Roger Federer Just Rocked One of Rolex’s Coolest Sports Watches

Earlier this week, at the New York premiere of his new documentary Federer: Twelve Final Days, tennis icon and Rolex testimonee Roger Federer strapped on the Yacht-Master II ref. 226627—a watch so lightweight that I feared, upon first handling it in Geneva last year, that I might crush it, thus owing Rolex corporate headquarters a check for $14,050 (plus tax).

The ref. 226627 was not Rolex’s first titanium watch—that distinction belongs to the 50mm-wise Deepsea Challenge, which was seemingly designed for James Cameron to wear while plumbing the depths of the Atlantic for sunken ocean liners. The Yacht-Master II, on the other hand, is arguably more exciting: Measuring a more comfortable 42mm wide, it was first spotted on the wrist of skipper (and fellow Rolex testimonee) Sir Ben Aislney back in the fall of 2021. No longer a prototype and now a full production model, it’s crafted from Grade 5 RLX titanium and is available for purchase. (Theoretically, at least.)

Roger Federer attends the Federer Twelve Final Days Premiere during the 2024 Tribeca Festival

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What makes this Submariner-esque watch different from, well, a Submariner? The two are admittedly similar in design, with a few key differences: There’s the RXL titanium case, of course, but then there’s also the 42mm sizing (as opposed to 41mm on the Sub); a bidirectional timing bezel with a sand-blasted Cerachrom insert (instead of the Sub’s unidirectional dive bezel); the date window (which is only seen on Submariner Date models); and the matching, RLX titanium Oyster bracelet with Oysterlock folding clasp and Easylink comfort extension. (The Sub doesn’t have an available titanium bracelet.)

Other than that, both the Submariner Date and the Yacht-Master II are powered by Rolex’s automatic Calibre 3235 movement with 70 hours of power reserve, and both are made for aquatic use. The Sub, however, is a diver’s watch rated to 300m of water resistance; the Yacht-Master II, on the other hand, is made for sailing and is water resistant to 100m—still respectable, to be sure, but best kept to the deck of a cutting-edge racing craft.

Seeing the Yacht-Master II on Federer’s wrist is more fun than notable—it looks perfectly at home when paired with his dark suit at the photocall, though it’s a distinctly sporty piece made to be used and abused. Being a Rolex testimonee, of course, Federer has been spotted in just about every notable Crown offering over the past few years, from the Le Mans Daytona to the Sky-Dweller in precious metals and more. (The man pulls off a dressy 1908 with black tie beautifully, but let’s be real—this is a brand famed for its sport watches, and we’re talking about one of the world’s most renowned athletes.) Having cycled through many of the brand’s most compelling offerings, the only remaining pertinent question is: How do we get Fed into a “Leopard” Daytona?

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