Explorer II: Childhood Sweetheart Rediscovered
This year they have pursued the relentless rollout further by going all Kate Winslett on the Submariner in steel. Time is running out; the last of one of the great original tool watches will surely be gone soon. Long missing from the website, or e-brochure, the completely McQuool no date variant is still around co-selling alongside the inexplicably different date version. In a world of reissues at every turn, with the old school bracelet rattle and embarrassingly ill fitting quirky bent steel vintage end pieces, it’s actually pretty much the original Sub' still on sale; like finding a NOS piece in a closeout jeweller.
The only other example like this I can think of is the ‘proper’ Speedmaster Professional but even that has a modern bracelet now. Anyhow, what struck me when I was in the shop was the subtle aesthetic still afforded by my childhood sweetheart - the current Explorer 2*. The combination of the thinner bezel sunk below the crystal in side view and making it brushed silver achieves a more complex 3d effect while keeping the subdued versatility of restrained hour markers and slim case. SEL bracelet, bang up to date Parachrom movement and subtle Rolex rehaut engraving complete the perfect sleeper in the range. Perfect old case, latest internals and the best looking 40mm sports watch Rolex still makes.
*a leaked video has already shown a new orange hand version with maxi dial and hands that was ready for 2010 but delayed coming 2011 to coincide with its 40th anniversary.