In the early 1950s, Rolex began developing and marketing its new adventure-oriented watch. Engaging with different dial layouts was part of this. In addition to case sizes and construction. With the prosperous summit of Mount Everest, it was time to take a production model mainstream.
On January 26, 1953, Rolex registered the ‘Explorer’ trademark. In the same year, it had also experimented with the 3-6-9 dial configuration. This put Rolexi in a good position to profit from the successful summit of Everest in May. The 3-6-9 layout was used for the first time in production Ref 6350 and Ref 6150. And include the word ‘Explorer’ on the dial. The Rolex Explorer was designed with legibility in mind. It would, like all of its exceptional models, continue to iterate and improve in the coming years. Here is the list of Rolex Explorer that exudes elegance and accuracy in timekeeping.
Rolex Explorer Ref 14270 Blackout
Rolex created a simple yet formidable change to the dials of the first Rolex Explorer ref 14270s for unspecified reasons. Instead of white, the iconic 3-6-9 Arabic hour numerals were filled in with black enamel. All of the other hour markers remained white, including the upside-down triangle. It was an eye-catching, if unusual, contrast to the glossy black dial. Also, the dial printing was done in silver rather than white. However, one could argue that it was disadvantageous to readability. This could explain why Rolexi quickly switched back to white for the Arabic numerals. It is believed that only the first batch of Ref 14270 watches had Blackout dials. These watches’ serial numbers typically begin with the letters ‘E’ or ‘X.’ That corresponds to the years of production 1990 and 1991. The exact number of units produced is unknown, but the Blackout Explorer is extremely rare. It could be one of the rarest modern Rolex.
Rolex Explorer Ref 6610
The Rolexi Explorer Ref 6610 introduced some significant evolutions and advancements. The previous A296 caliber movement was replaced by the new caliber 1030. The first movement was designed and built in-house by Rolex. It was thinner than its predecessor, resulting in a slimmer case and no bubble back. It was also a certified chronometer, as expected.
The dial’s design also exhibited some subtle aesthetic changes. Its glossy black background now had gilt print on it. In addition to the luminous 3-6-9 numerals, the design was also uniformized with Mercedes-style hands. At 12 o’clock, there’s an inverted triangle. The seconds were hand-painted white.
In traditional Rolex fashion, this reference also had a rare dial variation. This model is known as “red depth.” The water resistance rating (50m) would seem in red under the Explorer name on the dial in this version.
Rolex Explorer Ref 14270 & Rolex Explorer Ref 114270
Rolex halted the Ref 1016 in 1989, after a 26-year production run. The Rolex Explorer Ref 14270 took its place. This model was updated with some modern features. As an example, sapphire glass can be used instead of acrylic crystal. The self-winding Calibre 3000 is the latest movement.
Rolex also created some cosmetic changes, which are still visible on the current Ref 214270. The matte black dial regained its luster, as seen on the Ref 6610. And the indexes were framed in white gold, adding to the high-end appeal of this once stoic tool watch. The case was also thicker, though it was still 36mm in diameter. Rolex transitioned from tritium to Super Luminova for the dials near the end of the 1990s. The words “T Swiss – T 25” appear below 6 o’clock on earlier tritium versions.
The Ref 14270 expanded the Rolexi Explorer’s appeal further than the standard tool watch crowd. It was recently updated in 2001 by Ref 114270. On the outside, this model appeared to be identical to its predecessor.
Rolex Explorer Ref 1016
The Rolexi Explorer Ref 1016 was first introduced to the market in 1963 and was produced for more than 25 years. This reference will be most people’s first introduction to the world of vintage Explorers.
The case measures an ideal 36mm in diameter. The black dial was gleaming, and the markers were gold. The hands-on Ref 1016 was shorter than those on Ref 6610. And tritium, rather than radium, illuminated the dial. Even though this was Rolex in the 1960s, some Ref 1016s were still made with radium dials.
Its movement within it was also unusual. The self-winding caliber 1030 was transformed into the self-winding caliber 1560. The caliber 1570 would be introduced in the following decade. Another update that added hacking seconds. Also, the water resistance from 50m to 100m.
Rolex Explorer Ref 214270
It may be difficult to believe, but the existing Rolex Explorer Ref 214270 is ten years old. However, as is customary with Rolex, there have been some subtle changes over the years. For any case, although the larger case size was accepted at the time, the Ref 214270 was far from a home run for Rolex.
The case was larger, but the length of the hands appeared to be the same. As a result, they appeared disproportionate to the dial. It wasn’t a good look, so Rolexi later modified the Ref 214270 with longer hands. These newer models have Mark 2 dials, according to Rolex collectors. The case and complementary Oyster bracelet are made of Rolex’s exclusive Oystersteel.
The dial layout is identical to that of its predecessor while the hands and indicators have been upgraded to include Chromalight. A Rolex-exclusive luminescent material emits a long-lasting blue glow. The screw-down, twin-lock crown provides 100m/330ft of water resistance. The self-winding caliber 3132 is housed within. It is made in-house by Rolex and has a paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. As well as bidirectional self-winding via the Perpetual rotor. It is certified as a superlative chronometer, as are all Rolex movements.
Rolex Explorer is an excellent choice for a watch collection. It is appropriate for all occasions and is ideal for everyday wear. The demand for this watch was out of this world from the start. It has excellent accuracy and enough water. If you wore one of these, you’d get a lot of compliments and attention because the Rolex brand is the most recognized watch brand in the world.