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New Rolex Explorer Watches

The Rolex Explorer: An Outdoor Person’s Historical Timepiece

Known for its plain but sophisticated appearance, the durable Rolex Explorer is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts. Royalties, actors, and other celebrities are also fond of this robust timepiece from Rolex. And due to its popularity, the Rolex Explorer even became an inspiration for an accessory worn by a certain fictional spy. Eventually, the series was succeeded by the upgraded Rolex Explorer II. But this did not mean the end of the original lineup as both of the series are still worn and well-known today.

Prices at a Glance: The Most Popular Rolex Explorer Watches

ModelPrice (Approximate)SizeFeatures
Rolex Explorer Black Dial Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet Automatic Men's Watch Ref. 214270BKASO$14,969 USD39mm

•Stainless steel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Chronometer

•Self-winding

•Stainless steel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer 39 Ref. 214270-0001$12,999 USD39mm

•Stainless steel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Chronometer

•Self-winding

•Stainless steel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer II White Dial Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet Automatic Men's Watch Ref. 216570WSO$18,199 USD42mm

•Stainless steel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Date window

•Stainless steel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer II Automatic Black Dial Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet Men's Watch$15,899 USD42mm

•Stainless steel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Date window

•Stainless steel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer II Black Ref.16570$15,799 USD40mm

•Steel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Date window

•Steel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer II Black/Steel Ref. 216570$15,379 USD (pre-owned)42mm

•Stainless steel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Date window

•Stainless steel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer Explorer II White/Steel Ref.216570$17,509 USD (pre-owned)42mm

•Stainless steel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Date window

•Stainless steel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer New Model 2021 Ref. 124273$11,980 USD36mm

•Oystersteel and yellow gold case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Oystersteel and yellow 18K gold bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer New Model 2021 Ref. 124270$7,101 USD36mm

•Oystersteel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Oystersteel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer II New Model 2021 Ref. 226570-0001$9,433 USD42mm

•Oystersteel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Date window

•Oystersteel bracelet

•100m water resistance

Rolex Explorer II New Model 2021 Ref. 226570-0002$9,433 USD42mm

•Oystersteel case

•Sapphire crystal

•Self-winding

•Date window

•Oystersteel bracelet

•100m water resistance

 

How much is a Rolex Explorer watch?

Brand-new Rolex Explorer watches generally cost between $9,500 USD and $15,000 USD. With that said, you can get a variety of Explorer models within that price range. And based on the materials used, the cost varies for each watch model.

For example, a brand-new Rolex Explorer Ref. 214270 costs $12,999 USD. This 39mm model is one of the most common timepieces in the series. It offers the classic Rolex features such as stainless-steel bracelet, crystal sapphire, and 100m water resistance. Additionally, it also sports a timeless black dial with glow-in-the-dark hands.

Another instance of a great timepiece under this collection is the Rolex Explorer Ref. 214270 2016 which costs $14,969 USD. This 39mm timepiece sports a stainless-steel case and bracelet and crystal sapphire accompanied with a black dial. Perfect for mountaineering, its long-lasting phosphorescent hands will help you tell the time even in the harshest weather. Overall, this model showcases that Rolex does not need extravagant design changes. 

But if you want a bigger and bolder wristwatch, you can explore the collection’s bigger successor: Rolex Explorer II. For instance, the classic Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 Black costs $15,899 USD. This 42mm model includes a date window along with the other materials the Swiss brand commonly uses. Additionally, it also has 24-hour markers surrounding the dial which can be read through the third orange hand. That way, you’ll still be able to tell the time while doing adrenaline-filled activities on exciting outdoor adventures.

There’s also the 42mm Rolex Explorer II Ref.216570 White. It costs more at $18,199 USD and also features a stainless steel bracelet and case with a 100m water resistance. This model’s white dial also allows for clearer time reading. This dial, just like in other Rolex Explorer II models, also glows in the dark. So if you want a timepiece when you go cave-exploring, look no further, This model may be the perfect choice for you.

But what if you want a Rolex Explorer II that is a bit cheaper? Well, pre-owned Rolex are just as great as brand new models. A pre-owned Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 Black for example, costs lower at $15,299 USD. But at that price, you get a cheaper timepiece that shares other characteristics of brand new Rolex watches. And just like other models, a pre-owned Rolex Explorer II watch also has a date window and third orange hand for accurate time reading. 

2021 Rolex Explorer Models

Rolex has released two new Explorer models under the label “New Model 2021”. The two Explorer models both measure 36mm and feature sapphire crystal, 100m water resistance, and 70 hours’ worth of power reserve.

However, the Rolex Explorer Ref. 124273 2021 model features a case and bracelet both made with Oystersteel and 18K gold. The combination of the two materials is called “yellow rolesor,” and it’s also Rolex’s term for their timepieces made with steel and gold. Aside from the update in the materials, the 3, 6, and 9 numerals of this model are filled with luminescent materials. Because of this added modification, the numerals, along with the hour markers and hands, have a blue glow in the dark. This allows the model to indicate the time while you’re out camping overnight.

Meanwhile, the other new model, the Rolex Explorer Ref. 124270 is made of Oystersteel, giving it the classic appearance from the Swiss brand. And just like the other silver and golden model, this timepiece also features luminous numerals, hour markers, and hands. Pair this update with the model’s 100m water resistance, and you’ll have a watch perfect for night swimming or diving. 
 

