 (and caliber 4161) movement containing 360 parts. We also included a quick peek at the official ...

  9. Official Rolex Website

    The Yacht-Master II is a unique chronograph with a regatta timer and a Oystersteel case. Learn more about this sailing-inspired watch on Rolex.com.

  10. Rolex Yacht-Master II Ultimate Buying Guide

    The Rolex Yacht-Master II Stainless Steel and Everose Gold 116681, introduced in 2011, is a striking addition to the Yacht-Master II collection. It features a unique blend of robust 904L stainless steel and luxurious 18k Everose gold, embodying both resilience and elegance. Rolex Yachtmaster II Steel Rose Gold Mercedes Hands Mens Watch 116681.

  11. Rolex YACHTMASTER II: Official Review and How To Use it!

    The Rolex Yachtmaster may be one of the most selective (and arguably useless) complications ever. BUT, in case you do find yourself regatta-ing, or you just ...

  12. Rolex Yacht-Master

    The Yacht-Master 40 and Yacht-Master 42 are certified Superlative Chronometers that offer excellent performance, particularly in terms of precision (-2/+2 seconds per day) and autonomy (approximately 70 hours). 02. Calibre 2236. The Yacht-Master 37 is driven by calibre 2236. Entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex, this self-winding ...

  13. [Rolex] How The Yacht-Master II Works And Why It's So Complicated

    sylinmino. •. Basically Rolex tends to do simple extremely well. But their watches aren't gonna have tourbillons or perpetual calendars or minute repeaters and so on. The only two complicated watches Rolex makes are the Yacht Master II (with this regatta timer) and the Sky Dweller (with its annual calendar + GMT).

  14. Rolex Yacht-Master II

    The Rolex Yacht-Master II is a sport watch made by Rolex, unveiled in 2007 and first introduced in March 2010 with the models 116688 (Yellow Gold) and 116689 (White Gold). One year later, in 2011, Rolex introduced the model 116681 which was made from steel and everose gold. [1] At Baselworld 2013, the watch was available for the first time in ...


    OYSTER PERPETUAL YACHT-MASTER II. er Perpetual Yacht-Master II isa unique regatta chronograph dedicated to both yachting enth. siasts and experi-enced sailors. It features a countdown function with a mechanical memory programmable from 1 to 10 minutes and which can be synchronized on the fly - a function that responds to the need for precise ...

  16. Rolex Yacht-Master II Ultimate Buying Guide

    Rolex Yacht-Master II Functions. Looks aside, the big talking point around the Rolex Yacht Master II lies in what it can do. There is a strong argument against calling the watch a genuine chronograph as it doesn't so much keep track of elapsed time in the traditional sense, as it does count backwards from a specific starting point, up to a maximum of 10-minutes.

  17. Rolex Yacht-Master II: Hands-On Expert Review

    Elegant yet equipped with complications for sailors, the Yacht-Master II is the ultimate tool watch. Learn more about this luxury watch in our review. ... See All Videos. Sell & Trade. Search. Rolex. Rolex. New Watches 2024 Rolex Collection. By Collection. 1908 Air-King Cosmograph ...


    In this video we review the Rolex Yacht-Master 2, this watch is the biggest Rolex you can buy and what a fantastic looking watch it is! The Rolex Yacht-Maste...

  19. Close-Up: Rolex Yacht-Master II in Stainless Steel (with Video)

    Fans of the Rolex Yacht-Master will remember that Baselworld 2012 saw the debut of a new version of the Rolex Yacht-Master in a Rolesium case. In 2013, that model's larger successor, the Rolex Yacht-Master II, was the focus, with Rolex introducing the first version of the popular regatta-countdown chronograph watch in a 904L stainless steel case with a blue Cerachrom bezel insert.

  20. Rolex Yacht-Master II

    The Yacht-Master II by Rolex beautifully respects the spirit of maritime pursuits; it is a durable racing tool and a bold accessory, waterproof and reliable to a fault. Entirely conceived and crafted by Rolex experts in Switzerland down to the manufacturing of its most minute, precise parts, the Yacht-Master II is a watch of exceptional quality and distinction.

  21. Unboxing Rolex Yacht-Master II Watch

    Unboxing my new Rolex Yacht-Master II watch. From the outer to the inner packaging, join me on the experience of unboxing this very well crafted, highly soug...

  22. Nasdaq has worst day since 2022 as tech stocks get slammed

    The Nasdaq Composite index tumbled 2.8%, logging its worst day since December 2022. The S&P 500 lost 1.4%. The Dow rose 0.6%, closing at another record high and above 41,000 for the first time.

  23. Rolex Yacht-Master II 44 mm 116681-0002 latest generations 2022

    Video review in 4K of the original Swiss Rolex Yacht Master 2 44mm 116681 in a steel case with 18K rose gold finish. The Rolex Yacht Master has a white dial ...

  24. These families escaped the Gaza war but they're struggling with

    "My daughter came and woke me up and was very scared. She stayed in my arms for maybe four hours," Amer told 7.30. Soon afterwards, their section of the city was declared a 'military zone', and ...


    OYSTER PERPETUAL YACHT-MASTER II. er Perpetual Yacht-Master II isa unique regatta chronograph dedicated to both yachting enth. siasts and experi-enced sailors. It features a countdown function with a mechanical memory programmable from 1 to 10 minutes and which can be synchronized on the fly - a function that responds to the need for precise ...