What do we need to look out for when buying the Rolex Explorer I and II series?

Over the past year, we’ve talked a lot about the Rolex Daytona and the Aquatimer. I’ve bought them before, but to be honest, I also had a “speculative” mind when I bought them, as many of the players who bought them “made” money. In fact, in all kinds of  replica Rolex watches , I myself wear the longest time, is the first one, I used to wear for several years. So in this period of time when the Di and the Ghost are hot, I would like to talk about the Explorer I and II series.

Rolex Explorer I, model number: 214270
Rolex Explorer I, model number: 214270

Compared to the Rolex Dittona and Water Ghost, the Explorer I and II series are relatively “niche” watches among the sports watches. Although the Rolex market rose in these two years, but with the Steel Di, Aquaman, red and blue circle, blue and black circle, blue disk Skywalker, these hot models compared to the market also rose, but belongs to the market is relatively “rational” sports labor, and even can have a discount. In the movement of the labor cost is very high.

Rolex Explorer II, model number: 216570
Rolex Explorer II, model number: 216570

The Explorer I and II series is also a very “background” watch in Rolex.

The Rolex sports watches (professional watches) each have a professional direction. It’s not all-around, it’s just to do well in your own profession. For example, Dittona is a professional chronograph, Aquaman is a professional diving watch, Lightning Needle is a professional anti-magnetic watch, and Greenwich is a professional GMT watch. The Rolex Explorer’s professional direction is adventure, such as climbing mountains and caves, Rolex Explorer I and II series are historically associated with mountain climbing watches.

The origin of the Explorer I is that in 1953, mountaineers Hillary and Norgay climbed Mount Everest, the first time a human climbed Mount Everest. Mountaineering team in the process of climbing Mount Everest, wearing a watch provided by Rolex, this watch is the forerunner of the Rolex Explorer series, thus giving birth to the Rolex Explorer (Explorer I), Rolex Explorer became the first watch to climb Mount Everest. The origin of the Explorer II is that in 1971, mountaineers prepared to climb the snowy mountains of New Guinea (in what is now Indonesia), Rolex provided climbers with the Explorer II watch. At the time, Rolex offered the 1655, the first generation Explorer II.

Here’s a look at the current Explorer I and II series.

The Explorer I is the most minimalist of Rolex’s sports watches. No extras, no calendar. Only the hour, minute and second hands, the most basic time functions. Considering that the Probe I is a professional watch developed from mountaineering, mountaineering doesn’t need any functions either. It just needs to be sturdy and durable, luminous and easy to read the time. The 3, 6, 9 hour markers on the dial is the most distinctive feature of Probe One. There are mainly two types of Explorer I in circulation, one is the new model and the other is the old model. It should be noted that, regardless of the new and old models, the 39mm Explorer I number is 214270, when Rolex introduced the new Explorer I, did not change the number. The most important thing to buy an Explorer I is to differentiate between the old and new models. The way to distinguish between the old and new is simple, there are two differences between the old and new Explorer I. The old and new Explorer I have two differences.

Rolex old Explorer I214270 (left) and Rolex new Explorer I214270 (right), pay attention to the difference between 369 and the hands.

1, 39mm new Explorer I’s 3, 6, 9 hour markers, all luminous words, with luminescence; 39mm old Explorer I’s 3, 6, 9 hour markers are metal words, no luminescence.

2, the new 39mm Explorer I’s hour and minute hands are larger and thicker, and the minute hand length is longer; the 39mm old Explorer I’s hour and minute hands are shorter and thinner, and the minute hand length is shorter.

The reason why the 39mm Explorer I214270 will cause there are new, old two is that the previous generation of the probe one 114270 is 36mm, after upgrading to the 39mm 214270, initially only increased the case size to 39, did not change the hands. Later found that the proportions are not particularly good, so they changed the longer and thicker hands. Now stores are selling, are new fat needle, luminous 369 probe I, but in the secondary market there are many old fine needle metal 369 explorer I, you should pay attention to the distinction.

The Rolex Explorer I and II series are very different, although they are both explorers. The Rolex Explorer II has a dual time function, a calendar, a bezel with 24-hour numbers, and a crown with a shoulder guard. This is because, in the 1970s, Rolex felt that the Explorer I was not very functional, so it introduced the Explorer II to improve the configuration of the watch.
First of all, dual time was added in order to allow explorers to identify the correct time (e.g., whether it’s 10 p.m. or 10 a.m.) in caves, extreme day and night, and other places where they can’t tell the difference between day and night. A calendar and crown shoulder guard have also been added. The Explorer II, currently in circulation, is also of two kinds. One is new and the other is old. The new model is number 216570. The new Explorer II is numbered 216570 and the old Explorer II is numbered 16570.

Rolex old explorer II16570 (left) and Rolex new explorer II216570 (right), pay attention to the difference between the hands.

1, the new Explorer II216570 is 42 mm, large size; the old Explorer II16570 is 40 mm, small size.

The new Explorer II216570 has a large “orange” arrow hand for dual time; the old Explorer II16570 has a small “red” hand for dual time.

The hour and minute hands of the new Explorer II216570 are thicker “fat needles”; the hour and minute hands of the old Explorer II16570 are thinner “thin needles”.

The new Explorer II216570 is now available in Rolex boutiques, while there are many older Explorer II16570s in circulation in the secondary market. Please pay attention to the distinction. The bezel of the Explorer II is a steel bezel with printed numbers, which should be protected to prevent wear and tear on the bezel or numbers.

In the mainstream luxury brands of steel watches, the metric price of the Explorer I and II series is in the middle, normal price. The actual price/performance ratio of the Explorer I and II series in Rolex is outstanding. In this period, the Rolex market is high, and the price/performance ratio of the Explorer I and II series is bursting at the seams.

It’s also a good idea to take note of the fact that the Explorer I and II series are “no class” Rolexes. The Explorer I and II series from the birth to now, are steel watches, never precious metal. For example, the same sports professional watch Aquaman, there are steel, gold, and full gold, the level gradually increase. More money can buy full gold, less money will buy steel, forming a difference. And Explorer I and II series because it is never a steel watch, will not form a difference.

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