A Brief History Of The Rolex Explorer Watch
Posted by Daniel Luczak on 16th Jan 2021
A Brief History Of The Rolex Explorer
The Rolex Explorer does not need an introduction. This line of watches is a direct example of the brand’s marketing prowess. The first Rolex Explorer came out in 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed Mt. Everest. Initially, the pair brought along a Rolex Oyster Perpetual to Mt. Everest as it was a dangerous and life-threatening undertaking that needed a watch that could stand up to the elements.
Some people may think that the climbers accidentally brought a Rolex with them. However, it was a well-planned move by Rolex to promote the prowess and accuracy of its watches, in extreme conditions. The company wanted to showcase the true capabilities and endurance of Rolex watches.
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual became immensely famous after the expedition. It has been 70 years since the expedition, but people still remember Rolex as the watch that went to the highest peak in the world. After the expedition, Rolex created a powerful 36mm watch by the name of "Explorer."
The Birth Of The Rolex Explorer
Rolex released the Explorer reference 6350 in 1953. It is not officially the first Explorer. However, it was the first Rolex watch to have the words “Explorer” on the dial. This watch also features Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9. Moreover, this watch has a case size of 36mm. It also features a matte black dial. This reference served as the founding pillar for the Explorer design language.
Watch enthusiasts know the references 6350 by the name of "honeycomb”. The reason behind this name is the specific dial pattern that resembles a honeycomb. It is a rare watch. Rolex produced this reference for one year only. Its predecessor, reference 6150, was only available for a small period as well. The references 6610 was the third Rolex Explorer to hit the shelves. This reference features a matte black dial, gilt numerals, and a honeycomb dial.
Reference 1016 is the longest-running reference for Rolex Explorers. Rolex released this reference in 1963. Rolex produced the reference 1016 for 27 years. It underwent various design changes over three decades.
In the beginning, this watch came with an Albino dial. Then, Rolex decided to add the Space-Dweller dial to the reference. Later on, Rolex decided to go with the stretch bracelet and the gilt underline. In the end, the solid link bracelet came with the watch.
The Modern Rolex Explorer
Rolex released the reference 14270 at the Basel Fair in 1989 and it ran until 2001. It was also the first explorer watch to showcase Rolex watches as sporty and luxurious. Rolex adopted high-end manufacturing techniques for this watch.
There were other design changes with reference 14720 as well. The Rolex Submariner also came with a glossy dial and applied markers with white-gold surrounds. This was when the world knew about the true power of Rolex Explorer.
The latest Rolex Explorer is the 214270 which features a 39mm case and costs $6550USD. Its caliber 3132 movement has a 48 hour power reserve and it retains the same overall design as past models. Hopefully Rolex continues to offer this model as it has some superb history and subtle looks that can go under the radar, which is nice for most Rolex owners.
What Is the Bottom Line Here?
If you already have a Rolex Explorer and you want to pair it with amazing watch straps, DaLuca Straps is here for you. You can enjoy high-quality leather military watch straps, shell cordovan rally straps and custom made watch straps for your Rolex Explorer. You can also get leather care accessories and keep your leather watch straps looking like new over time. The choice is yours, choose wisely.