The history of Rolex Explorer II watches began in the early 1970s when Rolex officially released this legendary collection. Initially developed for spelunkers and polar adventurers, it quickly became immensely popularity among all watch collectors with an adventurous spirit. With its iconic 24-hour hand and fixed bezel, the Explorer II became a symbol of durability, precision, and elegance, making it a fashionable companion for anyone heading into the unknown.
There are several reasons why you should choose Bob's Watches. Firstly, Bob’s Watches is a trusted and respected name in the used Rolex industry, with a strong reputation of offering genuine, high-quality watches. Secondly, Bob's Watches has a large on-site inventory of certified used Rolex watches, including both vintage and newer models, ensuring that collectors can find the exact style and model they desire. Additionally, Bob's Watches has a straight-forward and safe buying process, with detailed product listings, high-quality product photos, and a thorough authentication process, giving every customer peace of mind when buying a secondhand watch.
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"It can be difficult to find the exact watch you want especially within this industry. I wanted a Rolex Explorer from a specific year that meant a lot to me. After searching for what seemed like forever, I found Bob’s Watches and their inventory impressed me. I was able to call in and talked with Chase, who helped me find the exact watch I wanted... I appreciate how helpful he was. It’s always nice to have that trust when making a purchase like that and felt like the process could not have been smoother."
"Purchased a beautiful Rolex explorer from Bobs Watches for a great price! The process was smooth and the staff was extremely friendly. Sara Ayar helped me with the purchase and even went above and beyond to make sure that I got the specific watch I was looking for. Definitely recommend you purchase from Bobs over anywhere else."
"The Rolex Explorer II is a professional series watch that genuinely lives up to its name, personifying the essence of exploration and adventure. With its strong construction and flawless craftsmanship, it is made to survive the harshest environments on the planet. The watch sports a stainless steel finish that exudes durability and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal for complete protection, inside and out. The most distinguishing characteristic of the Explorer II is its 24-hour hand, which adds a recognizable and functional element to the design. This hand displays an additional time zone on some models, allowing explorers to keep perfect time in any part of the world. The markers and hands filled with lume offer outstanding legibility, even in dark conditions, further increasing its practicality. Whether you're exploring the depths of the ocean or traversing through remote terrains, the Rolex Explorer II is a trustworthy and sophisticated watch that embodies the spirit of exploration."
- Paul Altieri, Founder & CEO of Bob’s Watches
Prices vary greatly based on many factors, such as popularity, inventory, and rare design elements. Additionally, prices for pre-owned or vintage Rolex Explorer II timepieces vary based on other considerations such as condition, year produced, rarity, and market trends.
Disc. = discontinued
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The Rolex Explorer II 216570 reference and Rolex Explorer II 16570 reference, both hail from the iconic Explorer II collection. The Rolex 216570, features a larger 42mm case and orange "Freccione" arrow hand, compared to the 40mm case and thinner red arrow hand of the Rolex 16570. Additionally, the 216570 features a newer movement, the caliber 3187, which boasts improved accuracy and dependability. These differences make the Rolex 216570 an appealing option for anyone seeking a contemporary and robust Explorer II, while the Rolex 16570 speaks to luxury watch enthusiasts who appreciate the traditional 40mm size and the history linked to the model.
The Rolex 216570 and Rolex Explorer II reference 226570 both belong to the Rolex Explorer II collection and have comparable features. However, there are differences worth noting. The Rolex 226570, released in 2021, features an updated movement, the caliber 3285, providing unparalleled accuracy and a longer 70-hour power reserve. Additionally, the Rolex 226570 sports a refined case and bracelet, giving the watch a refreshed design with thinned out lugs and a more comfortable size and weight. These upgrades make the Rolex 226570 an irresistible choice for those in the market for a watch with the latest innovations in watch making technology and a modern design, while the Rolex 216570 is still a solid choice for those who prefer the modern Explorer II aesthetic.
