Pre-owned Rolex Explorer II Watch

Rolex is recognized worldwide for the quality of its luxury watches. As a worthy successor to the Rolex Explorer, which climbed Mount Everest in 1953 on the wrist of Sir Edmund Hillary, the Rolex Explorer II is specially designed for explorers and offers strong resistance to large temperature changes. The Rolex Explorer II is also a high-performance sport watch that is recognizable with 24-hour time-reading. One of the most famous Rolex Explorer II is the Explorer "Freccione", also known as Steve Mcqueen. Discover at Kronos 360 our selection of second-hand Rolex Explorer II watches, tested, authenticated and guaranteed at the best price.

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Rolex Explorer II: The Quintessential Adventure Watch

Current Status

The Rolex Explorer II stands today as a beacon of rugged sophistication and reliability, firmly holding its ground as a favorite among adventurers and watch aficionados alike. As of the latest models, the Explorer II boasts enhanced features that cater to the modern explorer's needs while staying true to its iconic design. Its precision, durability, and visibility in low-light conditions remain unmatched, making it a top choice for those who demand the most from their timepiece.


The lineage of the Rolex Explorer II traces back to 1971, evolving from its predecessor, the Explorer, which was inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's historic ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. The Explorer II was introduced as a more robust and specialized tool watch, designed specifically for cave explorers. This watch featured a distinctive 24-hour hand and a fixed bezel with 24-hour markings, enabling wearers to distinguish between day and night hours—a critical function in environments where the sun never rises or sets.

Different Models/Series

Over the decades, the Explorer II has seen several iterations, each refining and enhancing its functionality and aesthetics.

  • Ref. 1655 (1971-1985): The original model, known affectionately as the "Steve McQueen," although there is no evidence the actor wore it. It featured a 39mm case and the distinctive orange 24-hour hand.
  • Ref. 16550 (1985-1989): Introduced a sapphire crystal, a new caliber, and slight design modifications. It came in both black and white dial variants, with the white dial famously turning into a creamy color over time, highly sought after by collectors.
  • Ref. 16570 (1989-2011): Increased the case size to 40mm and improved the movement. It maintained the choice between black and white dials, becoming one of the longest-running Explorer II models.
  • Ref. 216570 (2011-present): Marked the model's 40th anniversary with a significant update, increasing the case size to 42mm and introducing a more prominent 24-hour hand, reminiscent of the original 1655. This model features the latest in Rolex's movement technology and improved luminosity.

Investment through Kronos360

Investing in a Rolex Explorer II through Kronos360 is more than a mere acquisition; it's a venture into the world of enduring value and timeless appeal. Rolex watches are renowned for their ability to retain and often increase in value over time, and the Explorer II is no exception. With its rich history, robust build, and iconic status, it's a piece that not only serves as a reliable tool but also as a potential asset in one's investment portfolio. Kronos360 offers authenticated, pre-owned, and new models, ensuring that every investment is sound, secure, and holds the promise of appreciation.

Market Value

The market value of the Rolex Explorer II varies based on the model year, condition, and rarity. Vintage models, especially the original Ref. 1655, command premium prices, often reaching into the tens of thousands of dollars, reflecting their collectible status and the growing demand among enthusiasts and collectors. The more recent models, while more accessible, also maintain a strong resale value, benefiting from Rolex's overall brand prestige and the specific allure of the Explorer II's adventure-ready reputation.

In conclusion, the Rolex Explorer II remains a quintessential choice for those who value precision, durability, and history in their timepiece. Its evolution from a caving tool to a symbol of adventure and exploration speaks volumes about its reliability and the enduring legacy of the Rolex brand. Whether for personal enjoyment, practical use, or investment through Kronos360, the Explorer II is a watch that promises to keep ticking through the most extreme of adventures, proving its worth time and time again.