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venturing to the outer limits

The Watches Of Switzerland Group 5 minutes
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Ultimate athleticism, groundbreaking human achievement, intrepid fearlessness –– the Explorer is a superb mechanical timepiece wrapped up in the extraordinary romance and illustrious history of Rolex. Equally adept at ascending the highest places on Earth to 100 meters down, the Explorer can easily traverse the entire globe.

The Rolex Explorer is legendary among all the sports watches ever created.

The Explorer, like all Rolex watches, has improved with subtle changes and technical upgrades established over time on real-life testing and intrepid reports from the field. As Rolex expertise grew throughout the years, movements slimmed down, dial legibility increased, and innovative materials for cases and crystals were introduced.

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The Oyster Perpetual Explorer and Oyster Perpetual Explorer II evolved from Rolex’s deep involvement with exploration. They go where few people venture. The brand was able to test these watches in real life by equipping polar, mountaineering and caving expeditions over many years. Some of the world’s most intrepid explorers, mountaineers and scientists took these watches to places that tested their reliability in the toughest conditions.

From the 1930s, Rolex began to equip numerous expeditions with Oyster Perpetual watches. The feedback received was used to develop what became known as the Professional category: watches that serve as tools, such as the Explorer and Explorer II. Rolex watches have taken part in some of humanity’s greatest adventures. One such occasion was the 1953 expedition to Everest, led by Sir John Hunt, on which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first to summit the world’s highest mountain.

Designed for exploration

The Explorer, launched in 1953, sets itself apart with a simple design and a highly legible black dial with large hour markers and characteristic 3, 6 and 9 numerals. It is a tool watch, created to tell time accurately, whatever the circumstances. Even in the dark, the dial is easy to read, thanks to the Chromalight display. Today, the Explorer is available in the same 36 mm size as the original model.

The Explorer II was introduced in 1971 and, in the same spirit as the Explorer, perpetuates the privileged relationship Rolex enjoys with exploration. Thanks to its 24-hour display comprising an additional, orange hour hand and an engraved bezel, the Explorer II allows the wearer to clearly distinguish daytime from night-time hours – a practical option in places where distinguishing day from night is difficult, such as at the poles at certain times of the year, and in caves – or to read the time in a second time zone.

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Resisting the extremes

Watches in the Explorer range have constantly evolved to meet explorers’ needs, each time becoming more robust and reliable. The Explorer is available in Oystersteel or in a yellow Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and yellow gold), and the Explorer II is made exclusively in Oystersteel. Specially developed for Rolex, Oystersteel is a unique alloy with excellent anti-corrosion properties.

Both models are fitted with an Oyster bracelet, a three-piece link bracelet known for its robustness. Featuring the Rolex-designed and patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening, it is also equipped with the Easylink comfort extension link; developed by the brand, this allows the wearer to easily adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm.

The Explorer is equipped with calibre 3230 while the Explorer II features calibre 3285. Both are self-winding mechanical movements entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. They offer a power reserve of about 70 hours.

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Superlative chronometer certification

Like all Rolex watches, the Explorer and Explorer II are covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification. This designation testifies that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories, according to its own criteria. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.

Regardless of the evolutionary changes made since the earliest models, the DNA of the Rolex Explorer has remained stable for nearly 70 years. The trustworthiness of the watch’s functionality has placed it in the hands of some of the world's greatest mountaineers, climbers, scientists, and environmentalists.

Whether you are conquering Everest, a local indoor rock-climbing wall, or simply taking the office elevator to the top floor, the Rolex Explorer fires up the imagination with the knowledge that your timepiece can take you to places you've only dreamed of.

Get ready to conquer the world with a Rolex Explorer on your wrist.

Contact us to visit Watches of Switzerland US and discover the explorer first hand.

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