In my opinion, or better said, for me personally, the Rolex Explorer was always one of the purest Rolex sports watches. An understatement, as it has no moving bezel, cyclops or other ‘super recognizable’ Rolex features. Except for the Oyster bracelet perhaps. The dial was very clean, no date and Arabic numerals on 3, 6 and 9.
I would love to own a vintage reference 1016 or even later 14270 (we wrote about that one here in one of our #tbt features) or 114270. However, 36mm is not for me. It was in the far past, but being a student did not only made me a smarter man, but also a bigger man. I did buy one for my then girlfriend, now wife, so at least I have the pleasure of looking at it when I want.
So I was happily surprised that Rolex introduced a 39mm version of this classic in 2010. But upon closer inspection, it seemed that the hands were a tad bit too short and the numerals at 3, 6 and 9 did not have luminous material but were ‘solid’ white gold applied Arabic hour markers. Despite the perfect size of 39mm, I left it alone as it wasn’t as ‘pure’ anymore as the 36mm models. But that’s of course just my opinion here.
This year in BaselWorld, I didn’t even take notice of the new Rolex Explorer reference 214270 until I noticed this image of this watch at the wonderful dinner that Rolex organized for (a.o.) journalists. It took me a while to realize that they only put new watches on display there of course and that the 214270 was also shown. How could I have missed that for two days long? Because everyone (including me) was more focused on the new Rolex Daytona reference 116500LN perhaps?
The new Rolex Explorer reference 214270 in 39mm has a new dial with Arabic numerals on 3, 6 and 9 o’clock that are filled with their luminous material (Chromalight) and has proper (longer) 18 carat white gold hands, also applied with Chromalight.
Anyway, from that moment on I was captured by the beauty of this Rolex Explorer reference 214270 for the rest of the evening and I immediately realized that there is no reason anymore not to buy one, at all.
A day later, during our appointment with Rolex they let us know that all their Superlative Chronometer watches are now performing within -2/+2 seconds a day, after casing. As you know, the official chronometer test and certification is done for the movement only. After Rolex cased the chronometer certified movement, they test it again to ensure they run within their own strict specifications of -2/+2 seconds a day on average. Next, it is guaranteed for five years! Correct me if I am wrong, but I am not aware of any other brands that are doing or offering this.
The case and bracelet are made of 904L grade stainless steel and the Oyster bracelet has this Easylink 5mm comfort extension link.
In my opinion, the ‘purest’ Rolex sports watch made its way back into the collection as a ‘must-have’ piece with this 2016 update for the Rolex Explorer. The only downside might be that there could be a waiting list for them at first, as I am probably not the only person being so enthusiastic about it.
The official retail price of the Rolex Explorer reference 214270 is CHF 6200 Swiss Francs (€ 5900 Euro). More images below.