The Explorer and Explorer II are essential timepieces for those who desire to express both a spirit of adventure and quiet elegance.
Oyster Perpetual Explorer
A watch that has scaled the highest peaks known to mankind since its birth, the Explorer is emblematic of Rolex’s perpetual quest to build the most robust timepieces that push the boundaries of timekeeping performance even in the most extreme environments. The Explorer was developed in collaboration with legendary mountaineers in the Himalayas – in particular, at the highest peak, Mount Everest, the setting for its real-life laboratory. Following a record-breaking ascent to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, with one such Oyster Perpetual watch strapped on Sir Hillary’s wrist, Rolex introduced the Explorer to the world for the first time. It is a watch that not only exemplifies its wearer’s desire to conquer the unknown, but also Rolex’s own determination in its pursuit of horological excellence.
This year, Rolex presents the new-generation Explorer that upholds the collection’s tool watch virtues, while imbuing it with exceptional performance and style. The latest Explorer comes in a 36mm case, a size that pays tribute to the original model. On the black lacquer dial are aesthetic signatures familiar to the iconic collection: hour markers accompanied by the numerals ‘3’, ‘6’ and ‘9’, cornerstones of the model’s personality, evoking the determination and spirit of adventure that gave rise to great achievements. The hour markers and hands are filled and coated with Rolex’s newly optimised Chromalight display, which illuminates with a blue glow that is brighter for longer in the dark. Besides uncompromising legibility, the Explorer is also engineered to withstand the most extreme conditions. The watch’s hermetically screwed-down case back and patented Twinlock winding crown system guarantee waterproofness up to 100 metres, while its sapphire crystal case is virtually scratchproof to protect the watch from the elements.
Always exploring new frontiers, Rolex introduces two variants of the Explorer for 2021. There is a version in Oystersteel fitted with a black lacquer dial and, more notably, a version in yellow Rolesor. Featuring a combination of two metals – noble and precious 18 ct yellow gold, alongside highly resistant yet elegant Oystersteel – the Explorer in yellow Rolesor evokes reliability and distinction in equal measure. Like all Rolex watches, the Explorer carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which boasts accuracy to -2/+2 seconds per day. Both new Explorer references are equipped with the calibre 3230, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology. Launched in 2020, the self-winding movement is developed and produced entirely by Rolex, offering unparalleled precision, shock resistance, energy efficiency and reliability. The cutting-edge movement incorporates proprietary innovations such as the Chronergy escapement with an optimised blue Parachrom hairspring that is 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks, and a unique barrel architecture that guarantees approximately 70 hours of power reserve. An exploration tool watch that knows no bounds, the new-generation Explorer is ready to conquer new peaks and achievements.
Oyster Perpetual Explorer II
Introduced in 1971, the Explorer II presents another dimension to Rolex’s privileged relationship with the world of exploration. A tool watch designed for intrepid adventurers working in the harshest conditions at the ends of the globe, such as underground caves or polar regions, where they face irregular daylight hours and prolonged darkness, the Explorer II is made to the most exacting standards to help these professionals overcome their extreme surroundings. An iconic timepiece in the Rolex canon, the Explorer II is recognised by its 24-hour display engraved on a fixed bezel, an additional orange 24-hour hand that helps the wearer ascertain the day and night hours, as well as the Cyclops lens, a signature Rolex invention dating back to the 1950s, that makes it easy for one to read the date.
Constantly evolving to address the changing demands of modern outdoor professionals, the Explorer II now comes in two new-generation models. Featuring redesigned cases and lugs for a more harmonious and balanced silhouette, both new models are housed in 42mm Oystersteel cases with a three-piece link bracelet and an Oysterlock folding clasp to prevent accidental opening. Specially developed by Rolex, Oystersteel is known for its outstanding hardiness and anti-corrosion properties, as well as the ability to retain its lustre even when used in the roughest conditions – a perfect material for the Explorer II. The new versions also come in white or black lacquered dials and, like the new-generation Explorer, both feature hands and markers with optimised Chromalight display that glow with a brighter and longer lasting luminescence in the dark and a brighter white hue in the day.
Just as powerfully built on the inside, the latest Explorer II is equipped with the self-winding calibre 3285 another movement that is also at the forefront of watchmaking technology. Conceived and manufactured entirely in-house by Rolex, the movement was introduced in 2018 and now drives one of the most robust new timepieces in the brand’s collection. At the heart of the calibre 3285 is the patented Chronergy escapement, which is made of nickel-phosphorus, a material that is almost impervious to magnetic fields. The Chronergy escapement is further fortified by the shock resistance and para-magnetic blue Parachrom hairspring with Rolex overcoil, that helps to ensure the movement’s timekeeping accuracy in any position. For optimum energy efficiency, the self-winding module with Rolex’s Perpetual rotor, along with a unique barrel architecture, guarantees approximately 70 hours of power reserve. A watch made to accompany its wearer to face the unforgiving elements and the toughest of challenges, the Explorer II is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification that promises unmatched standards of waterproofness, shock resistance, accuracy and comes with a five-year international warranty.