Rolex Explorer I 'Swiss Only'

Rolex Explorer I 'Swiss Only'

Why We Love It

When it comes to design language, the Reference14270 may be the most important Rolex of the contemporary era.

Launched in 1990, the 14270 was the follow-up successor to the iconic 1016, and featured a truly avant-garde design language. Moving away from the matte dial 1016, the 14270 features a glossy dial with stylized applied Arabic quadrant indices and a sapphire crystal which gives the watch a thoroughly modern and luxurious visual appeal that was initially a very polarizing departure for the model. With the benefit of hindsight, we can know understand that the 14270 was essentially a test-run for a new design language that would many years later become standard for numerous timepieces across the collection.

Early 14270s utilized “holey lug” 36mm Oyster cases and Tritium luminous material as well, giving early variants a Neo-Vintage appeal while later models are truly contemporary classics. While these were slow to be loved by collectors, they are now poised to become one of the most popular models for collectors world-over!

This particular example is a 'Swiss Only' example dating to 1999 and comes complete with its inner and outer boxes and papers dated from January 2000. It is offered in near mint condition with an unpolished case - even its case back sticker remains intact - and flawless dial and bracelet. Perfect collector-grade condition in a model creeping up in value every day! 

The Explorer I Story

Few watches have captured the imagination the way the Rolex Explorer has.

At its core, the Explorer has always been an understated tool watch, it's spartan appearance belying its hearty robustness. It is perhaps this, more than any other feature, that urges ever onward the spirit of adventure and humankind's unwillingness to accept defeat. In this way, the Explorer - in all of its executions - has formed a kind of cult status among watch enthusiasts and collectors.

The Explorer traces its heritage back to the first successful summit of Everest in 1953. While we know now that the watch on Sir Edmund Hillary’s wrist was a Rolex Oyster Precision. The Oyster Precision was the precursor to the Explorer, and it was the Precision that introduced the 3-6-9 Arabic dial that we associate with the Explorer today. It was after the successful summit that Rolex rechristened the model as the Explorer in honor of Hillary and Norgay’s historic accomplishment.

Rolex went on to produce the Explorer continuously for nearly seven decades (and counting, since it’s still in production), and the triumph of the 1953 expedition and spirit of adventure and exploration carries on with each new model.

It is a memento of our ability to conquer the world through hard work, grit and determination - and of course our ability to do so with timeless style and panache.


SKU: AS03779

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Automatic winding movement by Rolex. Rolex Reference 14270. Circa 1999.

Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition overall showing factory finishing and only light wear consistent with age and use. Luminous black gloss dial is in excellent as-new condition with matching handset. Case back sticker remains intact. Signed crown.

Includes solid link Oyster Bracelet 78790/555B with signed Fliplock clasp. Also includes inner and outer boxes and papers dated January 2000.

More pieces you may enjoy

IWC Platinum Dress Watch
Cal. 853 Circa 1950s
$ 5,900.00
Tag Heuer Aquaracer
$ 1,250.00
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime
Ref. AB0510 Mint Condition
$ 9,150.00
Tudor Black Bay GMT
Ref. 79830RB
$ 3,250.00


Thank you for your interest in the Tudor Oysterdate Big Rose. Please fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.


Our Pledge

Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.


We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.


All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options