The Rolex Explorer continues the long tradition of tough timepieces that began in the 1930s, when several Himalayan expeditions used Rolex Oyster watches. They accompanied the 1953 Everest expedition as well, and it was in that year that Rolex launched the Explorer, with all the rugged characteristics that had been developed up until then. In 2010, the case size was enlarged from 36 to 39 mm.
This year, the new Rolex Explorer differs from the previous version in a few significant details. The hands have been lengthened, so that the minute hand is in exact reference with the chapter ring. The hour hand is also a little longer; both are slightly wider. All the hour indices, including the 3, 6 and 9 numerals that were previously in uncoated white gold are now coated with blue Chromalight for night-time luminescence.
The Explorer’s dial will appeal to anyone who likes a watch without the frills, reduced to time-keeping essentials, so no date, no Cyclops window to disturb the balance. It has the purity of pilot’s watches, with visibility of hands and numerals against the black, satin-finish background as the number one priority.
The watch has all of the customary Oyster ruggedness, with a 904L stainless steel case with screw-down caseback and screw-down crown, for a water resistance of 100 metres. Inside, the self-winding calibre 3132 has an anti-magnetic Parachrom hairspring, and a power reserve of about 48 hours. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz. The movement is certified by COSC and then by Rolex, with the Superlative Chronometer certification that provides a precision of about -2/+2 seconds maximum deviation per day.
The stainless steel Oyster bracelet has the Easylink comfort extension system that enables the bracelet to be lengthened by the user by about 5 mm.
Rolex Explorer, price and reference
The new Rolex Explorer, reference 214270, costs €6,050 inclusive of VAT.