Perhaps the classic Rolex sports watch of all times is the Explorer (or Explorer I, as it is sometimes referred to). Even James Bond wears an Explorer in the original books by Ian Flemming. The first Explorer models (1953) are quite similar to the current model, although it has – of course – been updated through time to keep up with modern requirements of the consumer. However, what didn’t change was the diameter of 36 mm. A size that is nowadays considered small and not everyone can get away with it anymore. We grew and our wrists did so too. We – at MotoringExposure – are therefore happy to tell you that Rolex acknowledged this as well and introduced their latest Explorer version last week during the BaselWorld fair, the 39mm Explorer!
Rolex likes to refer to the Mount Everest expedition, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the top on the 29th of May 1953, both wearing their Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches. However, it is known that Sir Edmund Hillary wore a Smith watch when he climbed the top. Tenzing Norhay however, did wear his Rolex. The very first Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer had a white-ish dial (ref.6298) but was soon replaced by a black dial ref.6350 model. Both these watches featured an automatic movement and large numerals on the dial. However, the luminous numerals on a black dial were introduced with the 6350. A few other models followed – we don’t want to bore you with facts – and in 1963 the mother of the current Explorer was introduced, the Rolex Explorer ref.1016. This model has been in production till 1989, and is therefore the watch that has been in production the longest time with respect to the Explorer models.
Adding a sapphire crystal, a new self-winding movement with a higher beats per hour rate and a more modern (but less sporty) dial, the ref. 14270 Rolex Explorer was introduced in 1989. The dial is considered to be more elegant, the case design up to speed with the rest of the Rolex watches at that time and this timepiece is still good to go in 2010. In 2001 though, Rolex introduced a ref.114270 because of the new movement upgrade (cal.3130). Except for the size, this Rolex model is considered to be one of the most beautiful sports watches made by the most famous Geneva company in the world. Even collectors with only little or no love for Rolex, will appreciate the Explorer models.
For men with men’s wrists, Rolex now introduces the Explorer in 39mm instead of 36mm. A new movement has been installed as well, the Rolex caliber 3132. This new movement type features all recent changes made by Rolex to their line-up of calibers, including the Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. The bracelet features the new clasp, with the Easylink comfort extension link. Just so you know. Mind that the dial features the RRR-ring, but slightly less in-your-face than it is in the other Rolex watches. The numerals are – compared to the ref.114270 – not filled with Super Luminova and come close to a so-called ‘Black-out’ version that Rolex made in 1991/1992. By accident.
Prices are unknown yet, but our guess is that it will be around the same price as the Rolex Milgauss model or even a bit lower perhaps, since the Explorer doesn’t feature the special weak iron core inside. We wouldn’t be surprised when it will be retailing at 4250 Euro / $5600 USD. Rolex refers to this model as 214270, as the 114270 is still in production and the new 39mm just accompanies it. Perhaps a nice his & hers watch 🙂