Explorer II

The Oyster Perpetual Explorer II is the watch of choice when adventure is second nature.

Thanks to its 24-hour display by means of an additional hand and an engraved fixed bezel, the Explorer II allows the wearer to clearly distinguish daytime from night-time hours. Created in 1971, it was restyled in 2011 with a case increased in size to 42 mm. Its dial features a Chromalight display with long-lasting luminescence, and offers excellent legibility in any situation. This watch designed for extremes is heir to the privileged relationship that has always united Rolex and exploration.


Environments such as mountain tops, oceans, volcanoes and polar regions are favoured terrain for the Oyster. Rolex watches accompanied the ascent of Everest in 1953, and have joined explorers in every corner of the globe, in deserts, at the poles or in the depths of the Earth. In such hostile, unexplored environments, distinguishing day from night can become impossible. For speleologists, who spend days at a time in darkness, or polar expeditions travelling under the midnight sun or through endless night, the Explorer II’s 24-hour display is an essential part of their equipment.


On expeditions, the Explorer II can also be used to display the time in two time zones. Local time is shown by the conventional hour hand, while the time in a second time zone (reference time) can be read off the graduated bezel using the 24-hour hand. Local time can be set easily – the hour hand “jumps” from hour to hour thanks to an ingenious mechanism operated via the winding crown. The adjustment can be made independently of the minute and seconds hands, without affecting the running of the watch or the reference time.


The Explorer II is an extremely legible watch. The Chromalight hour markers and hands stand out in contrast on the sleek dial. They are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow with double the luminescence duration of standard materials.


Like all Rolex watches, each Explorer II is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that it has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards. These tests are carried out on the fully assembled watch, in order to guarantee its superlative performance on the wrist. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.

The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) – is, therefore, tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria for precision that are far more exacting than those for an official chronometer. The tolerance for the average rate of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day. Its precision is tested by Rolex using an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and is much more representative of real- life experience.

The Superlative Chronometer certification testing is carried out after casing using state-of-the-art equipment specially developed by Rolex. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches. These tests systematically complement the qualification testing upstream during development and production that ensures the watches’ reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks.


The Explorer II’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness and reliability. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that grants only Rolex watchmakers access to the movement. The winding crown, fitted with the Twinlock double waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crown guard is an integral part of the middle case. The crystal, with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides the Explorer II’s high-precision movement with optimal protection.


The Oyster Perpetual Explorer II is equipped with calibre 3187, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make it exceptionally precise and reliable.

The oscillator has a large balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely via gold Microstella nuts. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance.

The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and –patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing shock resistance by 50 per cent.

Calibre 3187 has a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability when exposed to temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, guaranteeing its regularity in any position.

Calibre 3187 is fitted with a self-winding module featuring a Perpetual rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide a constant source of energy.

The Explorer II’s movement will be seen only by certified Rolex watchmakers, yet it is beautifully finished and decorated in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards.


The Explorer II is available on a three-piece link Oyster bracelet in Oystersteel. It is equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp, designed and patented by Rolex, that prevents accidental opening. It is additionally fitted with the Easylink comfort extension link, patented by Rolex in 1996. This system allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, providing additional comfort in any circumstance.


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