Rolex introduced the Ring Command concept in 2007 in the Rolex Yacht-Master II watch. Although many watches feature a rotating bezel, these were always used as a simple scale or slide rule. Examples include the famous Rolex Submariner and Rolex Turn-O-Graph. The Rolex Ring Command, in contrast, is linked to the movement and is used to select different functions with the crown.
The first Ring Command watch, the Cal. 4160 Yacht-Master II, utilizes the bezel to set the number of minutes for the Regatta timer feature. The bezel is rotated until the words, “Yacht-Master II” line up with the crown, then the minutes hand is set with the crown to between 1 and 10 on the bezel scale. Then the bezel is rotated back to normal and the regatta timer will automatically count down the number of minutes selected.
Rolex introduced the second Ring Command watch in 2012. The Rolex Sky-Dweller uses the fluted bezel to set the annual calendar. With the crown in second position, the bezel is rotated one position counterclockwise to set the date and one more to set the local time hour hand. The final bezel position causes the crown to set the home time hours and minutes.