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The Rolex Explorer vs. the Rolex Explorer II

The Rolex Explorer and the Rolex Explorer II are two popular sport models that fall under the professional line of wristwatches. Sharing the same name, both these models are meant for real adventure-lovers.

Explorer and Explorer II: Satisfying Different Needs

The Rolex Explorer, successfully tested during the first human conquest of Mt. Everest in 1953, is a special watch designed for harsh conditions. It can comfortably withstand temperatures from -20 degrees to +40 degrees centigrade. On the other hand, Explorer II was specially designed for the speleologists (cave explorers), who work inside deep caverns for days on end. While working deep inside caves with no natural sources of light, it can be easy to lose track of time and even whether or not it is day or night. To solve this problem, Rolex designed the Explorer II. The extra 24-hour hand (initially orange in color but now red) on the Explorer II, when used against the 24-hour graduated bezel, helps to distinguish day from night by clearly differentiating AM from PM. The Rolex Explorer does not feature this special 24-hour hand or a fixed bezel engraved with a 24-hour track.

Another major difference between the Explorer and Explorer II is also technical in nature. The Rolex Explorer II is equipped with the “Jump Hour” feature not present in the Explorer models. This feature enables the wearer to set the hour hand forward or backwards in one hour "jumps" without disturbing the second or minute hands.

Similarities Between the Explorer and Explorer II

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Although the Rolex Explorer II was designed specifically for speleologists and mountaineers, other adventure-lovers benefit from using this model as well, as it functions perfectly in all kinds of extremes. Some of the commonalities between the Explorer and Explorer II models include the following:

  • Both are made of solid stainless steel with no other options available.
  • Both are self-winding and waterproof to 100 meters or 330 feet.
  • Both feature a synthetic sapphire crystal like other Rolex models.
  • Both come with an Oysterlock bracelet with the safety clasp and Mercedes-style hands.
  • Mercedes-style hands have been introduced in the current versions of both of these sport models.
  • Like in other Rolex watches, both these models feature luminous Tritium fillings in place of Radium.

Although some basic features (as mentioned above) are common between the Explorer and the Explorer II, and are found in other Rolex models as well, these two models are distinguishable from each other in terms of both their looks and certain specific technical aspects.

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