Guide To Buying a Rolex Explorer Watch

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So you’ve decided that you want to purchase a  Rolex Explorer. Perhaps you’ve come to this conclusion because you have reached a point where you know you want a Rolex but don’t want the 'typical' models that many end up choosing from. This is an excellent choice for those seeking a Rolex outside of the  Datejust and Submariner ( more on those here) realms not only because it is an excellent value but also a great entry-level sport watch with all the Rolex attributes. The Explorer has evolved over the years and while we'll focus on the classic Explorer mostly, the more contemporary looking and sized  Rolex Explorer II is a great, albeit pricier option. 

You’ve no doubt been intrigued by the tales of Sir Edmund Hillary traversing Everest with an Oyster Perpetual that inspired the Explorer. Despite the lore behind this watch, some consider this model to be a 'less interesting' Rolex watch and some good deals can be had if you know what to look for. This is by no means to say that it is in any way a lesser watch, simply that it isn’t always someone’s 'first Rolex' purchase.  
Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016
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Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016

As always, begin your journey with a budget and remain aware that patience is usually rewarded when seeking out the best deal. A good starting point for the Rolex Explorer is the  Ref. 114270 which debuted in 2001. At 36mm it does wear a little on the smaller side but still has great wrist presence. One aspect to be cognisant of is the fact that there is a  Ref. 14270 which featured a Tritium dial until 1997. You can discern whether or not your Explorer has Tritium if you see 'T SWISS – T < 25' below the 6 o’clock numeral. A used 114270 can be found anywhere from £3,700-£6,500 while a Ref. 14270 can start around £3,700 and go up to £5,500. There are some great vintage Explorers such as the  Ref. 1016 as well as the  Ref. 6610 which had a run of less than five years. Naturally, collectors will seek out those variants of which less were made and perhaps featured different elements such as the Tritium dials so just remember that while great deals are out there, you can still spend a lot if you aren’t too careful. 
Rolex Explorer Ref. 114270
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Rolex Explorer Ref. 114270

In 2010 Rolex released the  Ref. 214270 which saw the case size upped to 39mm. A common complaint however, concerns the size of the hour and minute hands which remained the same size as those on the 36mm Explorers. The 214270 can be found around £4,200. At Baselworld 2016, Rolex announced a new Ref. 214270 with elongated hour and minute hands, at once pleasing many formerly annoyed Explorer fans. It is possible that people will be unloading these in favour of the new 2016 model so be on the lookout for some deals.
Rolex Explorer Ref. 6610
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Rolex Explorer Ref. 6610

You want to make sure that the watch you are purchasing has all 100% Rolex parts.  Are original parts worth more? Sure. But it is ok to buy a Rolex with replacement parts so long as they are official replacements. You also want to ask the seller more about any replacement work that has been done to ensure the work was completed by a certified Rolex watchmaker. You want as many close-up shots as you can get. You should make sure the laser-etched Rolex crown logo is present on the sapphire crystal just above the 6 o’clock marker.  If you don’t see this, you don’t need to waste any more time on it and especially not your money. In the best case scenario, your seller has the original box and papers.  Having these 'extras' can also command a higher asking price but it is nice to have and can give you ease of mind. You should also ask the seller if water resistance has been tested and if the gaskets are in good condition.  After all, it is intended to be a tough watch so you want to make sure it is ready to go.  

Lastly, once you have your Explorer, enjoy your new watch! You now have a super cool Rolex that will stand out amongst the Submariner crowd.
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Written by:  ablogtowatch
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