Collectors scour the Internet for news about changes to the GMT, Submariner, or Milgauss, but the Explorer’s understated elegance can be overlooked. It’s the type of watch that doesn’t announce itself on the wrist, so its appeal can be elusive to some. But for those who know best, the latest Explorer II offers a calibre 3132 and a fresh aesthetic that deserves much more attention than it gets.
It Stands For Simplicity over Complexity
Sure, there are some Rolex wearers who love the bona fides and word salad that adorns the dial of the Daytona. And there are collectors whose ideal case size is well above 40mm. A Yacht-Master on a rubber strap is perfect for them. The Rolex Explorer with a matching rubber strap is for a different type of person: someone who prefers elegance to flash, minimalism over maximalism, and white space over horror vacuui. And like a zen garden in the middle of a major metropolitan city, that simplicity just looks good.
It Shows That A Little Color Can Have a Big Impact
When the 1655 “Freccione” Explorer II originally debuted, that strikingly orange 24-hour hand was its most salient feature. In fact, the response when the color was changed to red was barely-suppressed outrage. The switch back to orange on the 2011 Explorer II ref. 216570 in 2011 was a welcome relief. Against a black dial or a while dial, that pop of color leaves a big impression. And placing a Rolex Explorer on an orange rubber strap takes it to the next level. Highlight the classic orange hand by echoing it in a perfectly-matched orange strap color. Or pair a midnight- black dial with an orange hand for a Bengal tiger color combination.
It Features Luminescence That Lights Up a Room
Well, maybe not literally. But the Rolex Explorer features a powerful lume that can definitely lend a subtle light to the front seat of a Porche as you’re driving along the PCH. An Explorer offers the type of luminescence you see on a diving watch, without the extra bells and whistles on a diver. You can keep a streamlined simplicity without sacrificing practicality. The Explorer has both.
It Boasts A Super Slim Silhouette
When you’ve had enough of the chunky cases that came into vogue in the early 2000s, come on back to the loving arms of the classic Explorer. It features a European-style silhouette that dials the numbers back to a 39.5 mm diameter case with a 12mm thickness. It’s a profile that fits in perfectly with Scandanavian interiors and the tasting menu at Noma. It doesn’t need to announce itself, because a hint of it under the cuff is a subtle but commanding statement. Set it on a carefully-crafted rubber strap, and you’ve just created minimalist perfection. Magnifique.
Written by Meghan Clark