15 49.0138 8.38624 1 0 4000 1 https://www.audemarsreviews.com 300 true 0
A Week On The Wrist The Rolex Explorer Reference 214270

A Week On The Wrist The Rolex Explorer Reference 214270

Be it in the more prominent universe of watches or just inside the setting of Rolex, the Explorer is a known amount. It’s long-standing, clear, and, even among its much-cherished kin, it is famous. The Explorer is one unadulterated unit of Rolex sport watch. The Explorer’s course of events builds up it as a classification characterizing model, and keeping in mind that the Explorer has advanced over the past 50 years, the center recipe is one of regular adaptability, smart straightforwardness, and ardent unwavering quality. This remaining parts valid from its peak roots to a few fun and collectible references that arose throughout the long term. The present Rolex Explorer is authoritatively known as the M214270-0003, yet from distant Himalayan tops to a Midtown meeting room or an end of the week in the patio, we as a whole know it similarly as the Explorer. 

So, the watch being referred to is from 2016, so why dive in at this point? The steel Rolex market has never been more blazing and I figured it very well may be fascinating to take a gander at a watch that is both effectively at the smooth focus of the Rolex plan language and furthermore one of the most economical new Rolex sports models available. My day by day watch is a last-age Explorer II 16570, and with that point of view I needed to see where everything started and where we discover the Explorer today, in a world insane for steel Rolex.

To comprehend the advanced 214270 Explorer, we need to look to the past, to see where it came from. For this situation, they don’t consider it the Explorer to no end and the model can follow its foundations back to the soonest long periods of post-war experience and the introduction of the advanced game watch. 

Leaving a mark on the world

Born of a period where a watch required minimal multiple hands, the present Explorer can follow its underlying foundations back to 1953 with a pivotal endeavor to the world’s most noteworthy pinnacle. These most punctual Explorer models were given by Rolex to testing on the undertaking that saw Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay overcome Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953. The “Traveler” marking was enrolled in Geneva before that very year and the watches were prototyped explicitly for this Summit bid.

The explicit and extraordinary watch being referred to was a mid 50’s reference 6098. Worn by Norgay, as Hillary was broadly said to have worn a Smith’s watch to the culmination (both Rolex and Smiths were supporters of the trip), this madly important watch can be seen today at the Beyer Museum in Zurich, Switzerland (and in our Talking Watches with Mr. Réne Beyer himself) .

The Explorer 6089 worn by Tenzing Norgay on his fruitful summiting of Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953. 

With a flag part in perhaps the most prominent post-war investigation accomplishments, Rolex had the situating they expected to set up their dressy however hard core Explorer as the quintessential game watch of its era. 

While the Explorer has been underway since 1953, it required a couple of years for Rolex to arrive on the center plan that we know today. The soonest models depended on Rolex Bubblebacks and there were a few early Oyster models that said “Traveler” on the dial (however, you’ll notice, the 6098 taken to the pinnacle of Everest didn’t). While the beginning of the model is without a doubt that unique 6098, it would be a couple of more years and a couple of more references (counting the 6150, the 6350, and a couple of weirdos like the Air-King Explorer 5500) preceding Rolex delivered the 6610 and set up the arrangement of the Explorer that we perceive today. 

Let’s gander at a rearranged timeline: 

1952/53 – Reference 6150

Early ’50s ref 6150 (Photo: acollectedman.com)

In which began as a genuine model of the possible Explorer, the 36mm 6150 scarcely pre-dates the 6350 (both utilize a similar A296 development, which was likewise in Norgay’s 6098 on Everest) and would later supplant it completely as the Explorer developed towards the 6610. Delivered until 1959, the 6150 initially said “Exactness” on the dial and not “Voyager.” Being an early steel Rolex sport watch, and one of the references at the beginning of the Explorer’s genealogy, these are incredibly collectible. In the universe of looks as apparatuses for present day experience, the 6150 is completely OG. 

1953 – Reference 6350

A 1953 reference 6350 with the collectible “Honeycomb” dial. (Photograph: Courtesy Phillips)

This was the principal reference to have “Pioneer” on the dial and it was made explicitly for bold applications (like Himalayan hiking) following Hillary and Norgay’s prosperity on Everest. For sure, the 6350 could be requested with extraordinary oil to keep the development having in a wide fever scope of – 20C to 40C (- 4f to 104f). All 6350’s are truly collectible, however the supposed 6350 “Honeycomb” has a guilloché dial (like those found on early Milgauss models) that truly separates it from different models and makes it a profoundly alluring model from the beginning of the Explorer. The 6350 was not created for long, for certain assessments putting it out of creation by 1954 as Rolex pushed ahead with the simultaneously delivered reference 6150 as the fate of the Explorer. 

