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Rolex Explorer II 16570

Rolex Explorer II 16570

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Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel

This Rolex Explorer II ref. 16570 - with the glossy white dial, black painted white gold lume surrounds and Mercedes hands - is the watch you buy when you want the middle ground between the charm of the original vintage ref. 1655 "Il Freccione" - loosely translated from Italian slang as "The Big Arrow" - and the daring of the latest 216570. The 16570 keeps the original 40mm stainless case and fixed steel 24-hour bezel but it incorporates two major changes to the GMT hand that Rolex enthusiasts love to debate. Like its immediate predecessor, the "transitional" 16550, the 16570's GMT hand has been uncoupled from the minute hand to allow the watch to simultaneously track two timezones, like an actual GMT. This is noteworthy because the uncoupling immediately made the Explorer II more modern and functional and is a central feature of its evolution. Originally, the Explorer II was intended for locales where the ambient light wouldn't indicate whether it was daytime or nighttime so the practical solution was to track it by way of a 24-hour indicator - hour hand says "8," GMT points to "20," it's 8PM. But to accomplish this without risk of error the minute and GMT hands of the 1655 couldn't be set independently of each other. In other words you couldn't set the minute hand to the home time and the GMT hand to the destination time - both hands pointed at the exact same time of day, it's just that the GMT hand showed it on a 24-hour scale. The other big change is to the GMT hand itself. Gone is the 1655's outsized bright orange luminous version replaced with the more demure red hand and white arrowhead, which made the 16570 far more dressy and wearable. Finally, and this is nuanced Rolex at it's best, the numbers "6" and "9" on the date wheel are closed, not open as they were on the 1655 and 16550, which is a seemingly insignificant but important detail. The 16550 changed the look of the Explorer II forever but it was in this 16570 that Rolex solidified it's intention with the design.

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