Exploration is inextricably linked to the history of Rolex. Whether scaling the Himalayan peaks, crossing the polar ice caps, or probing the ocean depths, Rolex watches have accompanied some of the most challenging adventures of the 20th century.
Like that much publicised pioneering moment when Mercedes Gleitze crossed the English Channel with the first Rolex Oyster, each of these expeditions was an opportunity to test and improve the reliability and robustness of Rolex watches, using the world as a living laboratory.
Over the decades, this constructive feedback and a growing body of watchmaking expertise has culminated the new-generation Explorer and Explorer II. Watches that take us from the highest mountain peaks to the most isolated polar regions, the latest generation of Explorer and Explorer II timepieces draw provenance from the original 1953 Explorer following the successful ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
The Explorer II was itself a trailblazer as well, carving out a place in the world of exploration thanks to its functions and ability to withstand the most extreme conditions. Introduced in 1971, It became the watch of choice for polar explorers, speleologists, and volcanologists.
Together, these two Explorer watches continue to accompany exceptional people on their expeditions to the far corners of the Earth to better understand the planet and find solutions for its protection.
Oyster Perpetual Explorer
The new-generation Oyster Perpetual Explorer returns to the 36mm size of the original. Released in a yellow Rolesor version, a namesake which draws upon its combination Oystersteel and 18k yellow gold. This meeting of two metals – one, noble, precious, and attractive for its lustre and stability; the other, immensely resistant to corrosion, assuring strength and reliability – mirrors the elegance and performance that come together in a Rolex.
Aesthetically, the latest Explorer’s Chromalight display is particularly impressive in contrast to the black lacquered dial bearing the iconic index hour markers and emblematic 3, 6 and 9 numerals. In dark conditions, the intensity of the blue glow emitted by the hour markers and hands now lasts longer thanks to the innovative and exclusive luminescent material with which they are filled or coated.
The new Explorer is equipped with calibre 3230, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2020. The movement incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability.
OYSTER PERPETUAL EXPLORER PRICE + SPECS
Case 36mm Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold with 100 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic Calibre 3230 with 70 hours power reserve
Oyster Perpetual Explorer II
The new-generation Oyster Perpetual Explorer II is still Rolex’s purest, most technical watch. Available only in Oystersteel since its first launch, the Explorer II now features a redesigned case and bracelet, bringing enhanced visual balance and harmony to the timepiece while remaining true to its aesthetic and cultural heritage.
Created for the boldest explorers, the high contrast white lacquer dial with black PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) hour markers and the black lacquer hour, minute and seconds hands stand out for their matte finish.
The 24-hour hand retains its characteristic orange hue, which is the same colour as the Explorer II inscription that has featured on the dial since 2011. The new-generation Explorer II also benefits from an optimized Chromalight display whose intense blue glow now casts a longer light in the darkness of seasonal perpetual nights of the polar ice caps or in the depths of volcanic caverns thanks to the innovative material.
The new-generation Explorer II is equipped with calibre 3285, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2018 and is fitted on this model this year. Amagnetic nickel-phosphorus Chronergy escapement paired with an optimised blue Parachrom hairspring, allows the robust Explorer II to enjoy 10 times more precision than watches equipped with a traditional hairspring in the event of shocks.
The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.
Oysterlock: Confidently Worn Even Under Extreme Circumstances
Both timepieces enjoy the security of an Oyster bracelet. Developed at the end of the 1930s, this three-piece link bracelet is known for its robustness. The Oyster bracelet on these new watches feature the Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening.
It is also equipped with the Easylink comfort extension link, developed by the brand, which allows the wearer to easily adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5mm. In addition, a concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.
OYSTER PERPETUAL EXPLORER II PRICE + SPECS
Case 42mm Oystersteel with 100 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic Calibre 3285 with 70 hours power reserve