The Rolex Explorer 1 is the most iconic three handed watch out there today! This watch was originally released in 1953 and made history when they accompanied Sir Edmond Hillary & Tenzing Norgay as the first to summit Mt Everest in the same year. It has a achieved a cult like status amongst collectors and the press.
In 2010 this watch was upgraded to its biggest size to date of 39mm. This was much needed, however the press was very unforgiving about the size of the hands used on this particular version. They were just to small and lacked proportion, Also at night the lume pattern was barely visible.
For this Baselworld 2016, Rolex took care of these issues and released a NEW Explorer 1 with with an entirely luminescent display for enhanced legibility. The model’s characteristic 3, 6 and 9 numerals are now filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow, like the hour markers and hands. This exclusive Chromalight display offers exceptional legibility in any conditions. The hands are also broader and longer for enhanced visual comfort. The new Explorer carries the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015, which ensures singular performance on the wrist.
When you think about that its pretty amazing that Rolex would rectify this issue because of hands and a lume pattern and come out with an entirely NEW model.
The case is still the same at 39mm in case diameter and is made out of 904L stainless steel with polished sides and bezel and the rest is brushed including the oyster lock bracelet with safety clasp.
It’s fitted with the calibre 3132, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture, manufacturing quality and innovative features make it singularly precise and reliable. The oscillator, the true heart of the watch, has a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring its regularity in any position. The oscillator is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge and is fitted between high performance Paraflex shock absorbers, developed and patented by Rolex, that provide 50 per cent greater resistance to shocks. Calibre 3132 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 48 hours.
I was lucky enough back in the day to own an Explorer 1 when it was 36mm in case diameter. I was too young to appreciate it. It’s a very cool watch that has history and class and yet it so simple. I like the NEW blue Chromate display. It adds a modern pop of color while preserving its iconic characteristics. This watch will retail for $6,500 which is $50 less than the current version. It will be available sometime in the fall. Personally I would much rather have the NEW 40mm Air King at $6,200. You can read more about that, here.