Rolex has several incredibly iconic watches, such as the Rolex Submariner and Rolex Daytona. The Rolex Explorer is another of the brand’s iconic watches, garnering deserved fame when it became the first watch to reach the top of Mt. Everest. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and his team of explorers became the first people to climb to the top of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. Because of its height, the climbers had to endure extreme weather conditions. The part of this story that appealed to the watch enthusiasts was the fact (or the rumor) that the climbers each wore a Rolex watch during their trek. After the treacherous journey, the Rolex watches were still functioning properly and keeping accurate time, even after experiencing severe conditions. Rumor has it that, in honor of these watches, Rolex introduced the Rolex Explorer, another addition to Rolex’s line of tool watches. However, Rolex officials claim that the Rolex Explorer was in production well before this climb. No matter which story is true, there is no doubt that the Rolex Explorer’s successful trip to the top of the mountain had a significant impact on the popularity of the watch.

The Rolex Explorer was built to withstand all of the extreme elements. The movement of the Rolex Explorer is covered in special lubrication, which allows it to withstand extreme temperatures like the ones experience during the hike to the top of Mr. Everest. The watch is constructed with 904L steel which is anti-corrosive and is extremely hard. After its trip to the top of Mt. Everest, the Rolex Explorer was still keeping accurate time and had maintained its water-resistance. The original minimalist design of the Rolex Explorer has been updated and approved upon over the last several decades, without losing its roots of simplicity and ruggedness. Today’s Rolex Explorer features a sleek stainless steel bracelet and case. The watch can have a matte black dial or white dial, both of which are very legible. The numerals are luminescent, adding to its functionality. The smooth stainless steel bezel and curved lugs add to the sleek and sophisticated design of the watch. The Rolex Explorer has slightly increased in size since its original version, measuring in at 39mm, slightly larger than the original, which was 36mm. The watch has a water resistance of 330 feet.

Rolex Explorer

In 1971, the Rolex Explorer II was introduced, with features specifically for cave divers. One of the most notable differences between the Rolex Explorer and Rolex Explorer II is the orange 24-hour hand, which is very useful for cave divers or explorers in the Polar Regions, who cannot use the sun to tell whether it is day or night. The early Explorer II watches featured an orange 24-hour hand with a large orange arrow at the end. The later models have a slimmer orange 24-hour hand and a white arrow at the end. The Explorer II also features a date window, as well as a bezel with 24-hour graduations. Like the Rolex Explorer, the Explorer II has a stainless steel bracelet and case and can come with a black or white dial.

Rolex Explorer II

The Rolex Explorer and Rolex Explorer II were built to foster exploration and adventure. These tool watches are the perfect companion for any adventure seeker looking for a trek that will take them through some of the most extreme conditions. Whether it is climbing to the highest mountain in the world, or cave diving to places well below the Earth’s surface, the Rolex Explorer is the perfect companion.


Do you own a Rolex Explorer that’s been through its fair share of adventures? You can receive a free quote for the value of your Rolex Explorer from Crown & Caliber if you’re considering selling your timepiece.

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