Rolex Explorer II Watch: History of the Explorer II
The Explorer II is the watch of choice when adventure is second nature. Discover the history of the Explorer II on the Official Rolex Website.

THE 1971 EXPLORER II

History of the Explorer II

The Rolex Explorer II, first released in 1971, is the natural heir to the original Rolex Explorer – yet with a character all of its own. A robust, highly refined tool, the Explorer II swiftly became the watch of choice of speleologists, volcanologists and polar and jungle explorers, thanks to its specially designed features.

FOUR DECADES OF ADVENTURE

The new Explorer II

For its 40th anniversary in 2011, the Explorer II received an extensive technical and aesthetic makeover. The most obvious innovation is the size of the case, increased from 40 mm to 42 mm in diameter, opening up the dial for better legibility. The hands have also been enlarged, enhancing their visibility. But the signature feature of this new version is its larger, orange 24-hour hand ending in an arrow, mirroring the original Explorer II of 1971.

A COMPANION IN EXTREME CONDITIONS

A COMPANION IN EXTREME CONDITIONS

Spirit of the Explorer II

The call to adventure is often driven by a determination to contribute knowledge culled from regions where few are brave or intrepid enough to venture. Rolex continues to be a key part of these expeditions, working side by side with those whose life’s passion takes them from fundraising galas to snow-pelted tents.

Tough and yet elegant, the Rolex Explorer II is a guide, a tool and a companion that opens doors to the imagination by accompanying its wearer on even the most challenging expeditions.

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24-hour bezel

Function

24-hour bezel

GLOBAL ADVENTURERS

Spirit of the Explorer II

An independent 12-hour hand, which provides a second time zone function in conjunction with the fixed or “home” 24-hour display, and an integrated Cyclops lens that magnifies the date display, are other functions that make the Explorer II highly appreciated by global adventurers.