We always love to cover great new ideas that are coming out of Rolex. We were so excited to see that the Rolex Submariner of 2020 was so similar to what we thought may come out. Obviously we have no affiliation with Rolex, but to glimpse a little into what the design team at Rolex is doing is such a fun hobby! So when a customer shared with us an article by Jake’s Rolex World we could not believe our eyes...a prototype Rolex Yacht-Master that was dateless, on a NATO-like strap and most surprisingly was made out of Titanium!
Just a quick note, if this model ever finds its way to a Rolex Authorized Dealer near you, it would be the first ever Rolex made with Titanium. Rolex does seem to test the market with the design team at Tudor. In 2012 they released the Tudor Pelago made entirely of titanium. The uber light material has been used by countless watch brands to reduce the weight of their watches while additionally keeping the sturdiness of steel. One issue has always been with polishing the material, as it doesn’t look that nice when a mirror polish is applied. Usually a matte finish or a brushed finish is applied to create a very rugged look. It looks like Rolex took the finish of the prototype loaned to Sir Ben Ainslie in a unique direction.
The watch in question looks to be made with some sort of coating on the case and bezel. Jake from rolexmagazine.com was able to ask some questions, and get some answers about this watch. Rolex informed him that the watch in question is 42mm wide and in an “anthracite grey” matte finish. The bezel insert looks identical to the 42 white gold ceramic Yacht-Master insert seen below. One major change from that model is that this watch is date-less and most likely uses the new 3230 movement used in the time only models released in 2020.
One other question that Rolex answered for Jake was in regards to the material of the watch strap. If you notice in the pictures, the watch is on a NATO-like watch band. Rolex said that this fabric strap combines Cordura with “high-performance elastomer” - likely the same rubber as the Oysterflex rubber strap found on the latest Yacht-master, Daytona and Skydweller models. The final attachment to the wrist is using a Velcro system. This wild combination of materials may have been used by Richard Mille on the Richard Mille RM 11-03 NTP Carbon. What might be a really cool way to travel with this watch would be our latest product, the Everest Balistic Nylon Watch Pouch. Talk about a match made in heaven strap and pouch wise!
What I find particularly cool about this watch is the way Rolex is testing it. They are not just sending it to a laboratory or privately testing it, they are using a person who really would be able to put it to its limits. They are using the most prolific and competitive regatta sailor of our time, Sir Ben Ainslie. He is an accomplished Olympian with four gold medals under his belt, won the America’s Cup, eleven world championships, and countless other achievements in the world of competitive sailing. This man knows what he needs from his watch on a boat. Rolex could not have picked a better person to be testing this new prototype.
So, in conclusion we have for the first time in a long time seen a prototype Rolex in the wild and we can only hope this unique Rolex design finds its way into the cabinets at our local Rolex dealer. What do you think?
All images credited to Jake's Rolex World (aka: www.rolexmagazine.com)