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Watch of the Week: The Rolex Explorer ref. 214270

January 10, 2018

BY Paul Altieri


Many associate the Rolex Explorer with Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s historic climb to the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.  While the Explorer was not the exact watch worn to Everest’s peak, a Rolex timepiece did accompany them on their journey.  Shortly after, Rolex released the first Explorer watch, which was inspired by the rugged terrain and extreme temperatures experienced while Hillary and Norgay trekked up the side of the gargantuan Mount Everest.  The Oyster case offered its notorious waterproofness via a screw-down crown, however, Rolex also focused on making it impervious to temperatures ranging from -4◦F to 104◦F.  Protecting the movement from the extreme conditions was priority #1 with a sleek and wearable style following closely behind.  The result was a mens Rolex sports watch that would enjoy decades of success.

Rolex Explorer Reference 214270

The Rolex Explorer Reference 214270 is a future classic.

The Rolex Explorer Reference 214270

The newest addition to the Explorer line ref. 214270 came to market in 2010.  Offering a larger 39mm Oyster case, this modern reference was a welcome change to the 36mm cases that preceded it.  While Rolex enthusiasts were excited to see a larger Explorer watch, some were left disappointed by the new proportions of the larger dial, which accentuated the fact that the central hands now seemed a bit too short.  But more on that later.

Rolex Explorer Reference 214270

The clasp provides a clean and sharp look.

The new Explorer case is crafted from 904L stainless steel, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a Triplock screw-down crown.  One of the most resilient cases on the market, the Explorer is prepared to take on any adventure.  The Rolex Explorer 214270 also takes advantage of the three-link Oyster bracelet secured by a folding Oysterlock clasp.  An innovative Easylink extension link allows the wearer to adjust the length of the clasp up to 5mm without the use of tools.  

We can’t discuss the newest addition to the Explorer collection without mentioning the impressive Rolex manufacture calibre 3132 perpetual movement.  Boasted by Rolex as singularly reliable, this movement offers precision up to -2/+2 seconds a day, a 48-hour power reserve, high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, and Rolex’s patented Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. COSC certified, the calibre 3132 is highly reliable.

Rolex Explorer Reference 214270

There were a few updates with the Rolex Explorer Reference 214270 in 2016.

The second release of the Explorer 214270

Rolex released the Explorer 214270 again at Basel World 2016 under the same reference number.  In true Rolex fashion, they spent the six years between both references perfecting its design.  The second release of the Explorer ref. 214270 features a dial that appears more proportional via longer and wider hands.  At the time of its release, collectors were pleased to see that the hands now reached the indices.  The dial on the first ref 214270 also only offered lume in the baton hour markers; the 3, 6, and 9 markers were crafted from solid metal.  The newer reference features a fully lumed dial with Chromalight baton and Arabic hour markers.  While these changes may be small, they certainly did not go unnoticed by the watch community.

From day one, the Explorer has been characterized by its iconic black dial topped with lume and its rugged stainless steel construction.  Decades later, Rolex manages to perfect its design while keeping the essence of the original Explorer in-tact.



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