Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011

Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011

Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases

For 2011 Rolex offers a new Explorer 2 to follow up last year's new Explorer. While the Explorer was bumped up to 39mm last year, the Explorer 2 is the Rolex sport watch with a modern size of 42mm in width. That is 2mm larger than the Submariner, and it likely wears better than the 43mm wide Submariner Deep Sea. Also new is the return of the orange GMT hand in addition to the Maxi-dial like size of the hands and hour indicators.

Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases

In a 42mm wide case, the Explorer 2 is in 904L steel with a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. While known for its white dial, the Explorer 2 now comes with a black dialed version as is traditional for the line - both in lacquer. Contrast on the dial on both models remains excellent, with the signature large orange GMT hand remaining on the dial. Both dials feature "Chromalight" luminant. The hands are all in white gold. I have had arguments with people about Rolex hands being in white gold. While not all of them are, many of the newer Rolex models have white gold hands. Says it right here in the Rolex material!

Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases

The case looks great with its steel on steel fixed 24 hour bezel. It is water resistant to 100 meters. Sapphire crystal is double AR coated and has a date magnifier lens. Inside the watch is an in-house made Rolex caliber 3187 COSC Chronometer certified automatic. It has the time, date, and GMT hand - and a 48 hour power reserve. Would have been great to see the watch have the glide-lock clasp of the Submariner, but then the Explorer would encorach on its territory.

Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases

It has a steel bracelet with an Oysterlock clasp and Easylink 5mm comfort extension link. Not sure exactly what that is yet, but it sounds like a nice microadjust system. Rolex offers yet another watch we all want. Funny how something like "42mm wide" is enough to get me excited in the Rolex context. This and the new Daytona styles are the big news for Rolex this year - the 36mm wide models are looking smaller and smaller!

Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases
ROLEX Customer Service 116231 Box Submariner GMT Explorer Daytona Sea Dweller
Time Remaining: 35m
Buy It Now for only: $52.76
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Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases
ROLEX Acrylic Display Datejust Oyster Date Submariner Daytona GMT Explorer II
Time Remaining: 43m
Buy It Now for only: $461.79
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Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases
Rolex EXPLORER II 216570 Mens Stainless Steel Oyster 24HR Bezel Black Dial 42MM
Time Remaining: 44m
Buy It Now for only: $7,250.00
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Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases
Rolex Watch Stand Display Shop Window Submariner Explorer Daytona Milgauss OEM
Time Remaining: 45m
Buy It Now for only: $117.43
Buy It Now
Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases
ROLEX Watch Stand Display Shop Window Submariner Explorer Daytona Milgauss OEM
Time Remaining: 1h 8m
Buy It Now for only: $130.63
Buy It Now
Rolex Explorer 2 Watch For 2011 Watch Releases
ROLEX Watch Stand Display Shop Window Submariner Explorer Milgauss Daytona OEM
Time Remaining: 1h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $130.63
Buy It Now

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What do you think?
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  • kris c.

    I just can’t get past that tired hand design. I never liked it, and never will – make them from steel, gold, or carved from unicorn horn, that “Mercedes” style is just awful regardless.

    • Ovidiu

      Same here – what I hate more, besides the “Mercedes” hour hand itself, it that everyone is trying to copy that design.

  • Pete

    Can see why everyone buys vintage, those hands look too big.

  • tivoboy

    Wouldn’t the ORANGE GMT hand be NEW on this model, and not a carry over? It WAS on the model about 50 years ago, but was eliminated. It is now quite the collectors watch. historically, this watch was ONLY available in black, and white was later introduced. the black has always been available.

  • Ulysses

    Very generic look; I can’t get excited about blandness. It’s the same with Porsche sports cars – the decades come and go, but that overall style never changes. Would it be easy to distinguish white gold hands from steel ones, considering how little metal is used? Seems a bit pointless really.

  • Dangeruss

    Pretty sporty and true to the (tired) Rolex design idiom. I do hate the “Mr Magoo” cyclops date magnifier with all the bile I can muster.

  • Victor M

    I love that the GMT hand is the large one from the 1655 so-called Steve McQueen model.

    I have the MKII version of the 1655, and it has this hand. It appeals to me far more than the GMT Master II style hand.

  • Mark

    Do you know when these watches will be available in retail?

    • Maybe a few months.

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  • Rupert

    Wear anything above 40mm and you look like white trash that won the lotto.

    I’ll pass on these. They cheapen the Rolex brand.

    • Hello Everybody

      I for one respect the horological value of any Rolex. I would be happy to wear a 34mm Rolex Air King up to a 40mm Submariner.

  • witch watch

    Personally i quite like the update it has been given but do wonder why it has been given the PCL treatment as it should have been left as a proper tool watch leaving the Milgauss as the semi dress watch. Do we know if the watch has any more heft to it compared to the red hand model and does this mean that model will now be discontinued??

  • Crispin

    Agreed Kris C. If they’re celebrating 40th anniversary, why don’t they give it the full 1655 treatment. The black bordered maxi hands and case upsize suggest this is being positioned to younger demographic, or at least younger than this thirty-something.

  • john steppling

    I loved the updated explorer 1. Its a perfect size now (and Im a big guy). I just dont like overly big watches. I think 42 is absolute max before it looks cartoon like. I wish these hadnt gotten bigger. They have always worn bigger anyway. That said, they are pretty tasty. Im not sure about the orange hands….but I think the submariner updated hands are great and the added luminox or whatever its called, is great actually, and the blue glow is pretty neat. Rolex polorizes people, clearly. I love them…..but i also associate them with Jerry Bruckheimer (who wears one of the fancy Yachtmasters). Having said all that, I really like these. I would opt for the new Explorer 1 though, and have been thinking about it……assuming I get a good writing gig soon 🙂
    Rolex is what it is. Its rather crass in its way, and its the default go-to watch for people who don’t really know watches (ah hem…) but they are also classic statements. I mean if you were to buy a Frank Muller, or a Glashutte — thats its own kind of crass in my opinion. Nobody “needs” a fifteen thousand dollar watch….let alone a thirty thousand dollar watch. But thats not the point. I think Rolex got it right. I think the 36 do in fact look very small these days. And I think these will sell very well.

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  • Mario Summa

    I love the watch, looks beautiful. A couple of questions: Will the new Rolex Explorer II have a “thicker” case than previous models? Also, are the links hollow as in previous models or have they incorporated solid links like the new GMT model? Great review. Thanks.

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  • MaxBerger

    The 2mm difference between the sub’s and the new explorers is hardly noticeable. I also believe the deep sea is 44mm (you can def. tell the difference between those big boys and a submariner). They are extremely thick as well.
    On topic, I just bought one of these from and I’m extremely happy with it. I just love the white face with the orange hand. It really looks excellent.

    • Hello Everybody

      May God have mercy on us all if the Submariner increases in size. Some people will expect us to ditch our 36/39/40 mm watches as they will become ladies watches. The Rolex forum has pics of some celebrity women wearing the Deep Sea 44mm. Maybe soon we will only be considered as males if the watches are over 50mm.

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  • Hello Everybody

    Why do you insist on attacking the classic elegant 36mm gents size? You are supposed to represent a balanced view. Ben C at Hodinkee has the opposite view to you regarding size and is a big fan of vintage smaller size Rolex. However, he does not ram it down our throats.