From the highest mountains to the most isolated corners of the world, the new-generation Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer and Oyster Perpetual Explorer II make for steely, stylish timekeepers for the boldest of explorers.
Both watches are encased in Oystersteel, a unique alloy with incomparable strength and clarity specially developed by the brand, belonging to the 904L steel family, with an extreme resistance to corrosion and exceptional sheen once polished.
Differentiating the two new models are their respective highly distinguished designs. Where the Explorer comes accentuated with 18 ct yellow gold and a black dial, the Explorer II is made entirely of Oystersteel complemented by a white dial with black hour markers and black lacquer hour, minute and seconds hands that stand out for their matt finish.
The Explorer returns to the 36 mm size of the original model launched in 1953 following the first ascent to the summit of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on 29 May that year. The black dial, now lacquered, bears the index hour markers and emblematic 3, 6 and 9 numerals that are the cornerstones of the model’s personality, evoking the determination and spirit of adventure that give rise to great achievements.
Equipped with calibre 3230, a self-winding mechanical movement launched in 2020 by Rolex and entirely developed and manufactured by the brand, the Explorer also features an impressive optimized Chromalight display. The innovative and exclusive luminescent material coating or filling the hour markers and hands allows the blue glow emitted by them in dark conditions to last longer. It also enables these display elements to have a brighter white hue in daylight.
The Explorer II shares this display feature in its hour markers and arrow-shaped 24-hour hand, the latter which retains its distinctive orange hue, the same colour as the Explorer II inscription that has featured on the dial since 2011. With a dimension of 42mm, the stylish look of the new-generation Explorer II remains true to its aesthetic heritage, with its characteristic 24-hour display comprising an additional, orange hour hand and an engraved bezel, which allows the wearer to clearly distinguish daytime from night-time hours. The display can also be set to show a second time zone.
For easy reading of the watch’s emblematic date display, Rolex’s distinctive Cyclops lens is fitted at 3 o’clock. The watch is also equipped with calibre 3285, released by the brand in 2018 and fitted on this model from 2021.
Both the Explorer and Explorer II have a power reserve of approximately 70 hours, are waterproof up to 100 metres or 330 feet and are equipped with the Rolex designed and patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp that prevents accidental opening. It also features the Easylink comfort extension link, also exclusive to Rolex, that allows the wearer to easily adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm. Like all Rolex watches, both carry the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015, guaranteeing a precision of within -2/+2 seconds per day.
This story appears in our 2021 annual watch supplement, Cachet. Read the full magazine today on Magzter.