Rolex’s military secret… The SRR Explorer II
Once you get reasonably familiar with Rolex you quickly learn one of their golden rules, they don’t do limited editions and they don’t do bespoke. Walk into any AD and they’ll tell you the same thing. You’ll also be familiar with their historic relationship with the Ministry of Defence and the legendary mil-subs that drive collectors crazy.
In 1970 they released their first limited edition, the mighty 5100 quartz with it’s experimental Beta 21 movement. More than 30 years later, and in typically secretive fashion they quietly did it again…
For a handful of elite military units Rolex agreed to produce a small series of very limited edition pieces on the understanding that they would not be revealed to the wider market.
In 2007, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment put in a request for a limited number of Rolex Explorer II’s engraved with the regiments Cap Badge. As one of the world’s most respected fighting forces, the SRR are not an easy bunch to say “no” to and 139 of these unique 16570’s were produced with their distinctive and individually numbered case backs.
Each one was allocated to a specific soldier who’s service number was recorded against the the watch and signed an agreement they would not sell the watch within an agreed time scale. As a final layer of security, Rolex clearly marked the guarantees as being delivered to the Special Reconaissance Regiment, confirming the background of these special military timepieces.
Keep a keen eye on our blog and we'll introduce you to a few more covert editions, including a Sub for the officers of Ireland's HMSU, a second SRR edition, an SAS Explorer II and a far more brazen Sea-Dweller for Italy's elite "Sommozzotori" Police Divers...