Rolex vs Rolex
The Sub vs the Yacht Master
In the prestigious back catalogue of Rolex watches, perhaps two of the most iconic pieces in the collection are the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex Yacht-Master. While one is almost 40 years older than the other, they’re both history-makers for watch-lovers.
However, if you’re looking to purchase one of these watches, which is the best one to go for? The truth is, you can’t really go wrong with either watch, but there are some significant differences which could sway your choice. To help you find your ideal watch between two titans in the watch world, here’s a rundown on the key features, differences and benefits.
History Of The Rolex Submariner
The Rolex Submariner was launched in 1953 as the diver’s watch. It was the first watch on the market to come with water resistance up to 100 metres. The watch was perfectly designed for divers, not only thanks to its water resistance but also the rotating bezel that could help divers track how long they’ve spent underwater. The watch also has luminous features to improve readability on the watch when diving in the murkiest of water.
Whilst the Rolex Submariner was the first watch to deliver 100m water resistance; it wasn’t seen as the first dive watch. Omega Marine and several Navy and Special Forces watches were seen as dive watches. That said, it was Rolex who dedicated time to creating the perfect dive timepiece and with iterations from 1953 to 2020, the watch has made a name as an evolutionary piece that keeps divers at the forefront of its design.
History Of The Rolex Yacht-Master
The history of the Rolex Yacht-Master actually piggy-backs off the Rolex Submariner, despite creating two entirely different watches. The Rolex Yacht-Master was launched in 1992. This was the first new model that Rolex introduced in 28 years.
However, Rolex legend has it that the designers weren’t trying to come up with a new model. Instead, Rolex wanted to significantly update their Rolex Submariner design. The designs that came back were admired but were too different from the Submariner look. It was feared that Submariner fans would not be happy with such a radical change to the design.
And so, these designs were transformed into a brand-new model, the Rolex Yacht-Master.
What’s The Difference Between The Rolex Submariner And Yacht-Master?
There are several areas where the Submariner and Yacht-Master are different:
Water Resistance: When the Submariner was initially introduced, the watch had a water resistance of 100m. However, iterations of this watch mean it can have water resistance up to 300m thanks to its Triplock – the triple-waterproof security with three sealed areas on the watch.
In contrast, the Yacht-Master offers 100m of water resistance.
Size: The Submariner is a sleek 40mm size, ideal for readability without being too much of a statement. The Rolex Yacht-Master, however, is more tailored. The Yacht-Master comes in 37mm, 40mm and 42mm cases. The 37mm was designed as a women’s watch. However, the range in sizes can suit styles for a more subtle or rugged timepiece, depending on personal preference.
Case Material: The Yacht-Master offers a stainless steel, everose, rolesor (a mix of steel and gold) and roselium (a mix of stainless steel and platinum) as case materials. In contrast, the Submariner offers a stainless steel case.
Bezel: The Submariner bezel is unidirectional to help divers keep better track of their dive time. The Yacht-Master, instead, offers a bidirectional rotating bezel.
Cost: To buy them from new, the Yacht-Master is a greater investment compared to a Submariner. However, in terms of long-term investment, both watches hold their value. Submariners traditionally hold more value in the second-hand market, but this can fluctuate depending on availability, demand, and trends.
Which Rolex Is Right For You?
The Rolex Submariner is a classic and highly desirable watch and was even James Bond’s gadget of choice. However, the Rolex Yacht-Master offers a more rugged and sportier aesthetic compared to the more casual look of the Rolex Submariner.
With both watches available in 18k white gold, yellow gold, stainless steel, as well as a multitude of different coloured faces and bezels, the difference between a Submariner and a Yacht-Master can be a style choice as the quality and impact of both watches are assured.
If you’re struggling to choose between a Rolex Submariner or Yacht-Master, Susannah Lovis is here to help. Browse our Rolex collections online or visit us in the Burlington Arcade. If you are looking for a specific watch, we welcome you to contact our team, who will do our utmost to help you find your ideal Rolex watch.