The Rolex Explorer II has picked up many charming nicknames over the years, each adding to the story of this iconic timepiece. One of the most popular Explorer II monikers is the Steve McQueen or McQueen Explorer II, which are inspired by the legendary actor who was rumored to have once worn the watch. Even though those rumors are false, the name endures. Another common nickname is the Polar Explorer II, which is inspired by the white dial edition of the watch, distinguishing it from the black dial Explorer II. Lastly, the Rolex Explorer II is sometimes called the "Freccione," taken from the Italian word for "big arrow," referring to the unique orange 24-hour hand. These monikers not only add character but also represent the timeless popularity and cultural impact of the Rolex Explorer II.
The Rolex Explorer II model numbers are an important part of recognizing and separating different editions of this iconic Rolex watch. The most well-known model numbers for the Rolex Explorer II are 16570, 16550, 1655, 216570, and 226570. The model numbers usually denote different generations, design elements, and the type of movements of the Explorer II throughout its history. These model numbers help watch collectors and enthusiasts make sense of the options available and ensure correct identification and authentication of certain Explorer II references.
The Rolex Explorer II has a few different dials options that add to its enduring appeal. One notable dial variant is the traditional black dial, renowned for its legibility and classic aesthetic. The other option is the white dial, commonly known as the "Polar" dial, which boasts a clean and sharp aesthetic and often black-trimmed hour markers and hands. Additionally, the Explorer II also includes a black dial with retro hour markers and hands, referred to as the "Steve McQueen" dial, paying tribute to the famous actor and his connection with the watch. These dials provide collectors and luxury watch aficionados with a choice that appeals to their personal style and preferences.
The Rolex Explorer II is powered by reliable and accurate self-winding mechanical movements, ensuring remarkable timekeeping execution. Discontinued models, such as the 16570, initially featured the Rolex Caliber 3185 and then later the caliber 3186, both known for their robustness and accuracy. More recently, Rolex unveiled the current-generation Caliber 3285 movement in newer Explorer II ref. 226570, featuring even greater accuracy, a longer 70-hour power reserve, and better resistance to shocks and magnetic fields. These movements exemplify Rolex’s undying dedication to precision and reliability, making the Explorer II a trusted wristwatch for explorers and adventurers.
Depending on the year produced, the Rolex Explorer II is available in either 40mm or 42mm. The of the newer model Explorer II 226570 measures 42mm, making it a robust and sizable timepiece on the wrist. The larger case size adds to its sporty and daring aesthetic, while also offering superb legibility for the dial. This 42mm case strikes a balance between functionality and fashion-forward style, appealing to collectors who prefer a bigger and more prominent watch presence.
The Rolex Explorer II is produced with superior materials that guarantee both durability and refined style. The case, bracelet, and bezel are always constructed from stainless steel, known for its strength and durability.. Depending on the year produced, the watch crystal is made from either acrylic or scratch-resistant sapphire, for legibility and protection.. These materials combine to offer a tool watch that can perform in demanding conditions while keeping a sleek and sophisticated appearance.
Learn more about this iconic model by visiting our Rolex Explorer II buying guide.
Investing in a Rolex Explorer II is typically a smart choice for luxury watch collectors. The Explorer II has a long-standing reputation in the industry for holding its value, making it a potentially smart investment. The design, which transcends time and fashion, legendary craftsmanship, and brand exclusivity add to its appeal and popularity in the pre-owned Rolex market. However, it’s important to do thorough research and think about factors such as condition, inventory, and market trends before investing in any Rolex watch.
To find out the value of your Rolex Explorer II, many factors need to be taken into account, such as the Rolex model, reference number, condition of the watch, year produced, materials used, rarity, and popularity. Additionally, changes in the used watch market can influence the value. It is advised to speak with trusted watch dealers, certified appraisers, or reputable online platforms that provide valuation assistance for high-end watches. They will consider these factors and offer you a more accurate assessment of the current market value of your Explorer II.
The general idea of popularity varies among watch collectors and may be guided by personal preferences, trends, and market demand. While the Rolex Explorer II may not be as popular or widely sought-after as other Rolex collections, it is still beloved among watch aficionados and avid collectors. The Explorer II's design, functionality, and connection with discovery and adventure appeal to a small niche market who value its unique features. Additionally, considerations such as limited production or inventory of some variations may add to its perceived lower popularity compared to other Rolex models. However, it's essential to remember that popularity is subjective and can fluctuate over time as fashion trends and tastes change.