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Ceramic bezels, new dial colors, etc. A lot of predictions, assumptions, and guesses were made, but Rolex is taking it easy. As always. A new case profile and a new movement for the Rolex Explorer II 226570. What remained are the steel bezel, white & black dial options, and 42mm case size.

Yesterday I wrote an article about value development on the previous Rolex Explorer II 216570 and 16570 models based on the rumors and (correct) assumptions there would be a new reference. We will find out what the effect is on the market value and demand for the previous models in a few weeks’ time. Let’s first have a look at the new Rolex Explorer II 226570. The update of the Explorer II models is less significant than the previous one in 2011 when Rolex introduced the 42mm case size. But there are some changes worth mentioning for sure.

Rolex Explorer II 226570

Rolex Explorer II 226570

Just like the recent Rolex Submariner update last year, the lugs of the case have been slimmed down. Creating a more elegant case design for the Rolex Explorer II models. The changes on the Explorer II might not be as wild as for the new 36mm Explorer, at Rolex, the tiniest update is done with the utmost care. At least, that’s what I think happens in the large Rolex building in Geneva. Board meetings, stressed designers, the CEO signing off, etc. The Rolex Explorer II 226570 is good to serve us for the decade to come. And truth to be told, as Michael also indicated for the Submariner update, the watch does look better now.

Rolex Explorer II 226570

Despite the huge demand for sports Rolex models, the beefy lugs never sat well with the die-hard Rolex enthusiast and collectors. There’s a reason why some of them prefer to go the vintage route. More elegant cases are one of them, and the beefier lugs on the 2010 models can’t be labeled as elegant, I guess. So, in that regard, the new Explorer II is a move forward. I already noticed some complaints about the case diameter of the Explorer II still being 42mm, and not downsized to 41mm or even 40mm.

Rolex Explorer II 226570

Caliber 3285

But wait, there’s more. Rolex also gave its in-house developed caliber 3285 to the Explorer II 226570. The same movement, with GMT hand, as Rolex uses for its famous GMT-Master II collection. Meaning that the precision is guaranteed to +2 / -2 seconds per day deviation on average. And, a power reserve of 70 hours. I think that these are the things that the average wearer will notice most. Of course, caliber 3285 also has the Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. These innovations are there to ensure your watch isn’t affected by magnetism and shocks, that’s all you need to know basically.

Rolex Explorer II 226570

The new Rolex Explorer II 226570 also has the latest Oyster bracelet. It comes with the famous Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. Also, it’s equipped with the Easylink comfort extension link, allowing you to adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5mm. In addition, a concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.

Price and availability

The price for the new Rolex Explorer II 226570 is €8,100, regardless if you choose the black or white dial version. The previous edition was priced at €7,900, but as you know (or can read in this article), they were hitting the €10,000 mark. We also noticed the black dial version no longer features the black coating on the hour, minute and GMT hands, otherwise known as “magic” hands. Instead, the black dial opts for a solid color without any coating on the initial portions of the hands. The watch will be available as of now, the question is whether there will be enough of them to fulfill the demand.

More information via Rolex online.