I have always liked the Rolex Explorer II... (Well, off and on). So when the opportunity presented itself for me to see and touch and even compare the new 42mm Explorer II reference 216750 and the 16750, I jumped.
The Explorer II reference 216750, polar and noir.
A 'better' view of the pair.
The polar. Very nice indeed. Build quality is exceptional. Maxi dial and hands. Massive dial real estate and orange GMT hands. Love the new bracelet and clasp.
The noir. Looks good, great in fact. The 'floating' hands effect.... well..... maybe not well executed. Love the matte black dial.
The new and the old (well not that old). Reference 216750 vs 16750 polar.
Closer view for comparison.
The 40mm classic polar Explorer II.
The noir pairing.
The 40mm classic black.
Fantastic 4, under rated and under appreciated.
So at the end of the day, my thoughts and opinion?
But first, between the polar and the noir? I chose the polar. I like white dial watches, even though I only have 1 at the moment. I think I am influenced by the Rolex ads that always show the polar Explorer II. :)
Well, the build quality of the new Explorer II is great, much better in feel from the old. The clasp, wins hands down. And best of all, the use of a new movement, caliber 3187 instead of 3186 with a spacer to fit the larger case (there are other improvements between calibers, not just a large base plate).
So between the new and the old polar... I like the old Polar. I feel that the maxi dial and hands just does not sing to me. My attention is drawn towards the minute hand, which to me seems overpowering. It seems too big for the watch. Makes me feel that the watch is unbalanced. I do love the orange GMT hand and the writing on the dial though.
I like the old polar as I still think that 40mm is the classic Rolex size. The dial seems more proportionate as compared to the new polar. Maybe it is me and my old ways.
A mix of the two would be nice. Who knows, maybe one day Rolex may decide to reissue the Explorer II in 40 mm size and call it 116750, the current polar dial, but with the little tweaks of the new, i.e. the orange hands and 'EXPLORER II' in orange or red....