Both the Yacht-Master and the Submariner are inextricably linked to Rolex’s rich heritage in developing expert waterproofing technology. Over the last few years Rolex has focussed significantly on its Yacht-Master collection. Since 2015 they have created the Everose version and equipped models with the new Oysterflex bracelet. Likewise, the Submariner has received several modifications since it first launched in 1953, namely its improvement in water resistance. Let’s take a look at how the Yacht-Master and the Submariner fair up to one another in this comparison article which looks into the materials, functions, and performance of each watch.
The Yacht-Master is a luxury sports watch that launched in 1992 in an 18k yellow gold case. Since then, ladies’ models have accompanied these rugged timekeeping tools as well as several innovative features like the mid-size man’s model and the Rolesium case, crafted from a mix of Rolex’s 904-L grade stainless steel and 905 platinum. The blend of metals further enhances the model’s luxurious aesthetic, enabling the elements on the dial and bezel to stand out with exquisite luster and luminosity.
Case/Dial: 37mm Oystersteel and 18 ct Everose gold, Black
10 bar (100 metres / 330 feet)
Movement: Rolex 2236, Self-winding
Functions: Date, Calendar, Stop seconds, 55h power reserve
Strap: Oystersteel and 18 ct Everose gold
The Submariner was introduced in 1953. The diver’s watch was an extension of the brand’s success in creating the world’s first waterproof and dustproof watch – the Oyster. It used the same structure as the Oyster case and was equipped with 100-meter water resistance, setting the benchmark for all diver’s watches to follow. Over the last 2 decades, the Submariner has tripled in price and remains a highly desirable model to own from the brand’s prestigious catalog.
Case/Dial: 40mm Oystersteel and yellow gold, Blue
300 metres / 1,000 feet
Movement: Rolex 3135, Self-winding
Functions: Date, Calendar. Stop-seconds for precise time setting., 48h power reserve
Strap: Oystersteel and yellow gold
The Submariner watch is a 40mm model, enabling it to sit comfortably on the arm without overpowering the wrist. It’s a great timepiece for pairing with sporty or casual attire. The case is crafted from stainless steel, featuring a monobloc middle case, a screw-down case back and a screw-down crown. The crown is integrated with the Triplock triple waterproofness system developed by Rolex. It features three sealed zones to offer the best water damage protection over the watch’s movement. The top of the watch is completed with anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass and the watch’s unidirectional rotating bezel is crafted from Cerachrom ceramic, which prevents the surface of the colored bezel from scratching and fading. The unidirectional rotating bezel has 60-minute graduations coated in platinum. Available in green, blue and black, these bezels match their respective dial colors. The case of the Submariner is also available in 18k white gold, 18k yellow gold, steel or a bi-color steel & 18k yellow gold option. The Rolex Yacht-Master is available in a 37mm, 40mm, and a 42m case size. The 37mm version features a steel case with Everose bezel and bracelet links, the 40mm variations are available in a Rolesium (steel and platinum case) and an 18k Everose case with black bezel. The 42mm version is crafted from white gold with a black bezel. There are black dials and dark rhodium dials to choose from within this collection – each one equipped with a cyclops date at 3 o’clock. The 37mm and 40mm Everose watches have a matching rose gold second hand, and like the Submariner, the dial is protected by a sapphire glass lens. The Yacht-Master’s bezel is bidirectional with 60-minute graduations that are raised and polished to stand out clearly. The Yacht-Master is 100-meter water-resistant compared to the Submariner’s 300-meter water-resistant case.
The Submarine is powered by the calibers 3135 and 3130. Both offer a 48-hour power reserve and perform at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The Caliber 3135 has received modifications since it was first developed. It is now COSC-certified and features a Paramagnetic Parachrom hairspring for enhanced mechanical efficiency.
Some Rolex Yacht-Masters are powered by the in-house Caliber 3235, which provides a longer 70-hour power reserve compared to the Submariner. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Others are powered by the Caliber 2236 with a Syloxi hairspring in silicon and high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers. It provides a 55-hour power reserve.
Both the Submariner and Yacht-Master watches feature Superlative Chronometer tested movements, meaning that they have undergone a set of stringent tests to prove their robustness, reliability, and strength under extreme conditions.
The Submariner and Yacht-Master differ in terms of their bracelets. The Yacht-Master 40mm Everose and 42mm white gold options are completed on an Oysterflex bracelet with features flexible metal blades protected underneath a high-performance elastomer. To secure around the wrist, the band features an Oysterlock safety clasp and Glidelock extension facility, enabling you to attach the bracelet over the top of heavy outdoor gear. The other Yacht-Master watches come on an Oyster bracelet with Glidelock system. The Submariner is completed on the Oyster bracelet (in options of steel, 18k yellow gold, 18k white gold or bi-color options), with a folding Oysterlock safety clasp and Glidelock extension clasp for expanding in small increments.
The Rolex Yacht-Master watch is more expensive than the Submariner, retailing at around $12,000 as opposed to the Submariner’s $8000 price tag. On the preowned market, however, both watches sell for a similar price point since the Submariner holds its value better compared to the Yacht-Master.
The Yacht-Master, despite being available in luxurious Everose and platinum versions, has a sportier aesthetic compared to the rugged look of the Submariner, especially since some models are completed on the Oysterflex bracelet as opposed to a 3-piece Oyster bracelet. It also features a clear dial surrounded by a bidirectional rotating bezel with highly legible markers. The Submariner, on the other hand, is more suitable for diving since it features a unidirectional rotating bezel that will enable you to keep track of remaining dive time and better water resistance. It offers a short power reserve, however, and goes without the addition of the sportier Oysterflex bracelet.
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