Spirit of the Explorer II

A history marked by a passion for exploration and challenges.


Spirit of the Explorer II

The Explorer symbolises the privileged relationship that has always bound Rolex
 and exploration. Since the late 1920s, Rolex has been using the world as a laboratory
 to prove its watches under real-life conditions. This pioneering spirit prompted the company 
to equip numerous Himalayan expeditions, whose observations in the harshest environments have had a direct impact on the development of Oyster watches and the quest for greater precision, robustness and reliability.

Because it's There

Because it's There

Spirit of the Explorer II

Mountaineer George Mallory was asked:

"Why do you climb Mount Everest?"

He replied simply: "BECAUSE IT'S THERE"


Expedition Watches


On 29 May 1953, two men fired with extraordinary determination were the first to reach Mount Everest’s 8,848-metre summit. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, members of a British expedition led by Sir John Hunt, achieved the goal that dozens of other earlier expeditions had tried to reach: to stand on the top of the world.

14 x 8000

Ed Viesturs

14 x 8000


Jean Troillet

Swiss-Canadian climber and sailor Jean Troillet obtained his qualifications as a mountain guide in 1969. He has climbed 10 8,000‑metre peaks, all in alpine style and without oxygen. He embodies that common characteristic of all explorers: perseverance. Troillet can no longer keep track of the expeditions in which he had to turn back in the face of danger and abandon a challenge. “At least 10 times,” he says, “maybe a dozen.” But he has always gone back: the mountain will still be there.

The Three Poles

Erling Kagge

Before the age of 32, Norwegian adventurer Erling Kagge had 
sailed across the Atlantic alone twice, sailed to Antarctica and back, become one of the first two men to travel to the North Pole (with Børge Ousland) without outside assistance, reached the South Pole alone and unsupported (also a first), and climbed Mount Everest.

He became the first person in history to reach the “Three Extremes” – the two poles and the highest mountaintop.

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Rune Gjeldnes

Norwegian adventurer Rune Gjeldnes became in 2006 the first and only person in the world to succeed in crossing the three big ice sheets – Greenland, the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica – unsupported. In November 2005, Gjeldnes started on “The Longest March”, a three-month, 4,800 km solo ski trek across the South Pole which he completed in February 2006. He now holds the records of the longest ski journey without resupply and the longest ski journey generally.

rolex perpetual spirit

Magazine on iPad

A tribute to Rolex’s 80 year-long commitment to the world of Exploration, the Rolex Perpetual Spirit Magazine on iPad is available for free in Apple’s iTunes Store.

Keep exploring

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