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Comparative Review - Rolex Explorer II 16570 - Gen Vs Rep (Warning: Many Pictures!)


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#1
justlounging

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Having the privilege of owning both the gen and rep of this watch, this will be my first comparative review for 2012..I know that this comparison has been done to death by previous members but this is my take on the Rolex Explorer II 16570..

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The white dial (aka “Polar”) is the gen whilst the black dial is the rep..

Before I start on the comparison, here are some measurements on this timepiece:

Case Size: Sports
Model: Explorer II
Reference: 16570
Movement: Rolex Caliber 3185
Date: Yes
Material: 903L grade Stainless Steel
Case (mm): 39.5
Thickness (mm): 12.2
Bezel (mm): 39
Crystal (mm): 30.5 Synthetic Sapphire
Bracelet Width (mm): 20
Clasp Width (mm): 16.5
Water Resistance: 330ft. / 100m.

Note: I am waiting on a digital caliper and will include the measurements of the rep soon.

Official Adverts from Rolex:
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Some background info:

The Explorer II (1655 “Orange-Hand) was introduced in 1971 as a supplement to the original Rolex Explorer, and with the current model 165

The Explorer II was designed for cave exploration, or any other sort of extended expeditions and the GMT hand was originally used to give the wearer an indication of day and night.

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The red “GMT” hand used in conjunction with the 24 hr. markings on the bezel serve this purpose and indicating a second time-zone.

My Explorer II was purchased pre-owned from a gen forum in mid-2011, and mine is from the K Series that has drilled through lug holes (in the later Y series production run, Rolex switched to solid lugs without the hole visible from the outside of the lug). This dial is also equipped with Superluminova on its hour markers, which allows for better visibility in the dark.

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This was my first modern Rolex I purchased and will always be treasured and a keeper in my watchbox. Having owned many other watches (gen & rep) with black dials, the white dial and understated bezel makes this watch an excellent choice to wear casually as well as with a suit. Having the Rolex caliber 3185 within the Explorer II help make the decision to purchase a lot simpler for me.

Here’s my complete Explorer family.

From Left to Right:
Explorer I 39mm 214270, Explorer I 36mm 14270, Explorer II 1655, Explorer II 16570 (White & Black)
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Base watch (rep) was purchased from Stan (WBK) with a Swiss 2836-2 with modified GMT function. It had the ‘stick dial’ which was never produced for the Explorer II but have been documented for the GMT Master II 16710.

Upon receipt of the base watch, I noticed that the GMT hand was slipping so off it went to Spinmaster for service and resetting of the hands.
To get a more accurate dial, I PM-ed Angus (PureTime) to help me source the latest rep dial. He had been most helpful in tracking this for me and I am more grateful for that assistance.

Spin also helped me fit in the sourced dial and trimmed the Crown Guards to a more accurate look.

Total cost of the Rep (as of now): US$350

Cost of the Gen: US$3,350


Let’s start off the review with a frontal shot of the watches:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Visually it looks ok. Definitely passes the 6inch test (IMO) but on further inspection, date font seems alil thicker and cyclops magnification looks more than 2.5x.

Rehaut also looks alright..no wokky-ness here and also no engraving to worry about..


Lumeshot:

In Semi-dark room:
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In Dark room:
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Gen is on the left, Rep on the right. Both were exposed to the same amount of sunlight (abt 10 seconds) and taken in a semi-dark room.

I was quite pleasantly surprised by the lume on the rep dial. Lume on the hands definitely need to be redone.


Dial Font:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Font looks accurate and crisp. Coronot also looks spot-on.


Spacing and Font of “Swiss Made”:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Printing is crisp but font type is different from gen. Minute markers on the rep are also further away from the rehaut as compared to the gen.


Hour / Minute Hand:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Obvious difference in the size of the “Y” on the hour hand and lume width on both hands.


GMT Hand:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Color of the Red GMT hand seems to be the right shade but triangle on the rep hand looks alil smaller than the gen.


Stacking of Hands on Gen: Seconds, Minute, GMT, Hand

Stacking of Hands on Rep: Seconds, Minute, Hour, GMT


Crown / Crown Guard:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Crown is lower on the rep, due to the thickness of the movement. Rep is running on a Swiss 2836-2 modified GMT movement. Coronet is passable if you are not too fussy.

Gen:
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Rep:
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Thickness of the rep Crown is an obvious flaw and threading on the tube is definitely better machined on the gen. Luckily both gen crowns/tubes can be quite easily sourced.

CGs on the rep has already been trimmed but due to lack of material, it looks more like Pointed CGs rather than the Flat top CGs. This is not so obvious when worn on the wrist.


Bezel Marker Font (Used "14" as example):

Gen:
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Rep:
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Font type again is slightly different. Application of black enamel paint on the gen bezel looks more refined whilst the rep looks crudely painted on.


Bezel Marker Placement (Used "12" as example) / Crystal Height & Bevel:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Placement of bezel marker is slightly closer to the ‘lip’ on the rep. As seen from the pics, this difference is very minute.

Height and Bevel looks quite spot-on.


