I encountered the new Rolex Explorer II ref. 216570, launched at Baselworld 2011, at the Rolex boutique run by Lexia in Ginza, Tokyo, a few weeks ago. Because both dial versions were present, I managed to compare the two.
|The new Rolex Explorer II ref. 216570
I own its predecessor, the Explorer 2 ref. 16570, in the white dial variant, which I always preferred over the black dial 16570. But for the new Explorer II I very much prefer the black dial for several reasons.
For one the orange hour hand is much more striking against the black dial. And the black dial isn’t the typical smooth, glossy black found on Rolex sports models, rather it’s an unusual matte finish that looks almost charcoal at some angles and is somewhat reminiscent of vintage models. I also very much like the “phantom effect” hands on the black model: the segments of the hands closest to the canon pinion have been painted black, leaving the hands looking like they are floating. And despite being 42 mm the watch does not seem all that big. Its size does make it seem slimmer than other sports Rolex, though I reckon it’s just a visual effect of the proportions. UPDATE: Close-ups photos of the new black dial Explorer II. – SJXBack to top.