Rolex Explorer II Reference 16570 -1994

Rolex Explorer II Reference 16570 -1994

The Explorer II is definitely a timepiece for the man who craves something a little different from his sport model Rolex. Released in 1971 as a follow up to the original Explorer made famous by mountaineers in the 1950s, the Explorer II utilized a larger Oyster Case-design more in line with the sports models already offered (the Submariner and GMT). Featuring a four hand display with a large and distinctive 24-hour pointer hand, the Explorer II was essentially a GMT Master with one notable difference: a fixed steel bezel was installed in place of the characteristic two-tone from the aviator's model.

The reason for this fixed bezel was the target demographic: Speleologists - subterranean explorers. This hearty breed of mankind spends days on end underneath the surface of the earth and without seeing the sky, are prone to losing track of daytime hours. The 24-hour hand would point to the appropriate place on the fixed 24-Hour bezel indicating whether it was AM or PM. Essentially, while the original Explorer was designed to go into the clouds, the Explorer II was designed to descend into darkness. Pretty cool, right?

Although the Explorer II was produced in far fewer numbers than its Sub and GMT counterparts, it has been in constant production since its inception, with several modifications and improvements made through the years. This particular example is a Reference 16570 and dates from roughly 1994.  With case proportions of the original 1655 model, this generation was fitted with an improved movement that offered a 12 Hour hand that could be independently set (that also doubled as a semi-quickset date function).  It also features a sapphire crystal and a heavy duty Oyster Bracelet with flip lock clasp, enhancing the daily wearability significantly.

The 16570 also did away with the oversized orange 24 Hour hand that was the signature of its predecessor, but also a polarizing design element.  In essence, this model offers all the usability of a second time zone without the loud colors of a GMT, and a wrist presence similar to the far more common Submariner.  If you're looking for a great modern daily you can bang around and depend on, but want something just a little different than every other Sub at the water cooler, this is your watch!


Stainless steel Oyster Case is approximately 39mm in diameter (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 16570. Circa 1994.

Overall condition: Case has been professionally refinished and is in great condition over all, with sharp lugs and no noteworthy blemishes. Original dial and hands are in as-new condition with no signs of scratching or damage. Luminescent elements do not retain a charge. Outer bezel is in very good condition overall, with only light paint loss in the 20,22, and 24 markers. Original case back and signed crown.

Includes original Rolex Oyster Stainless Steel Bracelet (93150 with 501B end links) with signed clasp, and two 20mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.

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