1955 – Reference 6610

A 1956 reference 6610 with a flawless plated dial. (Picture: Phillips.com)

This is the reference that would build up the general and suffering stylish of the Explorer, with a dark dial, overlaid markings, a 36mm case, and 50 meters water resistance. Largely like the 6150 that it supplanted, the 6610 was somewhat more slender gratitude to the utilization of another development, the Rolex type 1030. On the off chance that you need to see a really wild 6610, investigate this white dial rendition we featured at closeout from Christie’s back in 2013. Past uncommon and initially conveying a gauge of $10,000 to $16,000, this white-dial 6610 would later guarantee an amazing CHF 171,750 at auction. 

1963 – Reference 1016 

This is the quintessential Explorer reference. At 36mm wide in tempered steel with a stretch wristband and 100m water obstruction, the 1016 was dispatched in 1961 and would stay underway until 1989. In 1975, Rolex refreshed the 1016 with a strong connection arm band (however not with strong end interfaces) and added hacking through the new type 1570 development (versus the past cal 1560). This is the place where Rolex truly hit its sweet spot with the Explorer, and in reality, large numbers of their steel sport watches. 

The 1016 additionally gave us some truly collectible Explorers, including the extremely uncommon “Space-Dweller.” Said to have been made for the Japanese market, little is thought about this inconceivably uncommon Explorer variation that plainly says “Space-Dweller” on the dial and likely could be one of the most extraordinary Rolex observes at any point made. By and large dated to 1965 or 1966, Ben featured the Space Dweller in his gathering highlight for HODINKEE Magazine, Volume 3, saying, “This watch is so amazingly basic, yet similarly exceptional and uncommon – gauges range from as not many as five right guides to all things considered 30 – with a little rate seen openly. It is a definitive sleeper, and to me, one of the coolest Rolex observes ever made.”

An super uncommon 1016 “Space-Dweller.” Note the absence of “Traveler” on the dial. 

Also very much cherished in the gatherer community for the Explorer are white dial or “Pale skinned person” 1016s. Early pre-Explorers like Norgay’s 6098 had white dials, and keeping in mind that it was never something that appeared to be delivered in any impressive amount, there are some white dial instances of the 6610 (see connected model above) and the 1016 on the market. 

With a particularly long creation run, there are numerous collectible 1016 Explorers that have either matured into a unique look (like tropical dial models) or prior models with plated dials, or more uncommon stock like those with an overlaid dial and a line under the content over six o’clock (otherwise known as “overlaid underline” 1016s).

1989 – Reference 14270

A 14270 on wrist, 36mm is extreme, hard-wearing elegance. 

This is the primary really present day reference for the Explorer and, while the configuration was comparative, it was an impressive takeoff from the case shape and dial execution of the 1016. Holding consistent at 36mm yet utilizing a sapphire gem interestingly, the 14270 additionally had applied white gold markers with tritium lume (the 1016 utilized painted markers on a matte dial) and the development was refreshed to a then-current Rolex type 3000. 

Those searching for a collectible 14270 ought to know about the “Power outage” variation. Named as such for its dark lacquer filled 3, 6, and 9 markers, the 14270 Blackout dates to the beginning of the creation cycle, with realized models dated to 1990 and 1991. Inconspicuous changes are consistently the situation in Rolex gathering and these dim numeral Explorers are effectively the most collectible deduction of the 14270 reference.

2001 – Reference 114270

Identical to the 14270 put something aside for an update to the Rolex type 3130, on the off chance that you consider that Rolex didn’t change the reference when they refreshed the development in the 1016, the Explorer essentially just had two simple variants from 1961 to 2010 – which is wild. Looking into the future, Rolex picked to cling to the six-digit reference (214270) in spite of the updates depicted beneath. Rolex, you work bafflingly.

2010 – Reference 214270

The Explorer reference 214270, with its non-lumed 3, 6, and 9 and more limited handset. (Picture: Bobswatches.com)

This is the main period of the Explorer as it exists today in the advanced Rolex line up. Dispatched in 2010, the 214270 increased the size from 36mm to 39mm, added strong end connects to the Oyster wristband, and refreshed the development to the advanced type 3132. This reference is effectively outlined from its archetype on account of the utilization of a more limited handset (the moment hand doesn’t make it to the moment track) and metallic, non-iridescent markers for 3, 6, and 9. Some like to say the handset was extended from the 36mm case size and there are unquestionably those that vibe the outwardly lighter hands were more exquisite and a superior fit for the semi-dressy Explorer. In any case, with creation crossing just five or so years, this is a prominent reference and may end up being collectable some time in the future. 

