Rolex Explorer 1

Rolex Explorer 1

Why We Love It

In 2011, Rolex did the unimaginable.

They fundamentally changed the design of the Oyster Perpetual Explorer I - the watch that defined general badassery for the brand for some five decades prior.  In its newest version of the Explorer, Rolex has departed from the classic 36mm case design, deciding instead that bigger was better, and housed their in-house 3132 movement in 39mm of steel.  

While the move intrigued some, and confused others, it straight up annoyed us. We understood it when they switched from matte dials to glossy ones.  We could find some elegance in the presence of white-gold hour marker surrounds.  But altering the case dimensions was tantamount to heresy in our books.

But to our chagrin, and the chagrin of many diehard Rolex enthusiasts, the line was forever altered, and the legacy forever threatened. That is why when we see executions that herald the original design, such as this gorgeous Reference 14270, we jump at the chance to find them a good home.

This particular 14270 happens to be in exceptional condition and comes complete with box, papers, hang tags, cleaning cloth, and even factory green sticker!

While tritium dial Explorer 1's from the 1990's are still findable, they are getting increasingly difficult to locate in solid condition and at reasonable pricing. Finding one in this condition with a completely full set? 

... We'll just say we're not holding our breath for another one to come along anytime soon.

The Story

With its feet firmly rooted in the classic design of the early Explorers - a simple black dial with 3, 6, 9 Arabic numerals -- albeit a more avant-garde approach to the look --and 36mm Oyster case, the 14270 is every bit as much an Explorer as the original models that pulled their own weight up Everest.

The day was May 29, 1953, and Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stood on top of the world. Rolex had indeed come with them to the summit of Mount Everest and since then Rolex has long been known as the watch of exploration. The triumph of the 1953 expedition and spirit of adventure and exploration that the Explorer represents can certainly be felt when this watch is strapped to your wrist.

These were watches designed to be tough as nails and capable of operating effectively in the harshest conditions known to man. Whether it was diving to the lowest point or climbing to the highest, you've got to hand it to Rolex - they know how to build one hell of a sports watch! It really doesn't get more badass than that.


SKU: AS03258

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Rolex Reference 14270. Circa 1995.

Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing light wear consistent with age and use. Luminous gloss black dial is in near mint condition with applied white gold indices and matching handset. Signed crown. Factory caseback sticker intact.

Includes stainless steel Jubilee Bracelet (62510H/555) with signed clasp. Also includes inner and outer boxes, cleaning cloth, COSC tag, hangtag, calendar card, and complete papers.

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