Rolex 16570 Explorer II

Rolex Explorer II 16570

My version of the Rolex Explorer II – model 16750 – is a special one, as it is the last batch of the version 16550/16570 with caliber 3186 inside.

It is also with the white dial – my first and maybe last white dial watch. I do think that I’m more a black dial guy. But if I should have a white dial – this is the model for it.



History of Rolex Explorer II 16750:

The Explorer II reference 16570, featured a newer type of movement the caliber 3185 and later the 3186. It also only had one obvious visual change from its predecessor, the use of black hour marker rings and hands on the white dial version. The cream-dial model had white gold hour markers and hands, just like the Submariner and GMT-Master for example. It is said that beneath the black paint, the hour markers and hands are still white gold.


The 40mm 16570 was replaced by a new 42mm version with an orange hour hand (216570), which was introduced at BaselWorld in March 2011, and released to the public later that fall. This time equipped with the new 3187 calibre.


1985 16550 is introduced including a whole raft of updates, new sapphire crystal, calibre 3085 movement and an additional white dial option to the original black. Original small red-orange hand changed to a long sleek red one.
1989 16570 released this year with the 3185 and later on 3186 calibre. Later editions of the 16570 had the 3186 fitted in conjuction with a ‘Rolex’ rehaut. First use of black outline hour markers.
2011 Baselworld 2011 sees the end of the 5 digit Rolex Explorer and the ushering in of the new 216570 with the new 3187 powering it all

The Rolex Explorer II 16750 was normally with the cal 3185 – but during that last years the 16750 was fitted with the 3186 caliber, that is seen as the more modern version.

Difference between calibers:

  • The 3186 has a “Parachrom Bleu” hairspring made from Niob and Hafnium.
  • As it is non ferrous it is unaffected by magnetism, also this makes the 3186 MUCH more resistant to temperature variations than the 3185.
  • Rolex have also moved the fixed positions (where the hand clicks into) from the centre of the movement on the 3185 to the hands driving train on the 3186 thus the 3186 has far less play than the 3185 – hence the “wiggle test”.

Wiggle Test for cal 3186 or cal 3185:

., the wiggle test can be performed when you adjust the time on the GMT and Explorer models. When you “jump” the hour hand back and forth one hour, does the red 24 hour hand “wiggle” or slightly move as a result? An Explorer or GMT that does not have the “wiggle” might likely have the 3186 caliber beating inside. …

Another method for discerning a 3185 with the 3186 movement is through the the Crown Rotation Method. This method is another way to discern the type of movement without having to remove the caseback. Because the calendar and hour-hand setting mechanism was redesigned in the 3186 movement, the number of turns of the crown to turn the 12 hour hand is different on a 3186 than it is on a 3185.

  • 3185: one complete crown revolution makes the hour hand jumps 6 timezones/hours
  • 3186: one complete crown revolution equals 8-9 timezones/hours

This tip was provided to by Ed who discovered this method on a French watch forum.


Some Rolex Ads with White dial Explorer II