7 Best Affordable Rolex Explorer Alternatives 2021

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The Rolex Explorer is an iconic watch, with its black dial and the Arabic numbers at 3, 6, and 9. In fact, it is so well-known that most watches that have the same set up are said to have an Explorer dial. Rolex started making this watch in the 1950s, and it has only had a few changes over time. It has a glossy black dial, the iconic Arabic numbers, and white gold on the markers. It is an expensive watch, and people often want to know if there is a more affordable alternative. Continue reading to see the 7 Best Affordable Rolex Explorer Alternatives.

ORIENT Men's Kamasu Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Diving Watch
ORIENT Men's Kamasu Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Diving Watch
Orient F6922 Automatic, Hand-Winding, Hacking Movement; 41. 8 mm Case Diameter; 22 mm Lug Width
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Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Tough Quartz Mens Watch, Stainless Steel, Silver-Tone (Model: BN0211-50E)
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Tough Quartz Mens Watch, Stainless Steel, Silver-Tone (Model: BN0211-50E)
Black Dial; Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal; 3 Hand, Date; Sport type: Snorkeling
Longines Conquest Automatic Black Dial Men's 39mm Watch L3.776.4.58.6
Longines Conquest Automatic Black Dial Men's 39mm Watch L3.776.4.58.6
Featuring a Silver-tone Band, Silver-tone Case, Scratch Resistant Sapphire Crystal
Grand Seiko Heritage Stainless Steel Spring Drive SBGA373
Grand Seiko Heritage Stainless Steel Spring Drive SBGA373
Three-fold clasp; Power reserve display; 72-hour (3-day) power reserve,

Orient Men’s Kamasu Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Diving Watch

ORIENT Men's Kamasu Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Diving Watch
  • Orient F6922 Automatic, Hand-Winding, Hacking Movement
  • 41. 8 mm Case Diameter
  • 22 mm Lug Width
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • Water resistant 200m (660ft): in general, suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not diving

This watch was inspired by the barracuda, which is shown in the hands that are similar to teeth and the markers to the sapphire crystal. In fact, Kamasu is the Japanese word for barracuda. The bezel has a unique design with a dotted pattern that lies between the bold numerals. In addition, you have the day and date that is similar to former Orient divers.

The case measures 46.8 mm from lug to lug, and it is 41.8 mm across. The bracelet is solid and oyster style, and the end links are hollow. It has a flat sapphire crystal in front, and it has a mechanical movement that can be hand wound, but it is self-winding and hacking as well. It is water resistant up to 660 feet, and it is suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports.

Orient has been making watches for more than 65 years, and all of the movements are made in Japan. They are passionate about watchmaking, and they produce their own movements. Orient prides themselves by combining excellent craftsmanship with Japanese fashion for all to enjoy at an affordable price.

Citizen Promaster Tough Eco-Drive Movement Men’s Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Tough Quartz Mens Watch, Stainless Steel, Silver-Tone (Model: BN0211-50E)
  • Other features include anti-reflective sapphire crystal, super LumiNova hands and markers and ability to function in extreme temperatures. Featuring our Eco-Drive technology – powered by light, any...
  • Black Dial
  • Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
  • 3 Hand, Date
  • Test the extremes with the brand new CITIZEN Promaster Tough series. Living up to its name, this timepiece features a monocoque case (2 piece construction resulting in no caseback) resulting in...

The Citizen Promaster is a professional watch that is made to handle the toughest environments and adventures of all kinds. It has the sustainable Eco-Drive for its power, so you never need batteries. This technology absorbs both natural and artificial light and converts it into energy, which is stored in a lithium-ion cell that is always rechargeable. It recharges continuously, which allows it to run in any conditions, including the dark, without stopping. 

The watch has luminous hands and markers, and it has a duratect coating that is anti-rust, scratch resistant, and hypoallergenic. It has a monocoque case with two-piece construction, and it is shock resistant, anti-magnetic, and functions in extreme temperatures. This is a rugged and durable watch that will never let you down.

Longines Conquest Black Dial Stainless Steel Automatic Mens Watch

Longines Conquest Automatic Black Dial Men's 39mm Watch L3.776.4.58.6
  • Featuring a Silver-tone Band, Silver-tone Case, Scratch Resistant Sapphire Crystal

The Longines Conquest has a round case, and it is made of stainless steel. The glass is scratch resistant sapphire crystal, and it has several layers of anti-reflective coating on the underside. It has a screw down case back, and it is water resistant to 30 bar.

The dial is black lacquered and polished, and the hour markers are painted Arabic numerals and indexes. It has silver polished hands, and it is very attractive. It has an automatic movement that is self-winding, and it beats at 25,200 vibrations per hour. It has a power reserve of around 72 hours. It has a stainless steel bracelet with a triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism.

The Conquest watch by Longines is for anyone who wants to explore and push themselves to new heights. The watches subtly combine performance and elegance, and it is a great alternative to the Rolex Explorer.

Ball Men’s GM1032C-S2CJ-BK Engineer II Ohio Black GMT Dial Watch

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When Ball designed this watch, they looked to all of the best Classic styles. It is a classy watch with all of the conveniences you expect. The watch has a black dial, and the applied Arabic numerals are surrounded by tritium gas tube hour markers and arrow style metal markers. The numerals sit at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. The hands also have lume, and they have tritium gas tubes. It has a red GMT hand that is easy to read, and there is a 24-hour scale around the dial.

The case of this watch is water resistant up to 100 meters, and it has a sapphire crystal. It has a Swiss automatic movement, and it is COSC Chronometer certified. The metal bracelet is stylish and attractive, and it is durable and a great value compared to its competitors. It has a power reserve of around 42 hours, and it is scratch resistant with its anti-reflective sapphire crystal. It has a screw down crown, and the back is solid. It has a lot of functions, including date, GMT, second time zone, hour, minute, second, and chronometer.

