I believe that the recently discontinued Explorer II (Ref. 16570) is one of the best bargains among sapphire-crystal sports watches. Although, due to its multi-timezone complication, it was originally more expensive than the comparable Submariners (Ref. 16610 or 14060M), you can pick up one of them nowadays for hundreds less. At the same time, it seems to be a much more practical watch for the modern times:
- You can still go swimming/skiing/kayaking with it.
- It can show time in two time zones (for ex. home & local) at the same time.
- When traveling, it can be adjusted to a different time zone without having to interfere with the timekeeping.
- There is no need to hack the second hand when switching to or from daylight savings time.
- Yet, the smooth bezel makes it much more discrete -- it does not scream "Rolex" (like a Submariner or a GMT-Master).
The watch offered here has a stunning white Tritium dial that appears to be Porcelain (like the early white-dialed Zenith Daytonas and sapphire Day-Dates of the same era). Unfortunately, it is very hard to capture that porcelain-like appearance in the pictures. The hands are also Tritium and match the dial perfectly. The dial & hands are so nice, that Rolex Service Center did not even SUGGEST replacing them (as they usually do). Otherwise, the watch has received a brand new crystal, tube & crown. Since I couldn't wait and bought another one while this one was being serviced, the watch has not been worn since its trip to Rolex.
The watch will come with everything pictured, i.e.:
- Its original Warranty / Chronometer Certificate (now expired)
- One Year Service Warranty Certificate (also expired)
- Copy of the receipt from Rolex Service Center
- Service box & booklet
- A Swiss-made ($50) after-market Natural Rubber strap
Unfortunately, the original Stainless Steel band is no longer available, but you can always order one from your local Rolex Service Center. In the meantime, the watch is still equipped with holes in the sides of the case -- which make experimenting with different strap/band options very easy. (Another advantage of the fully drilled case holes is that you can use the much stronger "shoulderless" spring bars -- like in the era when Rolex was still in the business of making real toolwatches for real men...)
The most recent (September 2010) US List Price for the Ref. 16570 was $6,325 + taxes. The current (May 2011) US List Price for the 42mm Rolex Explorer II (Ref. 216570) is $7,750 + tax. This well-maintained example with a beautiful Tritium dial is being offered here at $3,400.
The watch is currently in New England and a face-to-face transaction in Western MA / Northern CT is encouraged. Otherwise, fully insured shipping within the U.S. would be $35. (For International buyers, shipping will be at cost and I would be happy to let the buyer choose the shipping method.)
3 day return policy if the watch is not as described or does not match the pictures. Shipping fees are not refundable and the watch would have to be returned in the same condition as received.