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The Rolex Explorer II, along with the GMT Master and Daytona, has become one of the most recognisable and desirable watches in the world with its distinctive third hand and fixed 24 hour bezels. The Rolex Explorer II started life as the 1655 in 1971 and featured a 39mm stainless steels case and calibre 1575 automatic movement. The GMT hand was orange in the 1655 before being changed to red on the 16550 in 1985. For the first time the Explorer II was now available with black or white dials. The watch evolved into the Rolex Explorer II 16570 in 1989 and was powered by the Rolex calibre 3185 automatic movement and the case grew to 40mm. The 24 hour bezel remained as did the Mercedes-style hands. Late models of the 16570 Explorer II were fitted with the calibre 3186 movement and these are becoming very collectable. The current version of the Explorer II is the 216570. This model was released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the model and featured a GMT hand similar to the 1655 and a larger case at 42mm. Our collection of used Rolex Explorer II watches caters for everyone’s tastes and budgets. If you’re ready to invest in a pre-owned Rolex Explorer II, contact us today and we will be happy to answer any questions.





In 1971, Rolex released the Explorer II reference 1655. This watch featured the now iconic fixed 24 hour bezel and orange GMT hand. The watch was originally designed specifically for speleologists exploring the deep caverns below the earths surface. The bezel and GMT hand enabled the 'potholers' to know the exact time, either AM or PM, without relying on daylight. The 1655 had an acrylic crystal, was powered by the calibre 1575 movement and housed within a 40mm stainless steel case. The 1655 was in production for 14 years during which time the dial was slightly modified, as was the bezel but the general design remained the same. One thing that remained on the Rolex Explorer II 1655 throughout its life was the pencil style hour and minute hands. It was not until the release of the Rolex Explorer II 16570 in 1989 that Mercedes-style hands were fitted to the Explorer II. The Rolex Explorer II 16570 was available with either black or white dials and powered by the 3165 automatic movement. The white dial Explorer II has since become known at the 'Polar Explorer'. Towards the end of the 165710's production the inner rehaut became engraved and the calibre 3186 movement was installed. These late model Rolex Explorer II 16570's are becoming very collectable and prices are rising. In 2011 Rolex released the Explorer II 216570. This model increased in size to 42mm and was also available with white or black dials. The 216570 also saw the return of the orange GMT hand. Want to know more about specific Rolex Explorer II models such as the 1655, 'Steve McQueen' or 16750? We will be releasing in depth reviews on all your favourite Rolex Explorer II models very soon.



Our collection of pre-owned Rolex Explorer II watches include the 1655, 16750 and 216570. At Swiss Watch Trader we specialise in selling only the very best examples of the classic Rolex Explorer II and unless there is a valid reason, ALL Explorer II watches will include their original boxes and papers. When buying any Rolex Explorer II you need to ensure you are getting the very best example for the very best price. You should always look for Explorer I watches that are complete with their original inner and outer boxes, warranty certificate or card, manuals, hang tags and if possible original sales receipt. A 'Full Set' Rolex Explorer II is always going to increase in value at a higher rate than an examples that are missing important items such as the original warranty certificate. It is also important to select a Rolex Explorer II that is complete with the boxes and papers that were originally supplied with the watch. Manuals will always be date stamped and boxes are specific to certain models and years. Another important item that should be included is the green hang tag as this will show the model number and serial number. Want to know more about buying a pre-owned or used Rolex Explorer II? We will be releasing an in depth guide very soon. Please get in touch if you have any questions about any of our new, used, pre-owned and second hand Rolex Explorer II watches.

Contact Us today and we will be happy to answer any questions.