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It’s always difficult – if not downright impossible – to know what Rolex is going to release, but when the brand has an anniversary to celebrate – especially a 50th – the guesswork gets a little easier Just at the right time, Rolex has unveiled a new update to the Explorer II ref 216570 (celebrating five decades on this planet), giving the watch serious technical improvements while retaining its caving spirit

The bezel retains its brushed stainless steel look with recessed and blackened 24 hour graduations This is a style that dates back to the original Explorer II 1655 from 1971, later evolving with the 16570

The case retains its signature (although potentially slimmed down for 2021) of 42mm, as Rolex continues to reserve larger-sized cases for its rugged tool watches like the 43mm Sea-Dweller and 44mm Deepsea À l inside this case is a new movement (well, new for this watch)

This would be the internal caliber 3285, the same movement currently found in the GMT-Master II The Explorer II and GMT-Master II used to share a movement (3186) before the brand increases the size of the former to 42mm in the latest generation (resulting in the creation of the 3187 to compensate for the larger case) This movement features the best that Rolex currently offers: Chronergy escapement, 70 hour power reserve, Parachrom hairspring blue and Paraflex shock absorbers In short, this movement is more efficient, more precise, more robust and lasts longer without the need for winding

Let’s start with the fact that the bezel isn’t ceramic, as many observers have thought No, it’s still the same brushed steel it always was, which – let’s be honest – is a good thing The steel bezel is a hallmark of the Explorer II, so while people would have liked to see a ceramic bezel, it just wouldn’t have looked good (and could have been potentially problematic from a caving perspective).

Looking at this watch you can very well think that nothing has changed In many ways it has not Although Rolex did not specify it directly, the proportions of the case appear to be considerably reduced, with thinner horns This wouldn’t be a surprising change, as we just saw the brand do something similar with last year’s Submariner

For consistency – on the back are the classic matte black and polar white dials You will also find the same brushed oyster bracelet with the Oysterlock safety clasp and Easylink extension system allowing for quick 5-way adjustments. mm

In the last generation Rolex created an entirely different movement to fit inside the 42mm case Here it managed to fit the existing caliber 3285 without having to create a separate caliber La 3285 , first released in 2018 inside the GMT-Master II, gives this watch an improved power reserve of 70 hours Of course you will find a small Rolex crown between Swiss and Made signifying this upgrade

The new Rolex Explorer II ref 215670 is a fitting celebration of the 50-year history of the watch, with enough novelty to grab our attention and enough similarity to make it feel right

Diameter: 42mm Thickness: 125mm Case material: Oystersteel steel Dial color: black or white Index: applied markers Light: Yes, Chromalight Water resistance: 100m Strap / Strap: Brushed Oyster bracelet

Caliber: 3285 Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, 24 hour display Diameter: 285mm Power reserve: 70 hours Winding: Automatic Frequency: 4 Hz Jewelry: 31 Chronometer certified: Superlative chronometer

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News from around the world – EN – Presentation: the new Rolex Explorer II Ref 226570 – HODINKEE