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Feature: Spot The Difference – The 2021 Rolex Explorer II

Rolex has just released an updated version of the Explorer II. Fans were expecting big changes for the Explorers 50th anniversary. Some thought the Explorer II would get a ceramic bezel, a size increase, maybe even a GlideLock bracelet—but boy were they wrong. The new Explorer hasn’t changed cosmetically—or has it?

The old Explorer (left) and the new Explorer (right)

The old Explorer (left) and the new Explorer (right)

From what we can tell in pictures, the new Explorer II has indeed received a facelift—people just aren’t talking about it. Can you spot the changes? The first—and most noticeable—change is the finishing on the hands. The hands are now matte rather than the old models polished black. Next, it’s to the bezel, which looks thicker; and then to the new shorter, more tapered crown guards and the thinner lugs. The thinner lugs, of course, mean that the bracelet—at the top end anyway—is larger.

It might not be the changes you or I expected, but they are changes none-the-less—changes that are quite reminiscent of Rolex’s Submariner launch last year. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess?

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