Everest was super excited around this time last year to finally come to market with a strap for Rolex Explorer II 42mm owners. We had shown our strap design at the 2019 Baselworld fair, and instantly, the reviews from those who visited our booth were that we had a winner. Once it was in production, we decided to stick with black as our first offering, but we recently came out with the orange variation. The sales of this desired color have been quite overwhelming due to the orange accents on the dial and hands of the Explorer II currently in production.
A quick review of the past iterations of the Explorer II is probably needed to base why an orange rubber strap for this watch is so important to our beloved Explorer II owners. The original Explorer II (reference: 1655) released in 1971 had a vibrant orange 24 hour hand. The watch was met with mixed reviews at the time most likely due to its roulette wheel dial, unique handset and of course the orange 24 hour hand. This was a pretty huge aesthetic difference from the Submariner and GMT Master in production at the time.
When Rolex updated the Explorer II in 1985 (reference: 16550) with a completely new look that was homogenous to the Submariner and GMT Master at the time. The dials and hand sets for each model were almost identical. The watch community still never truly latched onto the Explorer II until recently. In 2011, Rolex decided to meld the two designs to create a whole new look for the Explorer II (Reference: 216570). They kept the dial layout from the 16570 reference, added some girth to the case, brought back a similar set of hands from the original reference and decided to use the orange color on both the 24 hour hand and the dial, specifically, referencing the “EXPLORER” on the dial in orange.
Now that we have reviewed the orange connection to the release of this strap and its importance, let us dive into the strap review. The orange color was derived from the pantone matching of the orange hand and orange text. This process is always quite tough since we have to disassemble the watch and then individually match the color using pantone chips. This is more of an art than a science. A quick example of where this can go wrong if you are not a pro would be sheen differences. Since the strap has a specific finish (that is very unique to Everest) and it is a semi-matte finish and the finish on the GMT hand is a glossy finish seen under a crystal, you have to take into account these minute differences when picking an orange. In this instance, Everest as always….nailed it.
Next case fit. Everest prides itself on creating a simple installation that an amateur watch guy should be able to do. This process started with months of development on the lug connection by using laser accurate measurements. Everest has been able to access the highest tolerance measuring company in the US (maybe the world) to do its measurement analysis. The next step is always backward engineering of the end piece connection ensuring a tight fit but an easy install. Additionally, Everest creates its own spring bars based off the Rolex designed and used spring bars depending on the model it is made for. Installing the Everest Rubber Band on your Explorer II will be a dream come true.
When it comes to comfort, you simply never find a more comfortable strap than an Everest Band. This comes from the angle off the case, to the amount of buckle tongue holes you have to position the strap, to the inner moisture release system. The symphony of design and aesthetics comes from a team of designers and engineers that have been working in the watch industry for a combined sixty years of experience. Consistently, again and again, Everest wins every blog and customer review as “the most comfortable rubber strap, ever!” With the Explorer II strap, we won't let you down.
Lastly, quality. As it has been said a million times, the Swiss do it best when it comes to a rubber strap. Everest has set the bar as high as it can go. Starting with the tooling being made by one of the best mold makers in the world (the tooling is 100% made not even 200 miles from the front door of our strap molder). The compounding of the rubber material itself is 100% Swiss made and the purest FKM available on the market. Our unique compounded material is set to a higher level then any other FKM rubber in the world. The final strap molding is considered the best rubber molder in Switzerland. Swiss-made is taken very seriously at Everest, and it shows with the final product being as close to perfection as one can get.
All in all, after a week on the wrist, this writer is yet to want to take the watch off. The comfort, attention to detail and overall color is perfect for a summer either at the beach or stuck inside (COVID SUCKS!) So, if you have been on the fence on this new release, you wont be disappointed with it. Your Rolex Explorer II now has the perfect rubber strap solution from Everest!