The Explorer II underrated and undervalued.
Have you heard that before?
Well, it could be true.
When we think of Rolex as a brand we used to think it was the ultimate Swiss Luxury watch, however nowadays all we seem to see it as is a brand that’s just not worth the long waiting lists and price increases on the grey market, and I was the same when I came to getting my Rolex. I looked at different Rolex models for a while and after debating a submariner or a sea dweller I looked into the Explorer II specifically the reference 16570.
The explorer II that I went for was the 2008 40mm black dial version that was produced for 22 years from 1989 through to 2011. After 2011 they updated the Explorer II and the newer version is 42mm, so depending on your wrist size you can choose between the new version or the older one. I prefer the black dial on the older style explorer but it does also come in with the white (polar dial) that people like as well, both are nice.
The case material is stainless steel and watch geeks say if you want to protect your cash you can’t go far wrong with a steel sports Rolex. The bezel is also stainless steel and is non-rotating, unlike some models. I have smaller wrists so the perfect size for me is the 40mm watch and this lives up to this, it also with a case depth of 12mm and a lug to lug of 47mm.
As far as the movement goes it has the Rolex in house manufactured calibre 3185 with a 46hour power reserve. A little tip if you are thinking of buying one then post 2005 the explorer movement was upgraded to the 3185 but before this, it was an older movement that ran from 1989.
The bracelet is the Rolex 78790 Oyster bracelet that feels solid on the wrist and has solid end links but some of the older models have hollow end links. The bracelet is finished in satin on the top/bottom and is highly polished on the sides maintaining the theme found throughout the case, of course, it’s a Rolex you can expect a high-end finish.
The Explorer II has a GMT movement and so do other Rolex models, for example, the Batman or Pepsi have it, but on the grey market, they are quite pricy compared to this. The Pepsi and Batman are around the 10 thousand pound mark depending on age and condition. The Explorer II is below that, you could actually pick them up about 8/9 years back for around £3500! But how things have changed. Nowadays you can get a good condition example from anything from 5k up to 9k depending on age, box and papers. This price isn’t anything cheap by any means but in the world of Rolex and for a GMT moment it becomes a bargain! And the words Rolex and bargain never ever go hand in hand.
As far as the design it has a timeless and low-key design, this watch will go well for a formal event or just hanging out with friends at home. As mentioned it has a GMT movement that includes dual time zone functionality. So how do you use the GMT movement? As can be seen around the bezel there are 24-hour markers. The idea is that you set the normal hour hand to the time zone you are in and then set the GMT hand to the same time but on the 24 hour bezel. Then on going to a new county or time zone you change the standard hour hand to the new time zone and the GMT will continue on the original time zone so you can see both when you are away on holiday or business.
So what’s the verdict? All in all for the brand we are talking about this watch ticks the boxes for me. It’s comfy on the wrist and has a timeless look with a date and GMT function. Whether the preference is the polar dial or the black dial, if you can get one with box and papers then this Rolex could be a good investment. I know it’s risky to use the word investment but in this case I think it’s ok.
Finally, for me I will leave you with this dare I say it!? I’m my opinion for me It’s better on the wrist than a submariner is and I have had the joy of using both over time