As an updated version of Rolex Explorer, the Rolex Explorer II was introduced in 1971 which came along with the 24-hour indication bezel as a professional adventure watch.
The Rolex Explorer II was first unveiled in 1971 as an addition to the Explorer I’s model 1954. The added feature with which it came along with was the 24-hour indication that could also be used as a second time-zone. The reason for this 24-hour indication, along with the other features was that the Rolex Explorer II watch was designed with regard to professional cavers.
History of Rolex Explorer II
Rolex, the unbeatable and the incomparable. Yes, that is how it is known to the world. And when it comes to its Explorer II model, it is as much as popular as its other models like the Submariner, GMT Master, and the Datejust.
Before getting to know about anything, it is important to learn its history, so let’s explore Rolex Explorer II and see its evolution through a handful of models.
The Rolex Explorer II was first unveiled in 1971 as an addition to the Explorer I’s model 1954. The added feature with which it came along with was the 24-hour indication that could also be used as a second time-zone. The reason for this 24-hour indication, along with the other features was that it was designed with regard to professional cavers.
Rolex Explorer II 1655
This is the first member to the family of Rolex Explorer II, and it came out as the larger sibling to the Explorer I. This reference featured a sporting dial of 39mm with stainless steel case and matching steel bracelet. These watches were created specifically for the spelunkers, thus with its added features, it was made practical for them. The first feature was the extra 24-hour hand that points to a fixed bezel with the 24-hour markings, and the reason behind this was that the spelunkers are usually in the dark and thus cannot depict and know the difference in the timing, that is whether it is AM or PM. The watch was equipped with an orange hand which was later replaced with the red one. The Explorer II runs on a 1570/1575 caliber which is as same as that of the GMT-Master. It is also heavy on the lume details which ensures optimal legibility in the dark. It is paired with the luminescent 24-hour hand which does the perfect job of telling the wearer whether it is day or night.
Although Rolex Explorer II 1655 did not become popular in its own era but eventually, it became really notable and was referred using several nicknames. The popular nicknames for this reference were Freccione, which is derived from an Italian word which means arrow, referring to its famous arrow-tipped hand; and the other nickname is Steve McQueen Rolex.
Rolex Explorer II 16550
This Explorer reference was presented in the year 1985. It was the first in the Explorer family to come with a 40mm case. It was built in a sapphire crystal and had the calibre 3085 movement. Its 24-hour hand had a longer and thinner arrow-tipped, and the center hands were in the Mercedes style. Plus it was available in the black or white as dial options. The new movement of the watch with 3085 calibre advanced the day and night hours to a Rolex GMT which also was able to indicate a second-time-zone. This watch was in production only until 1985.
Rolex Explorer II 16570
This Rolex Explorer II was released in 1989, and although it came with many of the same features as that of ref. 16550 but still couple of notable upgrades were made. The first major upgrade was the 3185 caliber and this reference was in the production for 22 years and the later models housed the Caliber 3186. Another noteworthy change was that it featured the then "ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX" rehaut and it used the black outlines surrounding the round hour-markers on the white dials rather than the more traditional white gold ones which gave it a signature look.
Rolex Explorer II 216570
This reference was introduced by Rolex at the celebration of its 40 year anniversary, and this is completely a revamped and a modern model. This is the latest addition to the Explorer II family and was released in 2011 This reference featured an increased case size of Rolex Explorer II 42mm, which made it an even more robust version of the Explorer II. And for the balancing of the larger case, the hands and lume plots also grew in size for even better legibility. To honor the original Explorer II with the ref. 1655, Rolex fitted the latest model with a similar orange arrow-tipped 24-hour hand. This Rolex 216570 is made available in a black or white polar dial, which is coupled with the date window at 3 o'clock which makes this the ideal watch not just for adventurers, but global travelers too. The white version is called Rolex Polar because of its whole white colour. This is powered by the 3187 caliber movement and due to its chroma light display, this Rolex Explorer II Polar exceptionally works well in the dark.
The Rolex Explorer II history is just a captivating one. It is one of the Rolex's which is admired for its vintage as well as for the modern looks and is one of the most popular sports watches by Rolex. Thus it is an exquisite addition to any watch collection.
Timetable about Rolex
Rolex, since its inception in 1908, has brought various innovative technological revolution to the wristwatch industry and is still evolving. Rolex, which is popular as a mechanical watch also in Japan, has value, functional beauty and reliability supported by the high technical force of skilled technicians is not found in other brands.
904L stainless steel
Rolex does not offer any parts or movement to other companies. Only Movement Panelai is the brand that was supplying it.
The meaning of the crown mark which is a symbol of Rolex is said to be the hands of watchmakers.
Etymology of Rolex
Since the official opinion of Rolex is not announced, it can not still specify it