Rolex Explorer - Is it a good investment?

The Rolex Explorer watches are famous for their extremely high durability. They are built for outdoors and even underwater activities. Aside from that, they also have a state-of-the-art display. This appearance makes the Rolex Explorer timepieces fit for both dynamic activities and casual gatherings.

Aside from these qualities, the design of Rolex Explorer twatches has not really changed. Despite adding a bit of modifications, these timepieces have retained the main look. Because of all of these qualities, Rolex Explorer timepieces are definitely worth the investment.

Rolex Explorer vs. Rolex Explorer II

Rolex Explorer II was designed after many years of exploration with the original Explorer. Released in 1971, the first model with reference 1655 measured 39mm and was made of stainless steel. 

What makes Explorer II different from its predecessor, aside from its size and the added date window in the 3 o’clock position, is its enhanced readability. Filled or coated in luminescent material, the hour markers and hands both light up longer in the dark. Additionally, these markers also have a brighter color when exposed to light. 

Aside from the enhanced readability, Rolex Explorer II watches have an extra orange hand. This 24-hour hand reads the labelled hours surrounding the dial. This allows the Rolex Explorer II watches to tell the time apart from day and night, a useful feature for many caves and even polar explorers.

Overall, the Explorer II is a bigger and more functional series when compared to the original Explorer. But this does not mean that the original lineup is outdated since both the Explorer and Explorer II are still famous and celebrated today.

Rolex Explorer's Rich History

Just like other collections by the Swiss brand, this series has its own fair share of rich history. Before the series was made, Rolex was creating timepieces based on their “Bubbleback” model. This model sports a dome-shaped appearance on the back of the watch, hence its name. Additionally, Rolex has been attempting to create watches that can withstand extremely low temperatures and low oxygen levels. And to test this, they’ve been sending Rolex Oyster Perpetual prototype timepieces to Himalayan expeditions since the 1930s.

A Rolex prototype was eventually worn in the renowned year of 1953. This is when the first historic climb to the peak of Mount Everest was done by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Both of them were wearing Rolex prototype watches during the magnificent feat. Due to the expedition’s success, the Swiss brand has fulfilled its aim to create a timepiece that is able to withstand extreme temperatures and low oxygen levels.

To commemorate the historic achievement, Rolex has released the first Explorer model with Reference 6298 in 1953. And because of the Rolex Explorer’s achievements, the Swiss brand eventually released its larger successor, the Rolex Explorer II, in 1971.

Famous Patrons of the Rolex Explorer watch

Tom Hanks

American actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks is known for his roles in Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, and many more. Aside from being a multi-awarded actor, he’s also known as an active environmentalist. Hanks is not only fond of wearing the Rolex Explorer. He’s also been wearing other Rolex series such as the Rolex Milgauss and Rolex Sea Dweller.

Matt Damon

Known for playing Jason Bourne in the Bourne film series as well as other movies, American actor Matt Damon is an avid Rolex fan. When he plays poker during his free time, Damon usually sports a vintage Rolex Explorer 1016.

Ian Fleming

British writer Ian Fleming is known for his creations such as James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In one of his novels, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” James Bond was wearing a Rolex watch. Fleming based the fictional spy’s watch on his own actual timepiece: a vintage Rolex Explorer 1016

Five Reasons to Buy a Rolex Explorer Watch

1. Highly Durable

In general, the Rolex Explorer timepieces are designed to be highly strong and sturdy. Even the prototype watches were tough enough to withstand the harsh conditions when they were worn during the first successful hike to the top of Mt. Everest. Additionally, with a water resistance of 100m, these timepieces can easily withstand being soaked in water.

2. Sophisticated and Fashionable

Durability is not only the Rolex Explorer’s strong point. In fact, its classy appearance ensures that it can also go well with semi-formal or plain, casual clothing. This just means that not only can you use the Rolex Explorer watches for outdoor activities, you can also use them as accessories even on a normal day.

3. Famous and Iconic

Rolex, in general, is already a famous brand. However, due to their durability and plain but sophisticated appearance, the Explorer watches have become icons of their own in watchmaking. Because they are celebrated timepieces, celebrities and even fictional pop culture characters wear them. 

4. Timeless and Lasting

Ever since their release in 1953, the appearance of the Rolex Explorer barely changed. Although some adjustments and modifications were added, they managed to keep to their original roots. This shows that Rolex Explorer timepieces don’t need to have over the top changes. Their timeless design is enough to make them alluring even today.

5. Worth the Investment

Overall, Rolex timepieces hold their value for a long time. These luxury watches are one of the most well-known brands in watchmaking after all. But the Rolex Explorer watches, on the other hand, are surely worth your money. Due to their high durability mixed with sophisticated design, these timepieces have earned their spot among the best wristwatches in the world. 

Rolex Explorer: Durability and Sophistication in One

Rolex has a lot of amazing collections, and the Rolex Explorer is just one of them. With its rich heritage, elegant design, and resiliency, the collection has earned its way to be one of the finest watches in the world. So, if you want a great timepiece for outdoors, or if you just want a great wristwatch, look no further, the Rolex Explorer might be the best option for you.

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