Rolex Explorer II Polar

This Rolex Explorer II ref 16570 review was originally written and published in the summer of 2019. Back then, I had “only” had the watch for about 18 months, was still living in Philly, and had only learned about pandemics in college.

Now that I’ve just about doubled the length of ownership, it only felt appropriate to come back and update this review with new perspectives not only on this specific reference but the Explorer II line which has continued to evolve within Rolex’s catalog. Naturally, I’ve also inserted new photos highlighting the striking beauty of this watch on many different straps.

Follow along as I take a refreshed look at the Rolex Explorer II 16570 via the following points:

Technical SpecificationsExplorer 16570 Price TrendsA New Explorer II AppearsOwners On The Wrist ReviewFinal Thoughts

Use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read it all!

Rolex 16570 Polar Wristie

Technical Specifications

Case Diameter: 40mm>42mm with crownCase Material: Stainless SteelBezel: Stainless Steel, non-rotating (fixed)Bracelet: Oyster, Stainless SteelCrystal Material: Scratch-Resistant Sapphire w/ CyclopsCase Depth: 12mmLug to Lug: 47mmWeight: 126 gramsStrap Size: 20mmMovement: Rolex Manufacture Caliber 3185>Automatic, Bi-directional windingCOSC-Chronometer Certified (-4 to +6 s/day)~46 hour power reserveWater Resistance: 100m / 10 bar

Rolex Explorer II 16570 Price

Original Retail Price: $6,300Pre-Owned Price: $7,000 to $12,000+ (As of August 2021)


In the first iteration of this review, I introduced the 16570 as a rugged yet refined sports watch that held its own indoors or outdoors, in casual or formal settings; this has not changed. What has changed is the price: it’s up over 100% since first publishing this article.

I purchased my Rolex 16570 Polar in mid-2017. At the time, steel Rolex sports models were in the early stages of the price explosion that surprised just about everyone in the watch industry.

The craze had not yet spread to the Explorer II models, so I was lucky to snag one for about $3,500, a modest discount from the original MSRP of $6,300. Most have not been so fortunate, however. Since that time the price graph of this model has gone only in one direction – up.

Today, the 16570 sells for anywhere from $7,000 (individual owners) to more than $12,000 (pre-owned watch dealers).

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