Ask any Rolex aficionado for his favorite style, and you’ll most likely hear about the Subs, Daytonas and the GMTs. The Rolex Explorer, it seems, is an unlikely favorite – but we find that the more one hears about its history, the more he comes to appreciate it.
Initially created as a prototype for Himalayan expeditions, the original Rolex Explorer accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay during the pioneering ascent to Mt. Everest. It has since become an icon and a symbol of robustness.
No other watch in the Rolex line has been on as many extreme places, and witness to as many adventures around the globe. No wonder then, that the Explorer has become the watch for adventurers of life. We give you some famous adventurers and risk-takers who love the Explorer:
Prince Harry served several terms in Afghanistan as part of the British Army, and was even promoted to Captain. Throughout his service, he was spotted wearing a Rolex Explorer II ref 16570. It’s a perfect choice, as the watch is suited for the extreme weather and conditions he was subjected to.
This particular model features a white dial, white luminous markers, and an orange second hand which makes it legible, even in the dark. Video from Forces News on YouTube
British actor Orlando Bloom first rose to fame as Legolas in Lord of the Rings. It’s through this film that he became one of Hollywood’s favorite leading men, for epic and fantasy adventure films.
In watch circles, the actor is a known vintage Rolex fanatic. This is something that the general public didn’t know until his home was ransacked by the “Bling Ring”, an infamous group of thieves, in 2009.
All his über rare vintage watches were stolen, but later retrieved – including a Vintage Rolex Reference 1655, which was originally introduced in 1971. Bloom’s version of the watch sits on a fat-strap which makes it even cooler. Photo from Orlando Bloom on Instagram
Tom Hanks is best known for his extensive career as an actor and producer in films, television and stage. In real life, Hanks has many pursuits.
He supports various causes such as environmentalism and public awareness of manned space programs. Hanks has been wearing Rolex for several decades – including a Seadweller, a GV Milgauss, and a Rolex Explorer I. Photo from Tom Hanks on Instagram
Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon, is most famous for his role as Jason Bourne in the Bourne Identity series. In real life, Matt Damon is a known Rolex fan and poker player.
At the tables, he makes it a point to wear Rolex, usually his vintage Rolex Explorer 1016. The watch symbolizes precision and focus – two ingredients needed to win when playing with the very best. Photo from 007 on Instagram
Ian Fleming famously wrote that his James Bond character wore a Rolex. What not many people know, is that he himself wore one – specifically a stainless steel 1016 Rolex Explorer. When he wrote 1962’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, he based Bond’s watch on his real-life timepiece.
It read, “Bond surveyed his weapons. They were only his hands and his feet, his Gillette razor and his wristwatch, a heavy Rolex Oyster Perpetual on an expanding metal bracelet. Used properly, these could be turned into most effective knuckle busters.”