Whether you call it Fruity Pebbles, Tutti Fruiti, or Haribo, the gem-set Everose Yacht-Master 40 Ref 116695 is a divisive entry in the Rolex catalogue. You can find a lot of hate out there for the jeweled bezel and pave diamond dial. Many collectors feel the gems add excess frills and cost to what was originally designed to be a tool watch. But some buyers think it’s a playful addition to the Rolex lineup, one that shows Rolex doesn’t take itself too seriously.
What are the Yacht-Master Gem-Set “Fruity Pebbles” Specs?
Underneath the blinding sparkle, the Yacht-Master 40 is a solid tool watch with the specs to match. Although it’s embellished, the bezel is fully bidirectionally rotatable and operational. It’s set with 32 sapphires, 8 tsavorites, and 1 diamond. Initially, the bezel just looks like a cacophony of color, but there is a method to the madness. Each colored gem is set 180 degrees across from the gem of the same color. Green tsavorites correspond to green tsavorites and blue sapphires lie directly across from blue sapphires. This means there’s a subtle symmetry, no matter which way the bezel is turned. The precious metal case is in Rolex’s proprietary Everose gold and it covers a Rolex calibre 3135 automatic movement with a 48-hour power reserve. It features a sapphire crystal, a Cyclops lens over the date, and applied hour markers. Like the first Everose gold Yacht-Master that debuted in 2015, this watch also is placed on Rolex’s Oysterflex bracelet, a molded matte black elastomer that encases a metal bracelet.
Why Did Rolex Put an Oysterflex Strap on The Yacht-Master “Fruity Pebbles?”
No one knows exactly why The Crown decided on an Oysterflex strap for the Fruity Pebbles Rolex. Part of the decision may have been based on the popularity of the Everose Yacht-Master in 2015, the first watch on an Oysterflex strap. There was a strong consumer response to the new bracelet option, and Rolex may have wanted to capture more of that market. Or, there may have been aesthetic reasons for the choice. There’s no question that the Tutti Frutti Rolex is an ostentatious watch. For some, that’s part of its appeal. But when you have such a visually arresting watch, pairing it with a precious metal bracelet can be too overwhelming to the eye. On a black rubber strap, the brilliant case, bezel, and dial is showcased because it’s flanked by a matte background. It’s the same reason jeweler’s display cases or jewelry boxes are lined in black velvet. Light is absorbed by the black settings so that the light refracts and reflects off gems and precious metals. Jewels and precious metals are highlighted and showcased when they’re placed against a dark background.
So, Should You Put Your Rolex on a Black Rubber Strap?
If Rolex thinks a black strap highlights a watch case, it’s worth taking notice. At this point, Rolex uses its Oysterflex bracelet on the Daytona, and both have done well. You may want to consider if any of your luxury watches could benefit from being placed on a rubber strap. Even with bezels that aren’t encrusted with jewels, fluted and polished bezels can benefit from a strap that doesn’t draw attention to itself. Even vintage Rolex dials with an enviable patina look good on a matte strap. Since Everest Bands are made with rubber, not silicone, they don’t have an electrical charge and will repel dust and dirt for years. There’s no way of knowing when Rolex will place other watches on an Oysterflex strap, but you don’t have to wait to obtain the same look and feel. You can update and modernize your GMT-Master, Sea-Dweller, or Submariner with a high-quality matte black rubber strap whenever you’re ready.
Written by Meghan Clark
Header Image Source