2016 – Reference 214270 ‘MKII’

As explored here (kindly continue to peruse), the current-spec 214270 was refreshed at Baselworld in 2016 with a bigger and all the more relatively fitting handset and brilliant infill for the 3, 6, and 9 markers. This re-visitation of lumed markers is the first run through since 1989 (when the 1016 was eliminated) that the Explorer offered iridescent execution for the entirety of its hour markers. 

A Modern Explorer

So those are the roots, however what do we get today (and why)? Refreshed in 2016, the advanced 214270 Explorer is 39mm with an Oystersteel case and a dark dial, the conspicuous 3, 6, 9 markers (presently with lume in them) and an invigorated handset that is both longer and somewhat thicker. The entirety of the lume is Rolex’s exclusive Chromalight and it sparkles blue when things get dim. The consequence of these updates make the purported “MKII” 214270 Explorer (named so because of the way that Rolex refreshed the reference without changing its number) feel more adjusted, somewhat sportier, and by and large more comfortable in its 39mm sizing. 

Originally upsized to 39mm (from the 36mm 114270) in 2010, I’m somewhat blended on whether the Explorer truly required the additional size. On one hand, 39mm is a genuinely superb (and still saved) size for a game watch. Then again, on the off chance that you’ve taken a stab at a 36mm Explorer, for example, the more seasoned 1016 or the more present day 14270, you know exactly how sweet that size truly is. The 36mm wants to wear an old watch, regardless of whether you’re getting a 114270 straight from the case, that arrangement talks straightforwardly to its genealogy and I feel like the impression is acceptable at 39mm, however more remarkable at 36mm. 

Even at its fairly bigger (yet at the same time not too enormous) measuring, the Explorer is seemingly Rolex’s last exemplary steel sport watch under 40mm. Furthermore, notwithstanding it being one of the more affordable and surely quite possibly the most insignificant contributions in the brand’s portfolio, the Explorer actually has 100m water opposition with a Twinlock crown, brilliant lume, and a case that looks particularly smooth when seen close to the significantly more husky instances of the cutting edge Submariner, GMT-Master II, or its immediate kin, the 42mm 216570 Explorer II. 

To my eyes, this 39mm Explorer and the current Daytona have the two best instances of any cutting edge Rolex, with neither having been refreshed to the supposed “maxi” case shape common to other Rolex sport watches. Inside that assessment, the Explorer’s proceeded with utilization of this more slender haul case assists with talking straightforwardly to its “all executioner, no filler” vibe. 

Regardless of the case size and shape, while the Explorer’s dial has developed, there is as yet a simple through line from early references like the 6150 to the cutting edge 214270. The profound dark dial, the basic and entirely intelligible format, and the conspicuous 3, 6, and 9 of the Explorer’s dial have persevered for more than 60 years.


While I’ve utilized various terms like “straightforward” or “insignificant” in portraying the Explorer, don’t briefly imagine that I mean fundamental or immature. Being a quintessential Rolex, while the Explorer may have a comparatively basic time-just development, it’s worked to last and to do as such without skirting a beat paying little heed to where you take it. All the more explicitly, the 214270 Explorer utilizes the brand’s type 3132, a consequently wound development that ticks at 4Hz, sports a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex safeguards, and a force save of 48 hours. Exactness is likewise guaranteed, with the 3132 acquiring a COSC endorsement well before it comes to your wrist. 

Being a Rolex Superlative Chronometer, COSC isn’t sufficient. When the type 3132 is cased in a last Explorer watch, the whole bundle should be inside ensured to run inside – 2/+2 seconds out of every day (significantly more severe than standard COSC). Alongside the improved exactness, Rolex Superlative Chronometers convey a five-year guarantee and have a 10-year administration span. From a development point of view, it’s actually what I’d need in an Explorer. It’s solid, intense, altogether whine free, simple to support, and not complicated at all that brings down the ethos of the watch as it exists as a whole. 


The wristband is an exemplary Rolex Oyster. Essentially the highest quality level for an ordinary wristband, the Oyster arm band has a three-interface plan, strong end-joins, and a powerful crease over wellbeing catch with miniature change. I don’t adore most arm bands, yet the Oyster suits the Explorer just as it does some other Rolex. It’s very much coordinated in thickness and weight and the put-togetherness are both demanding and instrument ish. While a fella, for example, myself would rapidly choose a straightforward calfskin or a NATO, the Oyster is a fan fave for some valid justifications. It just works. 

