Next-generation Rolex Explorer II

In 1971, the Explorer II broke new ground in exploration and became a benchmark for adventure and discovery professionals. Today, fifty years later, we celebrate the arrival of Ref. 226570, similar in many respects to its closest relative, the Explorer II of 2011, albeit with some updates that improve its visual balance and comfort on the wrist. Although the dimensions have not changed (42 millimetres in diameter), the proportions seem to have shrunk considerably, thanks to thinner lugs and a bracelet that is one millimetre wider to rebalance the play of volumes. The bezel is still the classic steel one, a hallmark of the Explorer II from 1971 to the present day: now more inclined, it is worked with a more evident soleil satin finish than in the previous version, as are the 24-hour numerals. The dial layout remains the same, but now the luminescence of the hour markers benefits from the optimised Chromalight display: in the dark, the blue glow emitted by the hour markers and hands retains its intensity for longer; in daylight, the white colour of these elements is more vivid.

The most important difference, however, concerns the movement that increases its reliability and precision: it is the calibre 3285 presented in 2018, with an increased power reserve of up to 70 hours, compared to the previous 50, thanks to a new barrel architecture and the superior performance of the Chronergy escapement. The subject of 10 patents, this calibre features many of the technical innovations used on all the latest Rolex movements, such as the blue Parachrom balance spring, made of an alloy of Niobium and Zirconium, which is insensitive to magnetic effects and, in the event of a shock, remains up to ten times more accurate than normal balance springs made of ferromagnetic alloys.
Although among Rolex professionals the Explorer II has a less conspicuous appearance, it still retains a strong technical and design personality.