Is The Rolex Yacht-Master Ref 126622 Officially Cool Now?
Is the Rolex Yacht Prestige Ref 126622 a cool watch? I’ve been asked this question – or a variation of it – more and more frequently lately. There was a time, not too long ago, when I didn’t think much about this model. To be fair, neither did anyone else. The Yacht Prestige has always been an outlier in the Rolex sports watch line. You can’t fault its credentials per se, but it doesn’t exactly belong.
In recent years, replica Rolex has been trying to improve the positioning of the Yacht Prestige line. To make it less luxurious and more utilitarian. The overwhelming demand for Rolex’s steel sports watches has also played a big role. If you can’t get your first choice, you go to your second choice, and so on. But now, the Ref 126622 is becoming more and more popular among watch enthusiasts. Instead of being the third or fourth choice. This is also reflected in its pricing in the secondary market. So, can we say that the Rolex Yacht Prestige Ref 126622 is now officially cool? As usual, I’ll lay it out so you can make up your own mind.
By copy Rolex standards, the Yacht Prestige is a rather modern collection. The prototype of the Yacht Prestige dial first appeared in the 1960s. However, the first production models did not make their debut until the early 1990s. Nevertheless, the brand has been present in the nautical world for decades. 1958 saw the creation of an alliance with the New York Yacht Club. Many more such partnerships soon followed and continue to this day.
The first Yacht Prestige watch was the Ref 16628, which was available only in solid gold. There is nothing unusual about this in itself. It is a common strategy for Rolex to introduce new models with gold cases first. The Smurf is a good example, and later the Hulk was also available in a steel case. But for the Yacht-Master, there was another reason for doing so. Rolex wanted to position it as a sporty and luxurious watch, rather than a practical tool watch. To that end, Ref 16628 also offers several Serti dial options. (Rolex’s word for gem-set dials).
Fancy dials aside, the Yacht Prestige is largely modeled after the Submariner. There were rumors that Rolex was even considering an overhaul of the model. But cooler heads prevailed and a new collection was launched instead. In any case, the specs read very similarly. 40 mm case. Mercedes’s hands. The inverted triangle at 12 o’clock. Round and rectangular hour markers. Date with Cyclops. Rotating bezel with 60-minute markers. (Although on the Yacht-Master, it is bidirectional. And on the Submariner – and all swiss replica watches – it is unidirectional).
Ref 16628 even uses the same movement as Ref 16610. The movement 3135. the only real difference (apart from the bezel) is that it is only water-resistant to 100 meters. This is why many collectors are not so enamored with the Yacht-Master. It’s like buying a junior version of a submarine.
The addition of the 29mm and 35mm Yacht-Masters in 1994 did not help this perception. Rolex has never offered a reduced case size for any other professional watch. Both before and since. That in itself is not a bad thing. But it suggests that the Rolex Yacht-Master is more of a “lifestyle” watch.