The Rolex Explorer

I finally accepted that I had become a Rolex fan. Something I had never expected had come true.

But as I understood now, the simple truth is that the success of Rolex is based mainly on two simple facts: their watches are technically brillant and probably the best on the market. Rolex focuses obviously on the right things people appreciate: reliability, continuity, value. No experiments, no nonsense, no extravagance.

That’s all. That’s what makes great products.

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I always thought that there was a literal similarity between the Explorer and the Panerai style watches. The polished bezel, the dark dial with the reduced hour markers and the large numbers.

Rolex Explorer 114270 (2008)

Somehow one seemed to resemble the other. Although both have nothing to do with each other, right?


Well, we’ll come back to that later…

The small Explorer is an unbelivably balanced watch. The (rattlesnake) Oyster bracelet is sporty, while the polished steel bezel is classy. The dial is decent, while the 3 6 9 hour makers make it a bit more sporty again. The 36 mm case makes it very distinguished and subtle, while its stance as a very robust mountaineers watch has nothing of the sensibilities of a true dress watch. The Ex 1 is just perfect in every way, shape and form and works in every environment you can possibly think of.

The Rolex Explorer nearly became my exitwatch. But as we afficionados know: the idea of an exit watch is just another strategy to purchase another watch.

So this wasn’t at all what I had in mind, when I got my Rolex Explorer.

I of course bought the youngtimer 114270, the last one with the for over 60 years classical 36 mm Oyster case, not the latest less elegant bulky 39 mm incarnation 214270.

I obviously was swimming against the tide from larger to smaller watches…

…read more in Collecting Luxury Watches