Let me start this review with an admission: I thought the Big Crown was going to turf many of its current models in 2020. The Milgauss, for example, is well past due for an evolution from its current form, if it remains at all. Likewise, the Air-King – which stylistically borrowed heavily from a set of dash clocks made for a land speed record car that Rolex no longer has any affiliation with – was also rumoured to be disappearing for good. In my opinion, though, the model that was most ready for a reboot was the divisive Explorer II Ref.216570. Here is a watch that has been in production for one year shy of a decade and, until recently, hasn't exactly been a fan favourite. In fact, before stainless steel professional models escalated in value, the Explorer II, in either the black or white dial, was readily available from your local AD. I should know – I used to work for one. Why was it never as desirable as something like a Submariner or Daytona? Well, the large 42mm case size has been off-putting for many, considering that its predecessor, the Ref. 16570, was a more agreeable 40mm. Then…

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