Of all the new launches at the annual Baselworld watch show, it's those from Rolex that are among the most eagerly anticipated - and this year, the Rolex model causing some of the loudest murmurs around the exhibition hall was a new, 42mm white gold Yacht-Master.
And, with the spotlight temporarily on the sea-faring strand of Rolex's universe, it's probably a good time to keep a weather eye on the auction houses for what might just be one of the most under-rated of its sports models - the Yacht-Master Reference 16622 Rolesium.
The mighty Crown registered the 'Yacht-Master' trademark way back in the Sixties while experimenting with a new chronograph model similar to the Cosmograph but with a larger, 40mm case. That watch was never put into production and the Yacht-Master name remained dormant until 1992, when the first production model - a simple, time-only effort - was released in yellow gold and bi-metal.
Deesigned to appeal to yachties, the watch was initially intended as a more luxurious version of the celebrated Submariner dive watch. However, it proved to be considerably less successful than its inspiration, despite the introduction of various mid-sized and women's models.
In 1999, however, Rolex unveiled the superb 'Rolesium' Reference 16622 which combined a steel case with a distinctive platinum bezel and a solid platinum dial that came alive with an almost frosted quality when caught by the light.
Nevertheless, the watch didn't achieve anything like the success of more celebrated sports models (the aforementioned Submariner, the Sea Dweller and the Cosmograph) and was gradually phased-out with the launch at Baselworld 2012 of a new steel Yacht-Master with a blue 'sunray' dial.
But the Rolesium 16622 remains truly special, both because of its subtle use of platinum and the fact that it is relatively rare. Examples do appear at auction, often sporting knocks and scrapes caused by a life spent on deck as much-loved tool watches.
With patina becoming increasingly acceptable (and often sought-after), such wear and tear shouldn't prevent you from buying - assuming the mechanical integrity of the watch isn't compromised. What is important, however, is to look for a Yacht-Master with box, papers, original bracelet and so on.
A couple of years ago, a £4,000 bid would probably have been sufficient to secure a good one at auction. Now you'll need nearer £6,000 - but rest assured that Yacht-Master 16622 values are far more likely to remain buoyant than to sink without trace.
Unlike Submariners and the like that crop-up in virtually every auction, however, you'll have to scour the sale catalogues to track one down. We recommend Maunder Watches, Fellows.co.uk and watchesofknightsbridge.com as the most likely sources.