The most popular topic on The Prodigal Guide? By a huge margin, the Rolex Explorer II.
Don’t ask us how or why our digital behinds became so closely intertwined with this watch, but it continues to elicit your interest. Ours? Not so much since we declared the new Rolex Explorer II a dodo. Swollen, blunt and a far cry from the every-day beauty and subtlety of its predecessor, we backed away. In no small part aided by the Rolex security staff at Baselworld. Ahem!
Anyways, we’ve also recounted our discovery of the Hillary Tenzing Edition project, headed by the ever-ebullient, chain-smoking Philip Stahl. A crucial element was missing from this 3-piece Everest-themed watch set: the new Explorer II.
You see the other watches in the limited Hillary Tenzing Edition are the HTE 36mm and HTE 39mm, each with their own theme engraved on the caseback. The HTE 36mm is based on the original Rolex Explorer I, and honouring Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay as the first to set foot on the top of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain in 1953·
The new Rolex Explorer I has been the inspiration for the HTE 39mm, and is dedicated to the first & second generation to the top as Sir Edmund Hillary and Peter Hillary were the first father/son duo to reach the top of Mount Everest.
And now? The Rolex HTE 42mm is finally here.
Inspired by the original Sir Edmund Hillary Explorer II, a patina has been added along with small, but significant changes to the bezel to recreate the vintage look. Dumping the steel bracelet, which weighed the entire piece down, you can see just how great it looks on…the NATO strap that accompanies the Tudor Monte Carlo re-edition! Yes, yes, lots of cobbling together here. But look at the result. On looks alone, this is the piece Rolex should have delivered, and didn’t. Granted, none of this comes cheap, with the entire set and lots of goodies being provided for, um, EUR29,000.
For sure, many of you will blast this as nothing more than clever marketing and profiteering. Not to mention tampering with a perfectly good new watch. You may be right, but the looks tell us folk outside Rolex are delivering better designs than the parent company.
And that’s the truth, Ruth.
For more information on Hillary Tenzing Edition, click here.
The new Rolex Explorer II done right, courtesy of HTE
HTE deliver the Rolex Explorer II that should have been. We stand by this statement. Read on….
Straight-Six had a proper job as a journalist for Dow Jones before lowering himself gently into the warm, forgiving waters of The Guide. He’s our resident fanatic: he relished detailing his BMW M3 for two full days at a time before crashing it at Eau Rouge in the wet; he spends insane amounts on his home-cinema system and has thrown tens of thousands of euros at vintage Rolex sports watches. The little fool simply does not understand the concept of restraint or the meaning of excess. He also – following a legendary "heavy" lunch – once nibbled (yes, like little dogs do) a dear lady friend of ours.
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