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Rolex Explorer

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Rolex Explorer: Models and Prices. New, used, vintage.

Rolex Explorer

Rolex salutes all worldwide adventurers with the Explorer. The watch pays allegiance to the first ascent of Mount Everest completed by Sir Edmund Hillary and his research team. The brave climbers were equipped with Rolex Oyster Perpetual chronometers for the historic expedition. Decades of involvement between Rolex watches and extreme explorations has contributed to the conception of this unusually simple model that impresses with robustness and reliability.

A Rolex watch for mountaineers and adventurers

Reliability throughout the ages


The Rolex Explorer is a wristwatch that was specifically designed for participants of expeditions and mountaineers. The watch serves them well under the most extreme conditions and circumstances.

The model was launched in 1953, shortly after the first ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary. The famous team of mountaineers received specially manufactured Rolex Oyster Perpetual chronometers, which the explorers could depend on in the thunderstorms and blizzards of highest altitudes in the Himalayas. These watches were prototypes and did not yet bear the “Explorer” inscription that embellished the models with the references 6298 and 6350. The official Explorer watches were presented to the general public in 1953. Being the Rolex model for mountain climbers and adventurers, the Explorer displays a unique robustness and is evidently functional.

The easy readability of the dial, the high comfort wearability, and the unrivalled resistance of the Explorer justify the successful history of the watch- with next to no alterations, the Explorer has been a lasting part of the Rolex Oyster collection for over 60 years.

Strong, robust and elegant

Needless to say, the Explorer impresses with its robustness and functionality, as well as its sporty-elegant design. The distinctive Mercedes hour hand that can also be found on the famous Rolex Submariner is characteristic for this men’s watch. Another distinctive feature is the use of Roman numerals at three, six and nine o’clock, which assists for easy legibility.

The Explorer was designed to withstand any situation and environment. The Twinlock winding crown guarantees a waterproof timepiece to 100 metres thanks to two sealed zones. Inside the case, the Paraflex shock absorber ensures the movement’s resistance to any form of shock. The movement of the Explorer (Ref. 214270) is a calibre 3132 by Rolex with a self-winding and solid Perpetual mechanism. The case of the Rolex Explorer is shaped of 904L stainless steel, which balances its simple elegance with solid durability.

Just like its successor, the Explorer II, the original Explorer is equipped with the legendary three-piece Oyster bracelet. The Explorer I is designed to optimally work in worst case scenarios including cases of shock, harsh weather conditions, and high levels of humidity. This unique wristwatch is not only a symbol of free spirits, but an ideal companion for any and all adventures in life.

Truly Timeless

The price of a ticking legend

Watches that come along with a rich history are usually costly. The first ascent of Mount Everest in relation to the Rolex Explorer is a truly unique story. But not only does the tale of this amazing wristwatch increasingly tempt adventurous watch enthusiasts, the meticulous quality and the sporty elegant design sparks enthusiasm as well.

Older models of the Rolex Explorer achieve steep prices when sold. Not only amongst collectors are vintage models of the Explorer extremely popular: As the design of this men’s watch has stayed nearly identical in its 60-year-old history, both vintage models and more modern versions meet the demands for timelessness. Aficionados of earlier models look for Explorer wristwatches with four-digit references, such as 6298, 6610, 5504 and of course 1016. The last reference was manufactured for almost 30 years.

The current Rolex Explorer (Ref. 214270) with a 39-millimetre case has clearly grown compared to its 36-millimetre predecessor (Ref. 114270) - nevertheless, both Explorer models are first-class Rolex wristwatches.