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Why Must You Get Your Hands On The Rolex 226570 Explorer II?

November 2nd, 2021

What are the two words that define Rolex most appropriately? Well, apart from class and luxury, it has to be reliability and excellence. 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Rolex’s most continuing professional watch, the Explorer II, launched in 1971.

The luxury watch brand has decided to offer a new version to the most-used watch in light of the anniversary. Here it is, the much-anticipated Rolex 226570 Explorer II.

rolex explorer latest watch

Be it any model; the Rolex watches enjoy superior treatment in the pre-owned watch market. If you reside in or near London and want to sell your Rolex to invest in something new, you will find many expert watch evaluators who can pay you the best competitive price for your watch.

Now, before we dig into the details of what’s so new about the new version, let’s explore the history of this iconic variant.


The year 1953:

Similar to all other Rolex variants, the Rolex Explorer speaks for itself. Coming out in 1953 for the mountaineers, explorers, and pioneers of all types, the watch gained instant popularity. In short, the Explorer is what you can call a no-nonsense watch.

THE YEAR 1971:

Coming to 1971, Rolex released another type of Explorer, namely the Explorer II 1655. This watch has the same model but was an addition to the existing one. The Explorer II is more significant and has a more robust case. And with the addition of the 24h bezel and different time zone, the model became a perfect fit for the adventurers.

Key specifications of the Rolex Explorer II 1655 (1971-1985) are:

  • 40mm stainless steel case
  • Fixed radial-brushed steel bezel engraved with 24h scale
  • Oversized central GMT hand
  • Shows 24 indication
  • Orange 24h hand
  • The dial comes with painted tritium markers
  • A big triangle at 12 o’clock

THE YEAR 1985:

The next significant evolution of the Rolex Explorer II came in 1985 and was titled Rolex Explorer II 16550. This watch has a significant update, and there was a difference in both the design and mechanism. The timepiece is more of a wanderer’s watch.

Key specifications of the Rolex Explorer II 16550 (1985-1989) are:

  • Calibre 3085
  • Independent 24h hand
  • Dual time zone watch
  • 40mm case with sapphire crystal
  • Fixed bezel, radially brushed
  • Inverted triangular markers with bolder numerals

THE YEAR 1989:

In 1989, the Rolex Explorer II 16570 came in with a soft update. The model has features similar to 166570.

Key specifications of the Explorer II 16570 (1988-2011) are:

  • Calibre 3185 and 3186
  • White Polar dial
  • Black outlined markers and hands
  • Addition of the Rolex-engraved rehaut


The latest update on the Explorer II happened in 2011, and it is called the Rolex Explorer II 216570. The model’s launch coincides with the 40th anniversary of the collection, and Rolex paid an intelligent tribute to the previous generations.

Key specifications of the Explorer II 216570 (2011-2021) are:

  • Oversized orange 24h hand
  • 42mm case with radial-brushed bezel
  • Bolder markings
  • Calibre 3187
  • Individual dual-time hand
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters

And, now coming to the big entry this season, the Rolex Explorer II 226570!

Exciting Details about the Rolex Explorer II 226570

What do you think the watchmaker has done with the latest edition? While it is clear that the new generation model is fresh and improves the outgoing model, what is the difference?

  • The CASE

The new Rolex Explorer II 226570 has a 42mm case with brushed top surfaces and polished case bands. Crown guards protect the crown, and the water-resistance ability retains at 100 meters. The Oyster-steel case has thinner lugs and a pointed case band, in line with the Submariner of 2020.


One of the most prominent elements of this model is the radial-brushed bezel which comes with a 24h scale. The font of the numerals appears identical, and the inversed triangles exist. The 226570 Explorer II has dedicated hands that circle the dial 24 hours and point to a fixed bezel with 24-hour graduations. This feature enables the wearer to differentiate between the different hours of the day from the night.


The new 226570 has two classic black or white lacquered dial choices. There is some slight modification in the significant markers and hands, but the maxi layout remains the same. The hands are white gold with a matte black PVD coating that helps to avoid reflection. And, the black dials retain the polished white gold hand and markers.

What is fascinating is the optimized Chroma-light display. During daylight, the display elements showcase a brighter white hue, and the intensity of the blue glow by the hands and markers lasts longer.


The oversized central GMT hand is an iconic element of the latest Explorer II 226570. It does not just work as a day-night indicator but also as a second-time zone. The sapphire crystal now features an anti-reflective coating, and the symbolic magnifier over the date still exists.


The main update concern is the 32xx generation, and the calibre 3285 features the blue Para-chrome hairspring and Chronergy getaway. The model stores up to 70 hours of power reserve and beats at 4Hz. It has a dual-time movement, and the hand which corresponds to the local time can be separately adjusted.


The watch comes with an Oyster-steel bracelet, with no major update. It is thoroughly brushed and comes with an Oyster-lock folding safety clasp.


For those who were rooting for the latest edition, the new Rolex Explorer II 226570 will be an excellent addition to the collection. If you want to sell your Rolex or sell your existing Rolex explorer, you can visit The Luxury Hut to get an instant quote.

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