Rolex Explorer II 'Polar'

Rolex Explorer II 'Polar'

Why We Love It

With its unusual origin as a cave explorer’s watch, the Explorer II is a bit of an outlier among Rolex’s other sports watches, but that makes it no less awesome in our opinions.

And when their dials are white, well, then they’re even more awesome. The so-called "Polar" version, produced with a white dial, is considered highly desirable among vintage watch collectors today.

This particular Explorer is a Reference 16570 dating to about 1997. With a diameter of 39mm, the Reference 16750 preserves the classic proportions of vintage Rolex sports watches, but retains all the perks of its more modern manufacture.

Purists will love that the luminescent material is tritium, and these early 16570s are considered by many to be the last great Rolex sports model with this feature. Additionally, this Explorer has a semi-quickset date movement with a 24-hour second time zone and a steel bezel. 

With certainty, Reference 16570 Explorer IIs are the last Rolex sport models to feature Tritium luminous material that are consistently available for under $10K. 

Though, with the way things have been going, that might not be the case for much longer...

Please Note - Shipping of this watch will be delayed due to COVID-19. Please feel free to reach out to for more information!

The Story

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-thousand 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. 


SKU: AS03511

Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding the crown). Rolex automatic-winding movement. Circa 1997.

Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use. Luminous white dial is excellent condition with applied white gold indices and color matched handset.Signed crown. Includes stainless steel solid link Oyster Bracelet (78790/501B) with signed flip lock clasp. 

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Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.


We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.


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