Cyclops , Date Wheel (DW):

Gen:
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Rep:
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Cyclops is inaccurate and is most probably the culprit in the slightly larger magnification. DW on the rep is shifted towards the right whilst the DW on the gen is more centered. As mentioned earlier, date font is slightly thicker on the rep.


Caseback:

Gen:
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Rep:
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‘Teeth’ on the rep is not as refined as the gen and seems to be slightly thicker than the gen.


SEL Fitment / Case Lugs:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Gen wins hands-down in this department. However this can be easily resolved. Good news is the gen SEL bracelet can be fitted onto the rep.

Direction of brushings on the case lugs and SEL bracelet looks more prominent on the gen. Brushing with a green Scrub pad would help out the rep in this aspect.


Bracelet & Foldover Clasp:

Gen:
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Rep:
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Clasp looks visually 100% identical. However, you can see from the next few pics, the side profile that the rep is slightly thicker and longer than the gen.

This is also the case when comparing the small foldover clasp. Rep is slightly larger than the gen.

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Rep on the left, Gen on the right


Clasp Inner Stamping - Engraving :

Gen:
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Rep:
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Gen is 78790A whilst rep is 93250. Stamping is not as crisp on the rep. Laser engraving on the rep is too deep.


Final Thoughts:
For a tenth of the price of the gen, the rep is definitely a watch that is a must in the watchbox. This model is also understated and not as widely recognizable as the Rolex Submariner.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed publishing this. :)

#2
glennmichael

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Comprehensive review ! Make this a award winning sticky thread mod:)

#3
rosnik

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Thank you! :euro:

#4
asimplefarmer

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Thanks for the review!

#5
redwatch

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That was quite an enjoyable read! Thanks for taking the time to do this one! :tu:

#6
justlounging

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Thanks for the comments guys! :D

#7
thogaa

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Good job. Thanks a bunch

#8
correctime

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Thanks for sharing.
That really does look good.
Dropping the latest avaiable dial in it was a great idea.
Congrats on the awesome pair.

#9
danielv2000

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Great review. Very informative. I am very impressed with the rep. 1/10th the price - you cannot beat that!

#10
chrgod

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Excellent work! :) I love reviews like this.

#11
daytona01

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thanks for the review!! Just what I wanted to see :)
i have a question

http://www.1-pc8838....36-p-11662.html

is this what you ordered?? (lastest 39mm exp2)
From the pics Josh has, it seems lume on the hands are almost bright as lume on index.
However, from what you have, lume on the hands seems significantly weak.

#12
justlounging

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thanks for the review!! Just what I wanted to see :)
i have a question

http://www.1-pc8838....36-p-11662.html

is this what you ordered?? (lastest 39mm exp2)
From the pics Josh has, it seems lume on the hands are almost bright as lume on index.
However, from what you have, lume on the hands seems significantly weak.


Glad you read the review..as indicated, i got my Explorer II from Stan (or WBK)..He is a Trusted dealer on this forum (http://www.rwg.cc/forum/229-wbk-time/) and also the other sister rep forums, if i am correct..

I also purchased the dial from Angus (PureTime) and left the hands as is. Reluming the hands or getting a completely new set will most probably be in the list of mods for this watch..

But for a tenth of the price to the gen, I can live with these small inaccuracies.. :)

#13
justlounging

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This is the watch prior to any modding..you can see the 'stick' or 'error' dial in the watch..


On a matching Nato strap.
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#14
daytona01

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Glad you read the review..as indicated, i got my Explorer II from Stan (or WBK)..He is a Trusted dealer on this forum (http://www.rwg.cc/forum/229-wbk-time/) and also the other sister rep forums, if i am correct..

I also purchased the dial from Angus (PureTime) and left the hands as is. Reluming the hands or getting a completely new set will most probably be in the list of mods for this watch..

But for a tenth of the price to the gen, I can live with these small inaccuracies.. :)


I see, so the dial is from angus and all other parts are from WBK.
Thanks for kind explanation helped me a lot :)
Thumbs up for your reviews!!

#15
correctime

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This is the watch prior to any modding..you can see the 'stick' or 'error' dial in the watch..


On a matching Nato strap.
Posted Image

Thanks yet again. I hadn't noticed that about mine but you are, of course, right again.
I've noticed the "Rolex" on the 11 error dial to be not as white and a bit too wide but hadn't noticed the 11 as opposed to the ii...until now.

Edited by correctime, 05 January 2012 - 06:14 AM.


#16
justlounging

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It's the little details that we all become so anal about right? lol :D

#17
grifter

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It's the little details that we all become so anal about right? lol :D



You can say that again! :D

Again, great read!

#18
justlounging

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*Updated*

Weight: Gen Vs Rep
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Surprisingly the Rep weighs about 10grams heavier than the Gen..Having said that, the Rep commands the same presence, if not more, than the Gen..It sits great on my wrist and i'm sure it would too on others.. :D

#19
StormTooper4

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Now thats a proper post , great effort thank you for putting the time in much appreciated

#20
krpster

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WOW! What an outstanding review. Well done. Thanks for putting this together.


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