A look at the differences and similarities between the new Explorer and its predecessor
At this year's edition of Baselworld, Rolex launched an updated version of the Explorer ref. 214270. Keeping the same reference number as the timepiece that was originally launched in 2010, six years later the brand revamped the ref. 214270 by adding small improvements while keeping the fundamentals.
When the original Explorer 214270 was first unveiled, it was presented in a larger case than its forerunner - increasing its size from 36mm to 39mm. The 904L stainless steel Oyster case of the 2016 Explorer maintains the 39mm size. Other parallels include the waterproofness to 100m (330 feet), the stainless steel three-link Oyster bracelet with the Oysterclasp and Easylink system, and the clean and sporty black dial.
When the original Explorer 214270 was first unveiled, it was presented in a larger case than its forerunner — increasing its size from 36mm to 39mm.
With the latest edition of the Explorer, Rolex took steps to improve the proportions and readability of the dial. The hour-markers are now entirely luminescent, including the characteristic 3, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals, which was not the case in the previous model. Officially known as Chromalight, the hands and hour-markets emit a highly legible blue glow in dim surroundings and can last up to eight hours.
Rolex took steps to improve the proportions and readability of the dial.
Another design tweak to the new Rolex Explorer is the elongation and fattening up of the center hands. A reoccurring criticism of the past Explorer was that its hands were too short and thus, not proportional to the dial. Although not everyone necessarily agrees with this critique, Rolex did go ahead and give the handset a face-lift.
The newest Explorer continues to run on the Rolex Caliber 3132.
The newest Explorer continues to run on the Rolex Caliber 3132 mechanical movement, however, it is important to note that the caliber now falls under Rolex's redefined Superlative Chronometer certification. As of 2015, the Superlative Chronometer certification guarantees a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day - double than what is compulsory for an official chronometer.
Plus, the new certification offers a five-year guarantee.
Rolex presented the first very Explorer in 1953 to commemorate Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's pioneering climb to the 8,848-meter summit of Mount Everest, the earth's highest mountain. Over 60 years later, the Explorer still remains a very popular choice among Rolex's collection of sports watches.
The enhancements to the Explorer 214270 might not be noticeable.
At first glance, the enhancements to the Explorer might not be noticeable: blink and you may miss them. Yet, as with almost everything Rolex does, it's all about refining the small details and gradually fine-tuning their products and collections over the years. This formula has proven to be a successful one for the Swiss watchmaker as demonstrated by the top-tier timepieces we have come to expect from them.