Rolex has always ambitioned to be on the forefront of adventure and exploration. First presented in 1953, the brand's Explorer timepiece was emblematic of its goals. In the 30's, the Swiss manufacture began to equip numerous Himalayan expeditions with its Oyster watches.
Among these was the group that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were part of when they became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres. These were part of an effort to test its watches under the most challenging of real world conditions, allowing it to refine its offerings to be more precise and robust.
Oyster Perpetual Explorer
In 2021, Rolex is presenting a new generation of its iconic Oyster Perpetual Explorer. At 36 mm, it returns to the size of the original model launched in 1953.
The new-generation Explorer is available in a yellow Rolesor version, a combination of Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold. The black lacquered dial features index hour markers and 3, 6 and 9 numerals that have come to define this model's look.
It also comes equipped with Chromalight display -- In dark conditions, an intense blue glow emitted by the hour markers and hands now lasts longer thanks to the innovative and exclusive luminescent material with which they are filled or coated. In daylight, these display elements also have a brighter white hue.
Oyster Perpetual Explorer II
Rolex is also introducing its new-generation Oyster Perpetual Explorer II, first presented in 1971. It offers a 24-hour display comprising an additional, orange hour hand and an engraved bezel, allowing the wearer to clearly distinguish daytime from night-time hours, especially useful in areas where it is difficult or even impossible to distinguish between day and night, such as underground or in polar regions, which experience six months of daylight and six months of darkness a year.
In certain conditions, this display enables the watch to serve as a compass. The 24-hour display can also be used to show a second time zone.
The new generation Explorer II also features a redesigned case and bracelet, enhancing visual balance and harmony to the timepiece while remaining true to its aesthetic heritage.
On the white lacquer dial, the hour markers – whose black coating is applied using PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) – and the black lacquer hour, minute and seconds hands stand out for their matt finish. The 24-hour hand retains its characteristic orange hue, which is the same colour as the Explorer II inscription that has featured on the dial since 2011.
The Explorer II also comes equipped with an optimized Chromalight display, similar to the Explorer.
Like all Rolex watches, both the Oyster Perpetual Explorer and Oyster Perpetual Explorer II carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist. Both are ready to accompany the wearer to pursue adventures to the unknown.