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Watch Reviews Under $10k: The Rolex Explorer Reference 214270

July 31, 2017

BY Paul Altieri


Originally introduced in 1953, the Explorer has become one of Rolex’s most iconic models and a cornerstone offering in their catalog. Although it does not possess any features or complications specifically tailored to one sport or activity, the Explorer was designed to handle any conditions its owner might face, and is considered by many collectors to be Rolex’s original sport watch.

Over the course of its incredibly long production history, the Explorer line has stayed very true to its roots from an aesthetic standpoint. However, it has seen subtle updates and additions throughout the years that have helped the Explorer keep up with modern times and improve upon its already legendary accuracy and reliability.

Explorer Reference 214270

The Explorer Reference 214270 is a watch that can survive the toughest elements.

The Explorer Reference 214270 at Baselworld 2010

Originally introduced in 2010, the reference 214270 Explorer saw a 3 mm increase in size to a 39 mm case diameter, while still offering users 100 meters of water resistance. Additionally, the caliber 3132 movement inside has been fitted with Paraflex shock absorbers to provide a greater level of resistance to harmful bumps and impacts.

While it was introduced in 2010, the reference 214270 Explorer saw a minor revision in 2016, although Rolex did not issue it a new reference number to accompany the change. Nothing was altered in regards to the Explorer’s movement, case, or bracelet, however the 2016 release of the reference 214270 Explorer did receive a slightly revised dial and set of hands.

Explorer Reference 214270

Take the Explorer Reference 214270 out on a drive, or around the world. Your pick.

The dial update, while subtle, can be considered an overall improvement. Rather than plain, white gold markers, the iconic Arabic numerals of the Explorer at the 3, 6, and 9 locations are now filled with luminous paint to give the watch a more balanced appearance in low-light settings.

The revised set of hands has been made slightly larger to match the reference 214270 Explorer’s new, larger 39 mm case diameter. Although the increase in size is relatively minor, the overall effect is a more refined and proportional appearance. Despite their cosmetic impact, the dial and handset revision did not bring about a new reference number, and the reference 214270 Explorer remains in production today.

Designing the Explorer Reference 214270

From a design standpoint, the Rolex Explorer has always adhered to a minimalist philosophy of the bare essentials – perfectly executed – with no extraneous features existing anywhere on the watch. There are no dial color or bracelet options, no day or date complications, and certainly no precious metal variants available for the Explorer.

The reference 214270 Explorer is very much the contemporary equivalent of the first Explorer watch that Rolex released well over half a century ago. Although the design has been refined and updated throughout the years, and the movement upgraded as better technologies and materials have become available; at its heart, the reference 214270 Rolex Explorer is still very much the same watch that Rolex envisioned when they first released the Explorer line all those years ago.

Explorer Reference 214270

While it may appear simple, this watch has many intricacies.

Don’t Be Fooled

Since the reference 214270 Explorer is craft from stainless steel and does not have any highly specialized complications such as the annual calendar from the Sky-Dweller, or the adjustable countdown timer from the Yacht-Master II, it is one of the easiest Rolex watches for counterfeiters to replicate. While counterfeiters are getting increasingly better at replicating the fine details of Rolex’s designs, all of the normal rules for spotting a fake still apply to the reference 214270.

When trying to ascertain the authenticity of a Rolex Explorer, always examine the print on the dial, the reference/serial number engravings, the bracelet (and its accompanying markings), the quality of the hands, and (if possible) the movement. Although there is no end-all rule for identifying a counterfeit reference 214270 Explorer, a genuine example should feel like a multi-thousand dollar luxury timepiece built by the legendary Rolex brand.

Explorer Reference 214270

Get the Explorer Reference 214270 at a lower price point at Bob’s Watches.

The Best way to get the Explorer Reference 214270

Since the reference 214270 is the latest incarnation of Rolex’s Explorer, it can still be purchased brand-new with factory warranties from authorized dealers. Additionally, since the reference 214270 has been on the market since 2010, used examples can be found on the pre-owned market at discounted prices. Much like any other stainless steel Rolex, the difference between brand-new and pre-owned prices for the reference 214270 will be far less dramatic than what one would observe when comparing Rolex watches craft from solid gold or platinum; however the savings is significant nonetheless.

The reference 214270 Explorer is certainly not Rolex’s most flashy, expensive, or feature-rich offering; however it is probably the watch that has stayed most true to its original design and specifications. For over sixty years, Rolex’s Explorer has represented their classic sports watch offering, providing users with robust build quality, a highly legible dial, and a rock-solid self-winding movement. Although it has never received as much attention as the Submariner, Daytona, or GMT-Master, the Explorer is a true classic; and the reference 214270 can be seen as Rolex’s most recent interpretation of their very first sports watch.




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