You know what? There’s something reassuringly old school, about a power reserve indicator on a watch dial. It goes all the way back to the 1940s bumper automatics from Omega and JLC we reckon, just knowing that your watch had some charge..or needed a shakedown.
So this Rado Coupole, despite its slightly pretentious name, wins an upvote from us at NWC mag. It has that classic car dashboard feel and the fume brown dial is arguably the best of the four different dial colourways.
Plus, it isn’t ceramic pottery, which is a bonus. Price of replacing those broken links, eh Rado fans?
At 41mm across it’s a nice compromise size, you get a sapphire crystal naturally and a big crown too. Inside you’ll find the same ETA derived automatic movement that powers other watches across the Swatch empire, so you have a reliable unit.
The only downside is the RRP of £1550 which is steep for something that shares a movement, give or take a few tweaks, with a Hamilton that retails for 1100 quid less.
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.
Ball Watches has a new twist on their Engineer III, the Marvelight Chronometer. Now we love the bright lights of Vegas here, but the rainbow tubes dial just isn’t dinging our bell, and we are big fans of Saturday Night Fever. The power reserve feature is very cool though, we love it and you can choose a conventional gas tube lighting variant. Here’s the word from Ball;
Superior corrosion resistance, virtually indestructible strength and brilliant polish. The new Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer is forged from 904L stainless steel – a material unlike any other in watchmaking, resulting in the ultimate explorer’s watch built to withstand extreme conditions. Design ingenuity is the name of the game.
Not only have we employed a unique technique to set the micro gas tubes, the incomparable luminosity also comes in 2 different colorways: a classic glow or a rainbow motif. Inside, the C.O.S.C. certified movement with 42-hour power reserve has been expertly modified by our watchmakers, the power reserve hand is seamlessly integrated into the central pivot, while the indication scale is located at the six o’clock position. With patented protection guarantees flawless performance, the watch that once ran America’s railroads now empowers world explorers to live freely and fearlessly.
Encased in toughness, the movement and its precision ensure that exploration never stops. And thanks to testing by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (C.O.S.C.), the timepiece is a certified mechanical chronometer built to deliver perfect time keeping in the most imperfect conditions.
Featuring a 42-hour power reserve when the watch is unworn, the in-house modification of the movement allows all 4 watch hands originating from the center, creating a wider angle perspective and ensuring easy readability of the power reserve hours.
Available exclusively online, the latest addition to the Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer series is limited to 1,000 pieces each.
It’s on pre-order until 21 April 2021 at an exclusive price.