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Rolex Explorer


First introduced in 1953, the Rolex Explorer is the perfect watch for those who want to push boundaries and explore the unknown. This rugged and reliable watch can withstand any adventure, whether you are climbing a mountain or trekking through the jungle. With its solid construction and top-quality materials, the Explorer is built to last several lifetimes. In addition, its classic design will always be in style. The Explorer has undergone some minor changes over the years, but its core values remain the same. Because Explorer models symbolize: quality, durability, and style. If you are looking for a watch that can keep up with your active lifestyle, the Rolex Explorer is the perfect choice.

The Rolex Explorer and Mount Everest

On May 29, 1953, mountaineers Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the people who completed the first ascent to the summit of Mount Everest. They accomplished this incredible feat while wearing Rolex watches. The Explorer was the perfect watch for their expedition because it was built to withstand all conditions.

The Rolex ‘Ovettone’ watches

The specific Rolex watches they carried were so-called ´Ovettone´ watches from the late 1940s. Ovetonne is Italian for big egg and these watches were so named because of the convexity of the case back and the crystal glass. These vintage models were Oyster Perpetual watches and were 36 mm.

The 1953 adventurers’ Rolex Explorers

These Oyster Perpetual Explorer watches had the reference 6098 and were given along to the team of British mountaineers. By taking them to the top of the highest mountain on earth, Rolex wanted to show that Rolex watches could handle all extreme conditions. These watches are enormously strong due to the genius design of the Oyster case.

The Rolex Oyster case

The Oyster case is a key element of Rolex’s success. This waterproof case was first introduced in 1926 and has been used on many different models over the years. The Oyster case consists of three parts: the bezel, the body, and the case back. The bezel is snapped onto the body and the case back is sealed with a screw-down crown. The Oyster case is made in a variety of sizes but mainly in 36 mm. This design makes the Oyster case resistant to water and magnetic fields, making for a tremendously strong wristwatch.

The Rolex Explorer and its design

The Rolex Explorer has a very recognizable design that has remained the same for over 60 years. Last century Rolex used a watch case with a diameter of 36 mm made of stainless steel. Nowadays Rolex also makes the Explorer with a diameter of 39 mm and in gold steel.

Features of the Rolex Explorer

The Rolex Explorer has a black dial showing 3, 6, and 9 in Arabic numerals, a unique feature. The hands on these watches are the recognizable Mercedes hands that Rolex uses for many of their sports watches. The Rolex Explorer has luminous material on the dial at the hour markers to still be able to read the dial in low light. Modern Rolex Explorer watches feature sapphire glass and a chronometer movement, big changes compared to the early versions.

The Rolex Explorer timepieces

The movement in the Rolex Explorer has changed frequently in the long history of this watch. From the caliber 1030 movement in the Explorer 6610 Explorer to the calibers 1560 and 1570 movements in the Rolex Explorer 1016. In the late 1980s the Rolex Explorer 14270 came out with the 3000 caliber, these timepieces were very popular because of their robustness and reliability. Finally, Rolex came out with the ref 214270. The ref 214270 has a 3132 movement and was replaced by the latest version of the Rolex Explorer in 2020. The Rolex Explorer also has a little brother under the name Rolex Explorer II.

The Rolex Explorer in brief

The Rolex Explorer is a watch built to last and withstand extreme conditions. The Oyster case is a key element of its success due to its water resistance and ruggedness. The design of the Explorer has remained the same for over 60 years, with a black dial and the familiar 3, 6, and 9. In short, the Rolex Explorer is the perfect watch for someone who loves adventure, elegant design, robustness, and reliability.