Rolex Explorer II

Comparison between Rolex Explorer II and GMT

Obviously, the Rolex GMT-Master line is the brand’s most famous GMT replica watch. However, it’s not the Swiss watchmaker’s only GMT watch. Another option is the Explorer II. Have you ever wondered if the Rolex Explorer II is a GMT cheap watch? Well, yes, that’s why.
To avoid confusion about morning and afternoon time, daylight saving time, and different time zones, pilots follow a standard time based on a 24-hour scale. The accepted standard air time was once known as Greenwich Mean time (GMT), the local time of the prime meridian (0° meridian) that runs through Greenwich, England. Since then, GMT has been replaced by coordinated Universal Time (UTC). It is also sometimes called Zulu time because the letter “Z” (transliterated as “Zulu”) represents the “zero” offset (UTC +0).
In the 1950s, commercial airlines flew faster and farther, making it necessary for pilots to keep track of multiple time zones. So Pan Am asked Rolex to come up with a solution, and the watchmaker officially launched the GMT-Master fake watch in 1955. With the fourth pointer pointing to the 24-hour clock, the watch’s clever design allows pilots to read both the reference time (GMT) and the local time (depending on where they land). Since the 2-hour pointer is in sync, you can rotate the bezel so that the correct time is aligned with the 24-hour pointer to display GMT. While simple to execute, Rolex GMT-Master sets the blueprint for the GMT watch type.
The Rolex GMT-Master was finally upgraded to the GMT-Master II in the 1980s, with the Caliber 3085 two-hour hands that could be set independently of each other. This means that the GMT-Master II can display three time zones at the same time: local time, reference time, and time 3, simply by turning the clock’s circle.
When Rolex introduced Explorer II in 1971, it also had an additional time zone display feature as Ref.1655. At 1655 it also has an extra 24 hour pointer and 24 hour marker ring. However, its bezel is fixed and the two-hour pointer is synchronized. Therefore, it cannot display another time zone. By contrast, the Rolex Explorer II is a watch with a prominent day/night indicator, designed for those who spend their time in dark caves or polar regions where they can’t look up at the sky.