On The Wrist

In numerous ways, that is the ethos of the Explorer. It simply works. A turning bezel? Do you need one? Look somewhere else. Shouldn’t something be said about a date? That is a no, brother. What about you get hours, minutes, and seconds, and simply be cool about it? The Explorer, paying little mind to the reference, is something exemplary fashioned in a period of exemplary necessities. Besides, the 214270 is a cutting edge contextual investigation in “on the off chance that it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” thinking. Indeed, the current gen is bigger and more lux than diamonds like the 1016, yet that is the method of all Rolex watches and it’s one reason individuals worship their vintage watches. 

When you consider everything, if the plan didnt have enduring legitimacy, a watch like the Submariner could without much of a stretch have supplanted the Explorer sooner or later. All the more thus, I believe it’s advising that Rolex chose to make an Explorer II as opposed to twisting the Explorer tasteful to fit the necessities of the cutting edge spelunker (in 1971 –  though that is a story for another time). Despite its job as something of a generalist among the other work of art, reason assembled Rolex sport watches, the Explorer endures. 

On wrist, it seems like just you need. While I love the 36mm measuring of the past ages, the 214270 feels pleasantly adjusted at 39mm. It’s not fragile, it feels current and insightful, and it is an extraordinary size on my 7-inch wrist. On the wristband it wears somewhat weighty (I don’t commonly wear any of my watches on an arm band), however the Oyster is a strong choice that doesn’t overwhelm the Explorer on wrist. 

The dial is a rich dark and the refreshed handset offers a relatively fitting fit for the bigger case estimating. Intelligibility is astounding in any lighting, with a lot of lume available gratitude to the refreshed lume-filled numerals (see the included video). The Explorer feels natural, similar to such a watch you wear after you leave field HQ and adventure out to where the guide gets risky. Certainly, perhaps today a few GPS-synchronized framework is giving the time along a few different purposes of information, yet the Explorer is the quintessential reinforcement on your wrist (it’s cool, too). 

For ordinary wear (i.e., when not adventuring), the Explorer feels upscale, laid-back, and without the affectation or quarrel of a plunge watch or a chronograph. In your everyday, you don’t need to clarify an Explorer. There is a trust in the plan, both in its heritage and in its execution, that is a solid blend for the whole Rolex reasoning. It’s the brilliant age of Rolex’s game watch configuration refined down to the point of being the establishment for such a large amount of what they are referred to for, both stylishly and as a brand. The Explorer doesn’t present, assume, or peacock – it’s simply an incredible watch. 

While I will consistently need the subsequent time region offered by my adored Explorer II, the OG Explorer is a superior and substantially more engaged plan. On the off chance that you like the possibility of a toolish Rolex yet don’t need any additional complication, this is likely where you will land and the 214270 rocks. 


The 214270 Explorer conveys a rundown cost of $6550 and competition at this value point is really wild. For straightforwardness, I’ve selected to just consider time-just watches with programmed developments, in a general structure factor that is unpretentious however intense (additional focuses in the event that it tends to be made dressy). This isn’t comprehensive, but instead a feature of different watches that I think could interest a similar purchaser at an ambiguously comparative value point, or even a comparative sort of fan taste (comparable at a philosophical level, if not straightforwardly in cost and quality). 

Omega Seamaster Railmaster 

While many may call upon the Omega Aqua Terra, the no-date and time just Railmaster ( which Stephen audited here ) is a really intriguing comparison that offers a plan that is a superior counterpart for the calm, easygoing style of the Explorer. At 40mm wide and offered on a steel arm band for $5,000, the Railmaster has a tech-forward co-pivotal Master Chronometer development and a comparative five-year guarantee. While the Railmaster outclasses the Explorer’s cost by a decent edge, it can’t coordinate the tradition of plan and legacy offered by the long-standing Rolex. In any case, it offers a brilliant option with comparable charm. 

$5,000; omegawatches.com

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic 

This is 41mm of exquisite JLC steel (particularly with the blue dial). The Polaris Automatic may not remain as a heritage plan symbol to the Jaeger brand, yet it hits that troublesome mix of lively and rich, particularly on the wristband. Coming in somewhat more than the Explorer at $7,560, the Polaris has a more modest force hold, however you can see the in-house 898E/1 JLC type through an included showcase case back. It’s an alternate interpretation of a comparable recipe and done as such with a solid plan execution from Jaeger-LeCoultre. 

