Velociphile's Journey into Watches

Adhoc stuff about wristwatches. The technology of horology, escapements and patents to the industry and the market. Try me in Japanese or Chinese

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Explorer II: Childhood Sweetheart Rediscovered

There’s been a lot of controversy over the direction Rolex have taken chubbing up their new case. It’ll suit some and change always taps up new markets (cf. JLC Compressor success). I recently had a chance to size up the now old-news new GMT IIc and was less struck by the podgy case so much as the awful pumped up maxi dial and hands. If Rolex wanted their new face to resemble a Prospex diver, well, then they succeeded. In doing so I think they lost their audience of fans of versatility. I don’t believe these developments allow the new versions to subtly slide under a suit cuff or dinner jacket physically or aesthetically like their forebears.

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.

2 Comments:

  • At May 29, 2010, Blogger 张悲啖 said…

    hi,VelociphileL
    i find your blog by searching the Jaeger-LeCoultre. here are some questions to consult you. i have read a artical which mentioned that “each watch undergoes a set of common tests including those relating to long-duration rating, adjustment in six positions, water resistance, shock-resistance, temperature variations and power reserve. ”
    i want to know what is the "long-duration rating" and what is the process of its. i am interesting in the master control 1000 hours of Jaeger-LeCoultre. but i can't find the worthy information on the web. i wonder if you could send me some reference or give some advice. i want to write email to you but i can't find your email address. my email address is zhangbeidan#gmail.com, i will be very pleasure if you could send me a email, thank you very much!

     
  • At June 02, 2010, Blogger Velociphile said…

    Hi Mr Zhang, check here: http://www.network54.com/Forum/234648/message/1052748253/The+Master+Control+1000+Hours+test..

     

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