Rolex always like to improve upon what has come before and if I’m honest, the latest upgrade to the Explorer was perhaps needed for better or worse. Just last week we reported one of our favourite articles on the Explorer reference 1016, which not had iconic status but longevity too. The Explorer has been around since the 1950’s and for the greater part of 3 decades, remained unchanged.
The Rolex Explorer has always been the Rolex sports watch that has somehow sailed under the radar, in comparison to the brands big hitters, such as the Submariner, GMT and Daytona. The no nonsense of the 3-6-9 dial perhaps lends to its more simplistic nature and by virtue probably makes it more underrated and, in some cases, even a little underappreciated.
Rolex is one of the biggest brands in the world, if not the biggest and their constant involvement in exploration and numerous projects to put their wristwatches to the test, are too often forgotten. Like many of the watches that they’ve designed over the past decades, including those that have come and gone, Rolex emphasis has always been on reliability, quality and value and no other watch makes this statement more poignant than the Explorer and its link to the summit of Mt. Everest.
This 2021 Rolex Explorer doesn’t look too dissimilar to it predecessor that was released in 2016. To the naked-eye there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of changes to its exterior, it still maintains the same black lacquer dial, with that familiar 3,6 and 9 numerals and Mercedes-style hands. Almost everything appears to be the same, until you take a closer look or even better place it side-by-side with its 2016 predecessor…
The case has been reduced to its original 36mm in size and the Oyster case of the new- generation Explorer is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy. With the Explorer not being a professional diving instrument, it features Rolex Twinlock winding crown, fitted with a double waterproofness system which naturally screws down securely against the case.
This new Explorer is equipped with the in-house self-winding calibre 3230 and like all of Rolex movements, is chronometer certified and boast a power reserve of 70 hours. The calibre 3230 makes use of a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy, as well as a Chronergy escapement, which offers greater resistance to magnetic fields, inherently making it more accurate. As you may be well aware by now, all current Rolex movements are COSC certified but Rolex themselves carry out further testing with the movements cased and simulate daily wear, with even stricter tolerances, making sure deviation is no more than +/- 2 seconds per day.
Keeping all this 36mm Explorer goodness fixed to your wrist is the Oyster bracelet that is equipped with a Rolex-designed and patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. It also features Rolex Easylink comfort extension link, developed by the brand, which allows the wearer to easily adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm.
This new 36mm Explorer kind of harks back to its humble beginnings with a reduction in case size, which I’m sure this will be warmly welcomed back by enthusiasts and collectors alike. Of course, its appearance is more like the reference 14270 from the 1990s but with a tad more robustness. As you’ve already heard me say on countless occasions – Rolex like to constantly strive for perfection and this new 36mm Explorer might just be that..
The new 36mm Oystersteel Explorer, will retail for £5,150. For more information on the new Explorer, visit rolex.com.