In January 1998, David Beckham and Victoria Adams (aka Posh Spice)—one of pop culture’s most enduringly stylish power couples—announced their engagement. The photos accompanying the news were peak ‘90s, from Posh’s fur-trimmed leather jacket to Becks’ curtained hair, a look that foreshadowed the pair’s domination of #couplegoals style for decades to come. While the Beckhams’ matching all-black outfits and yellow gold and diamond engagement rings stole the spotlight, their choice of matching yellow gold Rolex Yacht-Masters might be the biggest and most unexpected flex of all.
In the late 1990s, Becks and Posh were at the height of their fame and could have had their pick of anything in the Rolex display case, which makes their choice of the Yacht-Master all the more interesting. The Yacht-Master, which launched in 1992, was the first new model line introduced by Rolex in almost 30 years and heralded the beginning of a fresh, modern era for the august Swiss brand. Based on the best-selling Submariner, the Yacht-Master was an altogether more luxurious proposition with a smoother, more streamlined look and a white dial that really popped against an 18-karat yellow gold case.
If you wanted a pair of his-and-hers gold Rolexes in 1998, the classic choice would have been the Datejust, a chic-yet-conservative ticker that’s been a cornerstone of the Rolex catalog since the 1940s. But, as anyone who has followed the Beckhams over the decades knows, avant-garde style choices have been very much on brand since the get-go. With its sporty-luxe look and a choice of three different case sizes, including the 29 mm version worn by Victoria, the Yacht-Master made the perfect choice for the couple’s engagement watch.