Tudor Black Bay Automatic Black Dial Mens GMT Pepsi Bezel Watch

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The Tudor Black Bay GMT is a functional watch with a Pepsi colored bezel. It is attractive and has similarities to the Rolex. It is a great watch for anyone who enjoys traveling and adventures. The split colors in the bezel help to delineate day and night in the second time zone, and it is a visual sign that it is this kind of watch.

Although the design of this watch is a huge focal point, it is highly functional as a GMT watch. The case is made of stainless steel with mixed brushed and polished finishing, and it measures 41 mm wide. It is also 15 mm thick and 50 mm from lug to lug. It is the perfect size in between large and small watches. The shape of the case is chunky enough to show off its functionality, while having polished flanks and a polished lug facer that help make it appear lighter. You have excellent control with a wide-set bezel edge and a large screw down crown, and you can update it without removing it from your wrist.

It is water resistant up to 200 meters, so you can wear it in the shower or the pool. You can also dive with it. The coloring is subtle although obvious, and it looks more similar to a tool that is practical and useful, while remaining stunningly attractive. The dial is matte black, and the markers are large with a simple date window at 3:00.

It uses the Tudor full size movement, and GMT functionality is integrated. It has a power reserve of 70 hours, and it has bidirectional winding. It has a solid steel bracelet, and it comes with a leather strap or a fabric strap in black and red. You can easily change time zones by unscrewing the crown and jumping forward or backward.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Automatic Mens Watch

The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra watch is versatile because it is a sports watch and a dress up watch. It has an exceptional finish, with a mixture of polished and brushed finishes on both the case and the bracelet. It reflects the light beautifully, and the dial looks fantastic.

The weight of the watch is just right, and it is a great size. It has a 41 mm diameter, and it is large enough without being bulky. It can appeal to many different people and be worn on many different occasions. It has a Co-Axial 8800 Calibre movement, which has a power reserve of 55 hours. It has master Chronometer status, and it is anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss.

To achieve the Master Chronometer certification, it has to pass eight different tests. They include magnetism resistance at different exposures, accuracy of function, day-to-day precision, accuracy deviations, isochronism, power reserve, and water resistance.

The dial is black, and it has hand applied indices. The date window is at the 6 o’clock position, and it has horizontal engravings. It is elegant and functional at the same time. The case is comfortable on your wrist, and it is a high-quality watch that you will enjoy wearing in any situation.

Grand Seiko Heritage Stainless Steel Spring Drive SBGA373

Grand Seiko Heritage Stainless Steel Spring Drive SBGA373
  • Three-fold clasp
  • Power reserve display
  • 72-hour (3-day) power reserve,

Grand Seiko is a luxury brand that is a sub brand of Seiko, and it makes exclusive watches using the highest quality materials. This watch is popular because of its attention to detail, its attractive finish, and its design.

This watch has a stainless steel case, and its diameter is 39 mm. It is a balanced six that will fit many different people. It is a great combination of sporty and elegant. The case has a fixed polished stainless steel bezel that gives it a clean and elegant look. The upper side of the lugs are brushed, which contrasts with the polished edges on the inner and outer sides. There is a screw down crown on the 3 o’clock side, and it is slightly recessed and protected. The simple design makes it elegant and keeps the bulk of the watch to a minimum. It also makes the watch water resistant to 330 feet, so you can wear it while swimming.

On the top of the case, it has a dual curved sapphire crystal. It has an anti-reflective coating on the inside. It prevents any glaring, which makes it easier to read. The dial is simple and elegant at the same time. It is a champagne color with a sunburst finish. It shows the incredible attention to detail, and it reflects the light and makes it appear more exclusive.

It is a Spring Drive watch, which means it is powered by the Grand Seiko Spring drive. It has springs that drive out some beats that create electrical charges, and these charges activate the quartz oscillator and the electronic circuit. It also has a power reserve of 72 hours. The back of the glass is transparent, so you can see the movement at work. It has a beautiful stainless steel bracelet with both polished and brushed finishes, and it has a three-fold clasp with a push button release.

Why Buy a Rolex Explorer Alternative?

The Rolex Explorer is an amazing and iconic watch. However, it is very expensive, and many people want to find a more affordable alternative. The Rolex Explorer is one of the oldest and most well-known models, and it was created to celebrate the British Mount Everest Expedition in 1954.

Although it is one of the less expensive Rolex models, it still costs more than $6,500. Many people simply don’t have a budget that can accommodate a watch in that price range. Fortunately, there are quite a few watches out there that are similar to the Rolex Explorer. They are well made and attractive, and they embody the adventurous spirit of the Rolex they are modeled after.

You can find alternatives to the Rolex Explorer for all different budgets. There are budget alternatives that are under $500, and they may not have the mechanics of a Rolex, but they are quality time pieces in an Explorer style. The midrange options range from $500 to $2,000, and they are a step up in build quality and some have Swiss movements. At the premium level, the watches can hold their own next to the Rolex, and they are more than $2,000 but still less than the Rolex. Any of these watches embody the spirit of the Explorer, and all are quality watches.

Final Words

The Rolex Explorer is an iconic watch that has been around since 1954. It embodies the spirit of adventure and overcoming the odds. It is a watch where function and elegance are combined, and it can be used in any situation. The Explorer is so well-known that watchmakers often refer to the dial as an Explorer dial.

Any of the seven watches reviewed above are excellent alternatives to the Rolex Explorer. No matter which one you choose, you will have a high-quality watch that works in travel and formal situations. The watches are attractive and functional, and you are sure to find the one that works best for you.


Last update on 2024-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API