Rolex Explorer II 'Polar'

Rolex Explorer II 'Polar'

Why We Love It

With its unusual origin as a spelunker's tool, the Explorer II is a bit of an outlier among Rolex’s other sports watches in terms of its original intended use, but it has become one of the most revered and appreciated models in the catalog amongst collectors today.

This particular Explorer II is a Reference 16570 that dates to 1997. With a diameter of 39mm, the Reference 16750 preserves the classic proportions of vintage Rolex sports watches, and vintage enthusiasts will love that the luminescent material is Tritium, As such, these early 'transitional' 16570s are considered by many to be the last great Rolex 'vintage' sports model. 

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

Though we'd put money on it that this will not be the case for much longer...

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. 


Available EXCLUSIVELY at Long's Jewelers Peabody!

SKU: AS03240

Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Reference 16570. Circa 1997.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall, showing normal signs of wear from age and use and no signs of polishing. Dial is in excellent condition with even patina. Luminous handset shows matching patination. Signed crown.

Includes solid link Oyster bracelet (78360/558B) with signed clasp. Also includes inner and outer boxes & punched papers dated 1997

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Rolex GMT-Master II 'Coke'
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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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