5 ALTERNATIVES TO THE ROLEX EXPLORER 2
A fter the Daytona or the GMT Master II, we are now tackling another professional model produced by Rolex: the Explorer II. Its history begins in 1971, the year in which the now famous reference 1655, nicknamed “Freccione”, will be unveiled. The Explorer II appears as “the other GMT”, then is distinguished by its graduated steel bezel and its fourth colored hand. Today we offer you a selection of 5 alternatives to this mythical model.
Christopher Ward C63 Sealander
We told you about it just a year ago, when the C63 Sealander skilfully completed the Christopher Ward range. Available with a white or black dial, this is an alternative very close to the modern references of the Explorer II, due to the finish of its dial and the orange color of its GMT hand. It features a 39mm case topped with a steel bezel graduated to 24 hours and housing a Swiss automatic movement, the Sellita SW 330-2, offering a comfortable 56-hour power reserve.
Sinn 105 ST SA UTC
The Model 105, unveiled last year, made a remarkable entry into the Sinn catalogue. It was rewarded with the prestigious Red Dot Design Award, like many models of the brand in the past. The 105 St Sa UTC reference is recognizable by its large orange fourth hand with an arrow tip. Its bezel is also made of steel, but has a black anti-scratch coating, accentuating its sporty side. On the mechanical side, Sinn fits here the reliable and robust Sellita SW 330-2, in a 41mm case displaying 20 bars of resistance.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT
Zodiac is one of those brands that are too little known, given their rich history. The Sea Wolf was born in 1953, at the same time as the famous Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Rolex Submariner, before being embellished with a GMT function 13 years later, in 1966. It is more precisely similar to the reference 16570, produced from 1989 to 2011, with its fourth needle in red. Its 40mm-diameter case, topped with a domed sapphire crystal, offers a comfortable water resistance of 20 bars. Its baton hands are powered by a Swiss automatic movement, the Soprod C215 caliber.
Grand Seiko SGBN003
Make way for the only quartz proposal from our selection of the day. But even if it means integrating a non-mechanical alternative, you might as well choose the benchmark brand in this area. After inventing the battery-powered watch in 1969, with the Astron model, Seiko has continued to prove its legitimacy by pushing the technical limits in order to produce the most efficient quartz calibres. And this Grand Seiko SBGN003 is no exception to the rule, thanks to the caliber 9F86 and its tolerance of 10 seconds…per year! It is enveloped in a 39mm-diameter steel case with a water resistance of 10 bars, thanks to its screw-down case back and crown.
Tudor Black Bay Pro
Let's end our selection with one of the most striking releases of this spring. We told you about it last month, revealing the new products presented by Tudor at Watches & Wonders 2022. Here we find the vintage spirit of the oldest Explorer II references, in particular thanks to its fourth yellow hand, combined with a material luminescent with a beige patina. Its 39mm steel case houses the high-performance caliber MT5652, entirely manufactured by Rolex's little sister and chronometer-certified by the COSC. A real nugget that continues to be talked about a lot.