Rolex Explorer I

Rolex Explorer I

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 an X-Serial model dating to circa 1991, and features the aforementioned 'Holey' lug case and a gloss black Tritium dial showing a beautiful light patination. With a strong case and matching bracelet, this combination is nothing short of a winner for everyday wear and as a neo-vintage collectable!

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: AS03854

Stainless steel Oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Rolex automatic-winding movement. Circa 1991.

Overall Condition: The case is in excellent condition overall showing only light signs of wear from use and age. Luminous black gloss dial with lightly patinated Tritium plots and matching handset. 'Holey' Lugs. Signed crown.

Includes 78360/558B solid link Oyster bracelet.

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