The latest Explorer II made its debut yesterday and we have to say the white dial and vivid orange GMT hand are classic touches that didn’t need to be changed. The new movement is a welcome upgrade, so you now have a 70 hour power reserve, plus the dial features new super-bright lume on the markers and hands. The case size is 42mm too, which will suit many buyers as it looks like a proper watch, not a 36mm vintage model.
It’s arguably a better investment than the Explorer with two tone case because it won’t date so quickly and the lack of gold links in the bracelet makes it slightly less attractive to thieves. Wearing a dress Rolex openly in public is becoming pretty dangerous in many UK cities, even in daytime, so owning something that looks more akin to a Seiko 5 or a Maurice Lacroix Aikon is a wise precaution.
Here’s the press info from Rolex;
Rolex is introducing its new-generation Oyster Perpetual Explorer II. This technical watch, in Oystersteel, was created for the boldest explorers and now features a redesigned case and bracelet. This update brings enhanced visual balance and harmony to the timepiece while remaining true to its aesthetic heritage.
On the white lacquer dial, the hour markers – whose black coating is applied using PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) – and the black lacquer hour, minute and seconds hands stand out for their matt finish. The 24-hour hand retains its characteristic orange hue, which is the same colour as the Explorer II inscription that has featured on the dial since 2011.
The new-generation Explorer II also benefits from an optimized Chromalight display. In dark conditions, the intensity of the blue glow emitted by the hour markers and hands now lasts longer thanks to the innovative and exclusive luminescent material with which they are filled or coated. In daylight, these display elements also have a brighter white hue.
The new-generation Explorer II is equipped with calibre 3285, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology. Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Explorer II carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.
The Explorer II is heir to the privileged relationship that has long united Rolex and exploration. Presented in 1971, this robust and reliable watch quickly became an essential tool for explorers travelling to the far corners of the globe, often in extreme conditions. Thanks to its 24-hour display comprising an additional, orange hour hand and an engraved bezel, the Explorer II allows the wearer to clearly distinguish daytime from night-time hours. This is particularly useful in areas where it is difficult or even impossible to distinguish between day and night, such as underground or in polar regions, which experience six months of daylight and six months of darkness a year. In certain conditions, this display enables the watch to serve as compass. The 24-hour display can also be used to show a second time zone.
The new-generation Explorer II is equipped with calibre 3285, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2018 and is fitted on this model from 2021. At the forefront of watchmaking technology, this self-winding mechanical movement led to the filing of several patents, and offers outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
Calibre 3285 incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic fields. The movement is fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in a paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.
Calibre 3285 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3285 extends to approximately 70 hours.
The new-generation Explorer II is fitted with an Oyster bracelet. Developed at the end of the 1930s, this three-piece link bracelet is known for its robustness.
The Oyster bracelet on this new watch features the Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. It is also equipped with the Easylink comfort extension link, developed by the brand, which allows the wearer to easily adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm. In addition, a concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.
On the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, BALL Watch proudly presents the all new Engineer Master II Waco Glider, an officer’s watch that combines vintage style with modern technology. Limited to 1,943 pieces each to commemorate the year that the Waco CG-4A gliders went into active service, the Engineer Master II Waco Glider features a manual winding movement, plus micro gas tube luminosity and 1,000 gauss (80,000 A/m) anti-magnetic protection.
From now on until 13 January 2021, pre-order your Engineer Master II Waco Glider at an exclusive price of £1450. Your order will include a complimentary green NATO strap for a change of look.
Legibility is of upmost importance in any military timepiece, thus we have opted for a minimalistic approach for the Waco Glider. The 3, 6 and 12 o’clock numerals, as well as hour batons and hands are equipped with micro gas tubes; the design is clean yet eye-catching. In dark and low-light conditions, our industry-leading technology delivers incomparable brightness.
The centre of the case back is left entirely blank and serves as your canvas for customization. Engrave your name, commemorate a special moment, or add a short personal message – it’s your opportunity to re-enact the practice that was often seen on vintage timepieces.
We have a lot of time for Ball watches here at The Northern Watch Co magazine, as they offer great build quality for the price, plus those superlume gas tubes. This luminous touch makes them useful tool watches. Or just stand out at night like a Jean Michel-Jarre concert.
This is what Ball are telling us; The new Engineer II Timetrekker is a professional tool for mavericks, challengers and outliers. Those who take risks because it makes an impact. Break boundaries with the ingenuity patented quick-set push buttons and a day-night indicator. Endure frozen terrain with the strength of 904L steel and defy darkness with the unstoppable glow of micro gas tubes. In the face of challenge, charge forward with toughness engineered to outlast.
Powered by our COSC dual time movement module built in house, the certified chronometer reveals the time in two zones. The secondary hour hand in blue indicates local time, operated by simply pressing the quick-set buttons. The button at 8 o’clock moves the hand backwards while the 10 o’clock button moves it forward. With an intelligent lock system, the buttons are protected against unintentional adjustment.
When only one time zone reading is preferred, the blue hour hand can be positioned underneath the main hour hand. To further aid travellers, the window at 6 o’clock serves as a day-night indicator: White for daytime, blue for night.
Limited to 1,000 pieces each. The Engineer II Timetrekker series is now available at Ball watches, for pre-order until 28 October 2020
Ball has launched a new variant on their Engineer Hydrocarbon dive model, called DeepQuest II. With a depth rating of 1000 metres, they are serious about the deep bit.
Made from titanium, this 42mm case sized watch is a high spec watch. The usual brilliant set of tubes illuminate the hands, bezel indices, plus 12 and 6pm position numerals. It’s a COSC certified, in-house Cal 7309 movement, with an 80-hour power reserve. It’s something Ball can be proud of as many watch brands use modified Sellita or ETA 2824 movements.
There’s also a neat twist on the usual helium escape valve; the DeepQUEST II features a patented diving innovation.
An automatic helium release valve is directly incorporated into the crown, which allows helium gas that develops underwater to safely escape during decompression. A standard helium release valve, is an extra opening on the case, which might compromise water resistance. So, Ball’s crown-integrated helium release valve, which they note as a world-first in watchmaking, gets around that issue.
A super-tough clasp is another Ball trademark feature that we love too. Those links are something Brunel would be proud of we say. This is an expensive watch at £3000, but you are getting something truly over-engineered, down to the last screw and pin.
The only question mark is on resale values. How popular would a three year old Ball Engineer watch be with collectors? Compared to an Oris Aquis Carysfort, or a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms you might find the percentage depreciation a bit higher.