Rolex Comparisons - Rolex Explorer II vs. Rolex GMT-Master II

Updated: Feb 28



The Rolex Explorer II and the Rolex GMT-Master II are both extraordinary timepieces that represent innovation and excellence. Designed for a specific purpose, these wristwatches have achieved immense popularity not only from the intended consumers, but from other buyers and collectors as well.


Launched in 1971, the Rolex Explorer II was intended for those whose hobby or career centered on cave exploration, otherwise known as speleology or spelunking. It features a red 24-hour hand and a 24-hour bezel, which allows the wearer to easily see the time that has elapsed while he or she has explored the darkness of a cave system. This wristwatch is available only in stainless steel with the many different options for a dial.



The Rolex GMT-Master II was launched 12 years after the Rolex Explorer II and was intended for pilots, as was its predecessor the Rolex GMT-Master. Both the Rolex GMT-Master and the GMT-Master II had been created as per the request of Pan American Airlines. These models were unique due to their ability to display the times of two different time zones. The GMT-Master II, unlike the Explorer II, has a bidirectional bezel and is available in yellow or white gold; stainless steel; and Rolesor, which is a combination of steel and any type of gold. The only dial options available for this model are a black or a white dial, which had been personalized for the flight crews and ground crews of Pan American Airlines.


The Rolex GMT-Master and the Rolex Explorer II have several commonalities as well, to include a 24-hour hand and a 24-hour engraved bezel, which allows the wearer to keep track to two different times. This feature is accompanied by a one-hour jump feature, with which the wearer can set the time an hour forward or backward without disrupting the minute or second hands, therefore allowing the user to set the time more efficiently. In addition to the already mentioned similarities, the two wristwatches have Mercedes style hands that replaced the older stick style hands used in the original versions of the timepieces. They also have scratch resistant synthetic sapphire crystal and crown guards. A Cyclops lens over the date display magnifies the date. Both timepieces are self-winding and waterproof for up to 330 feet.


Both Rolex models are sought after by their intended purchasers as well as collectors worldwide. They are well-regarded for their precision, appearance, and dependability and are both excellent choices for anybody looking for a new wristwatch.




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