by Adrian Barker March 27, 2021
2021 is different from other years. This year we know one of the Rolex Steel Sports watches that will be launched, the 50th Anniversary Rolex Explorer II 126570.
The first Rolex Explorer II was launched in 1971 with the reference number 1655. Unlike the modern versions, the first generation only came with a black dial. This version of the Explorer II has the nickname "Steve McQueen" after the actor was spotted wearing one. Although McQueen didn't actually own an Explorer II, it was simply lent to him for press photos.
Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655
The current version of the Rolex Explorer II reference 216570 was launched in 2011. When this version was launched, it was one of the biggest changes to the model range in recent years. The case size was increased, both the diameter and depth. Along with the case, the dial and hands were also increased as well.
Rolex Explorer II ref. 216570
2021 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Explorer II range. With the exception of the Rolex Explorer, Rolex has always celebrated the 50th anniversary of their watches and often with a touch of colour. The Explorer II is already one of the more colourful Rolex sports watches, so it will be interesting to see what they do to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Explorer II.
Here is a prediction of what Rolex might release in 2021 for the Explorer II:
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