I remember when I was around 8 years-old I saw an ad for a Rolex Submariner. The two-tone watch, with a brilliant blue dial, caught my eye. Several years later when I got into watches, the allure of Rolex, though out of reach, was undeniable. So when I got the chance to wear this Rolex Explorer 2 ref. 216570 for a little over a month I jumped at the chance. There is a reason Rolex is the most recognized luxury brand in the world. From the heft of the solid steel oyster bracelet to the smooth action of the clasp this watch was everything I could have imagined in a Rolex. Before we get into my specific thoughts, I would like to thank Ben Simon at Windsor Jewelers in Charlotte for loaning me the watch. Though I imagine it will go fast, click HERE to be redirected to their website, or click the link below.
Let's start with design. At 42mm, and solid links on the bracelet (as opposed to the hollowed out links on the pre-2011) the Explorer 2 feels commanding on the wrist. Not too heavy, but it feels like you could hammer some nails, then throw it on and head out to a nice dinner. The GMT hand was of little to no use to me, but as I do work with companies in the California time zone it was nice to have it set to that, so I could easily reference what time it was there. If you travel frequently and are looking for something a little more casual than a GMT Master 2, this is your watch. Other than that, this watch is pretty straightforward. A fixed bezel balances out the size of the case with the dial. My favoriate part of the design is the micro-adjuster that allows you in less than five seconds to expand the band by a could of millimeters so when your wrist swells throughout the day you can easily loosen it.
So how versatile is it as an everyday watch? After all, a watch with the name "Explorer" doesn't scream sartorial refinement. Well, here is the deal, it's a Rolex. Yes, it is undeniably a sports watch in every sense of the word, but I wore it proudly with suits while it was in my possession. I think while either the Explorer (1) or Datejust are more astute to being worn more formally if you like a watch as must as I loved this one, just wear it.
So, to wrap up this review I will say this; the Explorer 2 is a great watch. While I would personally opt for the white dial, pre-2011 version with red GMT hand and a slightly smaller 40mm case size this specific Explorer 2 has found a place in my heart (and hopefully my watch box at somepoint).