Submariner vs Rolex Explorer II: Which one is better?
August 08, 2020

Submariner vs Rolex Explorer II: Which one is better?

Submariner and Explorer II by Rolex are the two most recognizable watches in the world. They are durable, reliable, efficient, and ultra-précised. Besides, there are significant differences between the two that can be easily noted.

The most notable difference is that, while the classic look of Rolex Explorer II always entices the audiences, none the less, Submariner collections are more suitable for casual or sporty wearing. It is always a question mark which one is better than the other. Here are given some of the resources for comparing Rolex Submariner and Explorer II.


The Submariner was known for its waterproofness quality. It consists of the water-resistance of 300 meters.  It consists of a middle monobloc steel center and a screw-down case. It is best known for its features such as robustness and hard-looking steel structure. Besides, some other technical attributes are also equipped that signifies its 60 years of existence.

On the other hand, the Rolex Explorer II was specifically designed for the explorer, scientists, or mountaineers. With the toughest of the hard conditions, these watches are equipped with polar or caving missions for many years.

The most noticeable trait of this watch is bright orange-colored arrow-tipped GMT hand that takes one full rotation around the dial after every 24 hours. It is comprised of the steel bezel with a 24-hour scale, that enables the wearer to keep an accurate track of second-time zone during traveling.

Case and Dial

The Submariner is available in three different options; steel, 18k yellow gold, 18k white gold. Its oyster case is composed in the form of a middle monobloc steel center accompanied by a screw-down case. The latter part is combined with the triple waterproof system that features three sealed zones. With 40mm unidirectional rotating bezel, the watch is completed with cerachrom ceramic that prevents the colors of Submarine's bezel from scratching or fading.

The Rolex Explorer II consists of 42mm oyster steel case available in black and white options. The date located at the 3'0 clock is engraved with the Cyclops lens. The screw-down crown is accompanied by the twin lock two waterproof systems with two sealed zones. The watch is not suitable for underwater adventures as it consists of only 100m water resistance.


The superlative chronometer in both the watches makes the collection more reliable. They are capable to live up to the brand's standards of dependability and accuracy.

On one side the Submariner watches are powered by the 3130 and 3135 calibers. Both calibers perform the same at the rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Their engines are equipped with paramagnetic blue Para chrom hairspring. While Rolex Explorer II is powered by the 3187 calibers along with the performance at the same rate of vibrations per hour. Like Submariner, these watches are also composed of paramagnetic blue Para chrom hairspring.

Bracelet and Clasp

The Submariner watch consists of the 3-piece iconic oyster bracelet. Its clasp provides a safe and secure fit on the hand. With its glide lock system, the bracelet can be worn at the top of heavy diving gear, extending its clasp parts in small increments.

While Rolex Explorer II is made upon a rugged oyster steel bracelet. Its clasp enables you to wear it over outdoor gear while increasing the bracelet in 5mm increments.


The starting price of both watches is similar that is around $8,000. However, as the quality of both the watches increases, their prices also get high. Such as Steve McQueen vintage watch, an expensive design of Rolex Explorer II sells for around $43,000. Likely, in recent years, the prices of both models have only gone high, making them more comparable against each other.


If we keep Submariner vs Rolex Explorer II in front. Then it is very hard to decide which one is the most reliable and efficient. On one side the Rolex Explorer II can be worn on a smart suit which makes it look more classy. Submariner watches are more equipped for diving adventures because of their improved water resistance features.

The movement in both the watches is in terms of the performance. The explorer's bezel comprises of a second-time zone, while Submariner's watch can be used to track the time in underwater.

If you want a watch for travel and outdoor activities, then Explorer is the best. While for diving adventures, you should opt for Submariner.