Rolex Explorer history began from the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norway reached the top in May 1953, both wearing Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches. Being one of the first watches to reach Everest’s peak, the Rolex Explorer quickly became the watch of choice for mountain climbers and other adventurers.
Mountain expeditions were extremely expensive and like today, mountaineers ensured that all their equipment was of the best quality. It is dangerous after all! Incredible heights and extreme temperatures require a watch to withstand these conditions. The Rolex Explorer is perhaps one of the most classic sports watches and has not been dramatically altered since the first model in 1953. Therefore it is no surprise that this elegant watch and has been the popular choice of explorers since it was first introduced.
The first Rolex Explorer ref.6298 had a white dial, but was replaced by a black dial ref.6350 quite soon after. The Explorer benefitted from all the technical knowledge gained during the Himalayan expeditions since the 1930s. It needed to be an extremely rugged Oyster, with an all-steel bracelet and new Twinlock winding crown with a double waterproofness system. A few alterations have been made over the years. One visible change is the size of the watch, as the original had a diameter of 36mm.
The latest Oyster Perpetual Explorer ref. 214270 is certainly as stunning as ever! The 2016 Explorer retains the 39mm sizing and Rolex’s 3132 Superlative Chronometer automatic movement. This is a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed by Rolex. It features a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers - perfect for shock in extreme conditions. The smooth bezel in 904L steel is robust yet stylish, and in perfect harmony with the Explorer’s iconic heritage.
Like previous models the 214270 clearly has distinctive hour and minute hands, with the black dial keeping its luminescent indices and large Arabic numerals at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The luminescent material emits a long-lasting blue glow. This exclusive Chromalight display offers exceptional legibility in any conditions. It was designed for optimal legibility - even in the darkest of places! Lume is important and today’s Rolex Explorer design mirrors the painted numerals of the 1016 Rolex Explorer of 1963.
The hands of the ref.214270 are also broader and longer for enhanced visual comfort. We think for the adventurer in us, the 2016 Rolex Explorer is the perfect timepiece. It was one of the first watches designed by Rolex for professional users, and today’s Explorer retains its position as the go-to sporty Rolex. We have some wonderful choices of sports watches here at Armour Winston...
We especially like this Rolex 16570 Explorer II from 2003. It is in excellent condition and would be perfect for an adventure up a mountain or as a stunning accessory to any stylish outfit!