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The Rolex Explorer has never been accused of being staid, wimpy or dainty. Worn by scientists and (you guessed it) explorers into some of the more inhospitable regions on the planet, the Rolex Explorer was from its birth designed to buck the presumptions of what a wristwatch could bear.
Rolex has long been the watch of exploration and early on, Rolex technicians subjected their timepieces to the worst Mother Nature could conjure; whether traversing the English Channel, breaking land-speed records or climbing Mount Everest, there's a good chance Rolex was involved.
The Explorer line traces its origins to the famous mountain and Sir Edmund Hillary's successful ascension of it in 1953, but numerous historic moments were marked by the presence of the Explorer and its descendent, the Explorer II. Ed Viesturs, the only American to climb all 14 of the globe's eight-thousander peaks (and the fifth person to ever do so without supplemental oxygen); Jean Troillet, the Swiss/Canadian who set the speed record for climbing the Matterhorn (at 21-years-old nonetheless) and was the first person to snowboard down Everest; and Alain Hubert, world-renowned Polar explorer who achieved a world-record cross of the Antarctic continent, all proudly wore the Rolex Explorer II on their expeditions.
White-dialed Explorers tend to be divisive executions for collectors, but were no less appreciated by those that wore them into the wild. The most notable is a white-dial Explorer II worn by Carlo Bondavalli on his expedition in 1987, where he became the first (along with Swiss TV cameraman Fulvio Mariani) person to reach the geomagnetic North Pole.
This watch, a Reference 16570 Explorer II, is the modernized expression of Bondavalli's Explorer. Hailing from circa 2000, it's driven by a Calibre 3185 movement, which offers the wearer a distinctive feature: the hour hand can be set independently from the minute and 24-hour hand, allowing the wearer to quickly change time zones or use the 24-hour hand and fixed bezel to keep track of a second time zone.
So many times, the more modern offerings from Rolex get mistreated, their cases polished over and over, leaving little surviving original metal. This example, coming with its original inner and outer boxes, booklets and hang tags, is in very nice condition, showing just the right amount of wear and no signs of over-polishing. And whether paired with its solid-end-link Ref. 78790A bracelet with flip-lock clasp, a sporty leather strap or a more utilitarian NATO-style strap, this sturdy timepiece is sure to be your go-to for everything from backyard BBQs to extreme adventures.
Stainless Steel Oyster case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 16570. Rolex Calibre 3185 Automatic Movement. Circa 2000.
Overall Condition: The watch is in very nice condition over all, with light wear marks consistent with age. Holed lugs are thick and sharp and show no signs of over-polishing. White dial is in excellent overall condition. Superluminova markers with black outlining are crisp and hold a charge. Superluminova Rolex handset is in similarly excellent condition. Fixed steel bezel shows only very faint wear marks. Rolex-signed crown and screw case back.
Includes 20mm Ref. 78790A solid-link, solid-end link bracelet with flip-lock clasp and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.
Also includes original inner and outer Rolex boxes, booklets and hang tag.