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Thread: A snowy review of the Polar Explorer 2.

  1. #1

    A snowy review of the Polar Explorer 2.

    First off, I been really enjoying IWL and great to see so many wonderful, familiar members here who I enjoyed posts and threads from in the past years. Its coming up on 2 years since purchasing my Explorer 2 and thought it was time to share some thoughts about the watch after time of ownership. I said in the past, I don’t consider myself a huge Rolex fan, although I like and greatly respect the brand as a whole but I am a fan of the Explorer 2 as this is my 2nd Ex2 and my favorite Rolex ever, vintage or modern. My other was a black dial previous generation Ex2. I sold it back some years ago as a recovering chronic flipper. When the slightly larger, more legible 42mm Explorer 2 came out, I knew I would have to own one soon enough. Its been my favorite model yet.


    The reasons why I feel this way.
    It is truly an “under the radar” Rolex. In 2 years of ownership I had one stranger comment on the watch and say “oh thats a Rolex?” I feel comfortable wearing it in any situation as its very low key. Brushed bracelet and bezel, polished sides to give it a little shine where it counts. Not too much for bling, not too little to make it look too bland.
    The amazing finish of the polish and brushed steel can be appreciated best from the owner’s wrist view point, the only view point that counts in my opinion. This is because like my Grand Seiko, the metal will have many different looks on certain angles and lighting. The 904L steel can make the case and bracelet look very warm and glowing in certain lighting and cold and tool-like and other settings. It always has me looking at my wrist to see what kind of “mood” the watch is in. Many like to say there are so many Rolex look a likes and overrated this and that. Until you own one or at least give it a chance to see the attention to detail in each watch, only then will you understand. The dial and legibility. Lume is fantastic. Although without it I still think you would be able to tell the time with such outstanding contrast between the dial and hands. The polar dial is the whitest of white dials I have ever seen. The black hands and orange 24 hour hand stand out for those with aging eyesight, it is greatly appreciated. One of the other reasons I love the white dial, the date window matches the dial color identically. I love the cyclops which may not be a documented fact as far as I know but seems to be improved in legibility as well. The crown. When at a standstill, to get the watch started winding the crown a few turns is pure joy. Hearing the little clicks is very pleasurable. Screwing the crown down is like butter. I love how the crown is designed to always face up the proper way when you screw it down, nice touch! The 3187 movement. I wish there was a display casebook because the movement IMO is beautiful. I don’t get all the complaints abut Rolex movements not being pretty. I would love to see this through a clear case back with the lovely Brequet overcoil and blue Parachrom hairspring. The rotor, like other Rolex movements, its 99%totally silent. I love this. IMO it is a great accomplishment Rolex is able to do this. I don’t like feeling rotors move while wearing a watch, just my opinion and Rolex makes their movements feel almost as if it was a manual wind with no rotor at all, amazing. The new clasp and bracelet. Unlike my older Explorer 2, the bracelet feels much more substantial and sturdy. The clasp is rock solid and very secure. It is total enjoyment locking it into place. The crown location is also a nice touch. So, after 2 years of ownership it does not look like the Explorer 2 is going anywhere. It has been a great travel companion. I have taken trips across the world wearing it without concern as I said, it is truly under the radar and building some wonderful memories with it that I hope one day to pass the watch, along with the stories and memories of the great adventures I had while wearing watch to my child in the future. Thanks for reading and hoped you enjoyed!

  2. #2
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Great write-up for the Best everyday watch made regardless of price! Mine would be the last man standing if all the rest had to go.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

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  4. #3
    Fantastic review! That is one model that has been under my radar, but has rapidly risen on my wish list. There is something about those raised markers with the black surrounds. The black dial does little for me, but the white makes me a bit weak in the knees.

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  6. #4
    Nice review. I was never a Rolex guy myself until I bought my Hulk. Admittedly not as under the radar, but I noticed the same thing about the finishes. You could shave using the polished portions of the case. And it's my second-quietest watch after the Breguet, which you can barely hear ticking, let alone hear the rotor.

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  8. #5
    Member CamB's Avatar
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    Great write up and pictures- one of my favorite watches from Rolex. Now get inside out of the cold.
    Regards Cam

    Watches
    Omega Speedmaster 3510.50, Oris 1965 Diver, Tissot Visodate, Helson Blackbeard, Seiko PADI Turtle, Tag Heuer F1

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  10. #6
    I was completely turned off by Rolex in the late 90's-early 2000's. The bracelets and clasps were terrible and made the watches feel cheap. They have really stepped up their game with the newer stuff and while I'm still not a big fan of their lineup, I absolutely love the Explorer 2. Nice write up

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  12. #7
    Nice review. I love mine. I've had it for almost a year and I've never gone so long without pining for another watch. There's a real danger of it killing my collecting habit.

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  14. #8
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    Really nice, very complete, and great pictures. Stay warm!
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

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  16. #9
    Thanks guys for the kind words. I think I'm going to start doing reviews on any watches that stay in the collection for over a year. Seems like any watch that last that long in my collection is a keeper once it passes the one year mark and enjoy writing up as to why.

  17. #10
    optimistic pessimist hayday's Avatar
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    The Explorer II Polar is the other Rolex I could see on my wrist. It epitomizes understated awesomeness.

    -hayday

    ps: GMT Master Pepsi, in case you were wondering
    The pessimist says it can't get any worse while the optimist says it can.

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