Over the last few years, Rolex uploaded some of their shorter videos on to YouTube for viewing by everyone.  Rolex now upped their game by uploading short 24-minute documentary videos about the races they sponsor and the watches they design for them.  Last week, Rolex uploaded two Yachting videos, the Rolex Middle Sea race and the Rolex Farr 40 World 40Ft Yachting Championship.


The Middle Sea event takes place in the Mediterranean Sea on a long traditional  608 mile lap that requires over 72 continuous hours to complete. The footage shows how 122 boats start and why yacht race start timing is crucial.  The latter part of the video shows towering 30ft waves and 60knot winds.



Rolex Farr 40 World Championships is a multi heat, multi day event with the 2014 rendition held on San Francisco Bay. The Corinthian Class, amateur owner-driver boats, is portrayed as a numbers game with no room for mistakes.  8 nationalities race in San Francisco which the video calls the “most progressive place on the planet.” Because of the multi-heats, and the unpredictability of the San Francisco, the race winners don’t fine success through luck, but rather through organization and consistency.



Because of the intricacies of Yachting, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is the sailors tool for the race.  Available in all 904L stainless steel, steel and Everose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum, the Yachtmaster II is filled with as much 21st century technology as the 40ft yachts Rolex supports.  At 44mm, the Yachtmaster II chronograph is larger than the 40mm Rolex Daytona and sports some new technology that the Daytona does not possess.  The Yacht-Master II’s standout feature is the 10 minute countdown timer utilized with the Ring Command bezel featuredearlier on our blog . The 10-minute countdown timer allows skippers to time their race start to coincide precisely with a regatta’s official starting procedure with looks similar to the following:


Before the race: The skipper sets the 10 minutes countdown timer utilizing the crown and Ring Command bezel. The minute which the skipper sets the countdown timer is memorized for when it is time to reset, it keeps the same setting.


10 minutes before the start: The starting gun and signal flag signal the countdown to the official start by which the skipper hits the pusher at 2:00 o’clock to start the countdown timer.


5 minutes before the start: Race officials give a preparation signal by firing a gun and hoisting another flag.  The skipper can synchronize the countdown by pressing the pusher at 4:00 o’clock allowing the timer hand to fly-back to the originally set position.


1 minute before start: another preparatory signal is given with a horn blast and the 5 minutes flag is lowered. The start signal is a final starting gun wound and lowering the 10 minute signal flag.  By having a resettable 10-minute countdown, the skipper position perfectly the yacht to cross the start line precisely when the starting gun sounds.


Making the 10-minutes countdown and flyback function possible is Rolex’s Caliber 4161 movement utilizing the Rolex Daytona’s traversing column wheel and vertical clutch for instantaneous start.  Composed of over 360 components, the 4161 movement is a result of over 35,000 hours of development.  Some components are made by Rolex’s new UV-LIGA or Ultraviolett Lithografie, Galvanik und Abformung. Essentially, UV-LiGA is a micro-manufacturing technology that goes beyond simple stamping because of the tiny proportions, complex geometry, and non-traditional materials required by the design. UV-LiGA technology enables small parts to effectively be “grown” in resin using an electrodeposition technique that has high surface quality and precision.



The Yacht-Master II possesses the Rolex technologies found in the rest of the line including Oyster case, Triplock winding crown, Parachrom hairspring, a Chromalight luminescence.  Without question, the Yacht-Master II is another Rolex technological pinnacle fusing durability and utility with the beauty of open-water Yachting.  Check out the Farr World Championships on YouTube here and the Middle Sea Race here,  and the YachtMaster II at Fourtané.

– Sheldon Smith