Rolex Yacht-Master II Differences: New 2017 VS Old 2013

Rolex Yacht-Master II Baselworld 2017 New VS Old Differences

NEW: Yacht-Master II
OLD: Yacht-Master II
Introduced: Baselworld 2017 Baselworld 2013
Reference: 116680 116680
Movement: Automatic Automatic
Caliber: Rolex caliber 4161 Rolex caliber 4161
COSC? Yes Yes
Case Material: 904L Stainless steel 904L Stainless steel
Case Diameter: 44mm 44mm
Case Thickness: 14mm 14mm
Helium Escape Valve? Yes Yes
Bezel: Blue Cerachrom (ceramic)
Ring Command function
Blue Cerachrom (ceramic)
Ring Command function
Dial: White White
Hands: 18K white gold
Sport “Mercedes” style
Blued 18K gold
Pencil style
Hour Markers: 1 Triangle (12:00)
1 Rectangle (6:00)
10 Squares (everywhere else)
18K white gold
12 Squares
Blue tone 18K gold
Lume: Chromalight Chromalight
Rehaut Engraved? Yes Yes
Crystal: Sapphire Sapphire
Cyclops Lens? No No
Band: Oyster bracelet
Oysterlock clasp
Easylink extension
Oyster bracelet
Oysterlock clasp
Easylink extension
Crown: Triplock screw-down Triplock screw-down
Water Resistance: 330ft / 100m 330ft / 100m
Retail Price at Launch: $18,750 USD $18,500 USD

Differences are in blue

We made the chart above as redundant as possible to express the point that these watches are basically THE SAME.

The overall differences that are going to make or break your decision between the new 116680 over the older 116680 are:

  1. The sport hands (“Mercedes symbol” hour hand)
  2. The triangle marker at 12:00
  3. The rectangle marker at 6:00

With the release of a so-called “new” Yacht-Master II which is not really a new Yacht-Master II, it’s almost as if Rolex ran out of ideas for Baselworld 2017 and threw something in at the last minute.

Are three slight cosmetic differences enough to be considered a new release? Nothing changed except for the hands and two out of twelve hour markers on the dial.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Baselworld 2017 HandsThe model numbers are the same. The movements are the same. The size is the same. Even the lume is the same. And here’s the best part: The original blue gold hands are better looking than the new silver-tone white gold sport hands. As if the YMII wasn’t busy enough as it is. Now you have three different shapes of markers and hands that don’t match.

Any press is good press!

Maybe Rolex was making up for all of the radical changes they made to the Sea-Dweller (read about it here). Or maybe this is Rolex’s way to hook the Yacht-Master II up to an EKG machine (Baselworld) and shock it back to life. With their dealers dumping them at cost on the grey market, it makes you wonder.

What’s more incredible is that other watch blogs and journalists aren’t getting on The Crown’s case for this “new” watch release.

Rolex Yacht-Master II Baselworld 2017 New VS Old DifferencesShould I buy the new or old Yacht-Master II?

It really comes down to which hands and markers do you prefer the most. You can buy a pre-owned Yacht-Master II for thousands below retail and have the hands/dial swapped out later if you really wanted to… and guess what? Other than the date on your warranty card it would be THE SAME watch. With scattered serial numbers, there’s not even a way to date the old and new models.

Which Rolex Yacht-Master II model do you prefer: The new 2017 or old 2014?

2 Responses

  1. H. Giles

    I actually like the Mercedes hands, but what would make me lean to the older one is the legibility of the darker hands and markers. Silver on white is a bad idea imho.

    Reply

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