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Rolex Explorer II – W&W 2021

Rolex Explorer II – W&W 2021

At Watches & Wonders 2021, Rolex is presenting not only the new Explorer with a 36 mm case, but also an update for the Rolex Explorer II. This new model replaces the Explorer II reference 216570, but remains true to the familiar recipe. While Rolex makes only minimal changes to the case and dial, the manufacture installs the calibre 3285, a movement that integrates Rolex’s most advanced technologies and offers an improved power reserve of now 70 hours.

Rolex slightly adapts the case shape of the Explorer II

The case size remains the same at 42 mm, although the shape has been slightly adapted, similar to the 2021 Submariner. The slimmed-down case is made of 904L Oystersteel and features a brushed bezel with 24-hour graduation from the same material. Together with the screw-down Twinlock winding crown, the solid case back makes a water resistance of up to 10 bar (~ 100 metres) possible.


The updated Rolex Explorer II is still available with either a white or black dial. Both have the orange 24-hour hand, the colour of which is reflected in the model name at 12 o’clock. The dial of the white version now features matte black gold hands and applied indices. The variant with a black dial dispenses with the PVD coating and retains the natural lustre of the 18-carat gold for the hands and indices.

Last but not least, Rolex uses improved luminous material. The new generation of Chromalight material is said to be visible for longer in the dark and to appear in a more uniform white during the day. As with all the brand’s newer models, Rolex places the crown between “Swiss” and “Made” at the bottom of the dial. As usual, flat sapphire crystal protects the front from the environment.

The modern calibre 3285 inside the Explorer II

Inside the Explorer II now ticks the Rolex calibre 3285 with a GMT as well as a date function. This movement has automatic winding and a power reserve of 70 hours. Rolex also integrates their Chronergy escapement and a Parachrom hairspring. Last but not least, the in-house Superlative Chronometer certificate guarantees a maximum rate deviation of -2 /+2 seconds per day.


The Oyster bracelet of the Explorer II is now slightly wider than its predecessor. The brushed links end in the Oysterlock folding clasp, which also has an Easylink extension. This allows the bracelet to be extended by 5 mm simply by folding the extension out of the clasp. Meanwhile, the concealed strap fastening ensures that the strap blends seamlessly into the case.

The price for both variants of the new Rolex Explorer II is 8,300 euros.


GehäuseSame diameter, but slimmer and with more balanced lines
ZifferblattWhite dial:
Hands now matte black with PVD coating, improved Chromalight luminescent, crown between “Swiss” and “Made”.
Black dial:
24-hour hands now fully orange, improved Chromalight luminant, crown between “Swiss” and “Made”.
UhrwerkCalibre 3285 with Chronergy escapement and a Parachrom hairspring, 70-hour power reserve
ArmbandSlightly broader than the predecessor


MODEL Explorer II
CASE MATERIAL 904L stainless steel
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 42 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 10 bar (~100 m)
DIAL White
STRAP/BRACELET Stainless steel Oysterlock safety folding clasp with 5 mm Easylink extension
MOVEMENT Rolex 3285
FREQUENCY 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes, seconds, 24-hour hand, date