$7,650; jaeger-lecoultre.com

Tudor Black Bay 36

It’s somewhat more modest and utilizations a substantially less esteemed development, yet the Black Bay 36 has an appeal all its own. Where the Explorer is a foundation of Rolex plan language delivered with no extra ornamentation, the Black Bay 36 beginnings as a neo-retro plunge watch plan and afterward eliminates the entirety of the jump bits. Like with the JLC, the blue dial simply sings, however in any variant the dial and marker extent is unusual and enchanting and the BB36 wears so well on any wrist. For those bemoaning the 39mm case size of this most recent Explorer, take a stab at a BB36 and check whether you burrow the deconstructed Black Bay vibe. 

$2,900; tudorwatch.com

Grand Seiko SBGR301

No-date and lively isn’t a configuration commonly found from Grand Seiko, however the 42mm SBGR301 is something of an anomaly and an intriguing foil to the idea of the Explorer. While positively somewhat bigger in width, the SBGR301 is a lively three-hander that conveys long-standing plan components from the historical backdrop of Grand Seiko. The hand shape and the basic yet rich dial format are coordinated by 100m water opposition and a brilliant in-house Grand Seiko development with 72 hours of influence hold. Surely a flawless plan and a solid incentive to the cost of the Rolex, with no lume and more cleaned components, this $4,300 GS might be all in all too dressy to fix up straightforwardly with the Explorer. 

$4,300; grandseiko.com

NOMOS Glashütte Club Automatic

While not accessible with a dark dial or a wristband, the 40mm NOMOS Club Automatic offers a lively time-just watch with magnificent readability, an in-house development, and an unmistakable wrist presence for $2,160, or about 33% of what the Rolex costs. While stylishly altogether different from the Explorer, the Club is likewise not an illustration of NOMOS’s center plan (for that, think about the Tangente). I truly like the Club and the more abnormal Club Campus, however nor are solid competition against the allure of the Explorer except if you’re searching for a comparable ethos with a completely extraordinary interpretation of design. 

$2,620; nomos-glashuette.com

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

Bear with me here, as this is less about genuine competition and to a greater extent an idea work out. While the sub-$500 Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is truly not that comparable to the Explorer (and it breaks my necessity of these watches having programmed developments), I believe that in the event that you burrow the Explorer for reasons past the crown on its dial, you’ll likely likewise burrow this enchanting hand-winder from Hamilton. No, it’s not of comparable quality, it doesn’t have close to as high-finish of a development, it’s not programmed, and it doesn’t offer a wristband, but rather it is a rearranged and essential articulation of its base plan. It’s 38mm wide, in steel, deals with any lash, and costs under $500. For the individuals who aren’t prepared to spend at the level of the Explorer (or maybe have their name standing by to get one), this sweet Hammy is a spending elective with a look that is all its own. 

$475; hamiltonwatch.com

Last Thoughts

In such countless ways the proverb “toning it down would be best” experiences difficulty incorporating with our advanced lives. In a presence described by open access, complicated multirole items, and unlimited choices, we battle to stay afloat in an ocean of usefulness that misrepresents genuine capacity (have you at any point attempted to pick a toothpaste?). And keeping in mind that I don’t expressly want “easier occasions,” I think there is something to be said for items that put forth an attempt toward being great at one thing paying little heed to the application.

In a universe of multi-instruments and application stores, consider the style of an all around made folding knife, a basic wallet, a carabiner, a baseball hat, or even an unassuming pencil. While things like these may not appear particularly multi-able, they forego additional usefulness for unadulterated flexibility. Their smart plans work anyplace and require no particular clarification. While we acclaim the Submariner and the GMT-Master for their solid usefulness, they are minimal more than explicit capacities added to the dazzling center set up by the Rolex Explorer. 

The current 214270 Explorer is the advanced development of the most flawless Rolex configuration to have at any point graced the highest point of our reality. Compared to its front conveyors, it’s greater, more grounded, better made, and more rich. While Rolex has consistently attempted to improve the Explorer from an exact angle, I think they’ve put forth purposeful attempts to ensure its unique allure and the appeal of its bloodline. In case you will bandy about the expression “notorious” the Explorer has without a doubt procured its put on that rundown and it embodies the center of competency, plan, and watchmaking that has made Rolex into the brand it is today. 

For lives that obscure the line among harmony and risk, if the objective is an extremely strong watch with negligible affectation and close to unending flexibility, the Rolex Explorer stays one of the best and most direct game watches ever created. 

To find out additional, visit rolex.com .

The Grey NATO Episode 79: Straps!
Previous Post
The Grey NATO Episode 79: Straps!
Editors' Picks Forbidden Fruit: Four Awesome Watch Brands That Aren't Available In The U.S.
Next Post
Editors’ Picks Forbidden Fruit: Four Awesome Watch Brands That Aren’t Available In The U.S.