The Rolex Explorer is the brand's original sports watch, and the model that set the foundation for the tool watches that would serve as the foundation for Rolex's now-legendary reputation. Unlike other sports watches like the Daytona and Submariner, the Explorer was not designed specifically for one type of sport or activity. Instead, it was a simple time-only watch with a highly-legible display, that was built to the highest possible standards and intended for the active individual.
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It can be difficult to find the exact watch you want especially within this industry. I wanted a Rolex Explorer from a specific year that meant a lot to me. After searching for what seemed like forever, I found Bob's Watches and their inventory impressed me. I was able to call in and talked with Chase, who helped me find the exact watch I wanted... I appreciate how helpful he was. It's always nice to have that trust when making a purchase like that and felt like the process could not have been smoother.
Purchased a beautiful Rolex explorer from Bobs Watches for a great price! The process was smooth and the staff was extremely friendly. Sara Ayar helped me with the purchase and even went above and beyond to make sure that I got the specific watch I was looking for. Definitely recommend you purchase from Bobs over anywhere else.
The Rolex Explorer is undoubtedly among the most iconic models, offering both versatility and a timeless yet elegant design. The luminescent hour markers and hands make it easy to read in low-light conditions, and the robust construction of high-quality materials make this watch an obvious choice.
- Paul Altieri
As with all Rolex watches, the price of the Explorer has experienced fluctuations over time due to various factors such as market demand, availability, and production costs. However, generally speaking, the Rolex Explorer has seen a steady increase in price over the years.
As of 2023, the current retail price for a new Rolex Explorer is around $7,250-$11,750, depending on the specific model and features.
The price for pre-owned Rolex Explorers can also vary widely depending on their condition, rarity, and other factors. See the latest retail pricing for the Rolex Explorer here.
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The Rolex 114270 and 214270 models are both part of the Explorer collection, with a shared heritage of durability and reliability. However, the 214270 features a larger case size of 39mm compared to the 36mm size of the 114270. Additionally, the 214270 is equipped with an upgraded automatic movement, providing increased accuracy and a longer power reserve.
The Rolex 14270 and 114270 models are both from the Explorer collection and share many similar features, such as a 36mm case size and a stainless steel bracelet. However, the 14270 model is older and features an acrylic crystal instead of the sapphire crystal found on the 114270. Additionally, the 114270 has an updated movement, providing increased accuracy and reliability compared to the 14270.
To learn more about Ref. 14270 read our Rolex Explorer 14270 Ultimate Buying Guide.
Over the years, it has gained several nicknames that have become popular among watch enthusiasts. One of the most famous nicknames is the "Blackout" or "Black Dial" Explorer, referring to the all-black dial of the watch.
Another popular nickname is the "Explorer I," which is used to distinguish the original Explorer model from the newer models. Additional nicknames include the "Rolex Steve McQueen" and "Rolex Polar Explorer."
The Rolex Explorer model references are among the most iconic and sought-after timepieces in the world. Originally designed for use by explorers and adventurers, these watches are renowned for their durability, precision, and timeless style. References include:
Rolex Explorer dials have always been known for their understated yet immediately recognizable style, characterized by a black background, Mercedes-style hands, and the addition of 3, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals mixed in with baton markers. Though Rolex Explorer dials have maintained their signature look throughout history, details such as luminous materials (radium to tritium to LumiNova to Super-LumiNova to Chromalight) and index style (painted markers to hand-applied white gold markers) have of course evolved.
Since 2015, Rolex's self-winding mechanical movements boast an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day, significantly exceeding the standards for COSC-rated chronometers. Calibers used for Explorer watches include:
Rolex Explorer watches have increased in size since they were originally released. The Rolex Explorer has grown in size over the years from 36mm to 39mm.
Modern Explorer models feature Twinlock winding crowns characterized by two sealed zones to help prevent moisture intrusion. This double waterproofness system plays a vital role in the watches' guaranteed waterproof to 100 meters (330 ft), and has become standard on most modern Rolex watches.
As a tool watch developed specifically to withstand the toughest conditions, Rolex has only ever made the Explorer in stainless steel. Unlike many of Rolex's other sports/professional watch collections, there have never been a two-tone or solid gold version of the Rolex Explorer.
Learn more about the collection by reading our Rolex Explorer ultimate buying guide.
All Rolex watches retain their value incredibly well, and just like the brand's other sport and professional models, the Rolex Explorer makes a great investment. Over the last 10 years, we have seen this model continue to increase in price.
The Explorer is considered entry level by some collectors. The collection offers a unique and interesting line that continues to attract a multitude of buyers. It is a watch that is seen in collections of new buyers and seasoned collectors.
The design, craftsmanship, and value as an investment make the Explorer an incredible purchase. If you could only buy one watch you can't go wrong with an Explorer.
The Rolex Explorer is renowned for its timeless design and unmatched durability, often chosen by intrepid adventurers for its precision and resilience. Over the years, the brand has introduced various iterations, each fine-tuned with distinct features, while staying true to its original essence. To dive deeper into specific Rolex Explorer features, explore the helpful links we've curated below.