A new chapter of the storied history of the Rolex Explorer opened with the release of the Explorer II in 1971. Just like its older sibling (the Explorer I), the Explorer II was a professional steel tool watch but bigger and with a very niche application. While its smaller brother sat on the wrists of mountaineers, the Explorer II was designed for the men and women that ventured into the deepest caves and across the far poles. As it is difficult to distinguish between day and night in these places, the watch features an extra hour hand and a fixed 24-hour bezel so that you can always read the correct time.
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The Rolex Explorer II 1655 were fitted with the calibres 1570 and 1575, the same movement as the GMT-Master Ref. 1675 of that era that featured the 24-hour hand that indicates AM/PM. This Rolex Explorer II 1655 has the calibre 1570. Whereas the GMT-Master had a rotating bezel, the Explorer II reference 1655 used a fixed 24-hour scale indicator. The Explorer II Ref. 1655 and its famous orange 24-hour hand works in conjunction with the fixed 24-hour bezel to be used as a day/ night indicator.