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Old 17 November 2016, 09:44 AM   #1
Tbonewalk
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Explorer 214270

I wrote this back in June, 2016...

In name only…
It’s a fabulous, classy watch, arguably the most ideal and perfect watch a man can own, in fact, some reviewers describe it as such.

Firstly, it’s a Rolex. That means status and quality. It means more than that though. It means history, past, present and future. They know what they’re doing and make a great watch, on so many levels.

The size, shape and proportion of the Explorer are great. 39mm is described by some experts as the perfect size. If you’re young and very trendy though, the Explorer may not be big enough. If you’re mature in age or in taste, this will be an excellent size for you.

Rolex’s appeal and at the same time drawback may be their commitment to tradition. They are sometimes criticized as too old and stuffy. "Austere".

Rolex has been criticized, and I think justly, for changing the shape of their cases. These newer ones are a bit more “blocky” and less tapered in appearance. In a way, it makes the watch “wear” somewhat larger. But that’s the way it is. Lug holes are also a thing of the past, a very cool thing to some. Four tiny holes that in some way provide a historical link.

The “short minutes hand” has been mentioned in every review I have seen. I don’t know if someone started this and others chimed in or if all the experts simultaneously found the minutes hand noticeably short, disproportional and off putting. Yet all reviewers pretty much discard this as a minor criticism. I don’t think I would notice this in any way if I had not read the reviews. But I did and I do. It was said that Rolex used the hands from the smaller Explorer, the 36mm. How could they have done this- Rolex being stingy? How could they have missed this, and on a $6500 watch no less!

One thing struck me and disappointed me when viewing the Explorer. The classy, shiny 3, 6 and 9 gold numerals with no lume sort of contradict any notion of “exploring” with this watch. This is not the fault though of the Explorer 39mm; the 14270, 36mm, unveiled in 1989 ushered in this change. Though I knew this coming in, the impact was stronger viewing the watch in person. There has been no link to the history and roots of this as a tool watch for some time now. It is extremely handsome, though not very ruggedly so. That’s not a bad thing!

Maybe it is somewhat rugged. There is alot of steel here. No color. All black and white, quiet and icy cold. Not very shiny except for the “3”, “6” and “9’; they look almost out of place.

The Oysterlock bracelet is unbelievably well made and comfortable. It has a cool little extension of a half link that snaps in and out, should you need it for a roomier or more precise fit. In fact, the dealer revealed the cost of the bracelet is $1200 should you need one… so it better be good!

The bracelet is brushed except for the sides, in fact, the brushed look dominates the watch, perhaps reminding us or suggesting the Explorer’s rugged roots. The Bezel is polished though, again, a dressy tool watch.

The Explorer 214270, 39mm has been replaced; the new one is in the new Rolex catalog and will be available soon. Same reference number, 214270 but with longer and beefier hands! A different and brighter blue lume too, all the way around and on the numerals now. Price is the same. Some describe this as Rolex admitting a mistake and correcting it.

This upset me in a way. I read alot about watches. How could I have missed this about a “new” edition Explorer? The new one seems perhaps more what I was looking for. Is our Explorer now less desirable; I doubt it, Rolex is always expensive, used ones fetch plenty. Yet something struck me odd about the price remaining the same. And I read what I feel was an astute comment from a reader, that the numerals on ours are 18k gold, more expensive than the new, lume surrounded by gold ones.

I was hot for this watch. I, like alot of us, wanted a tool type watch. I was disappointed with the Tudor North Flag and Ranger; too big and blocky. The Omega Railmaster in 39mm is gone. Some others are nice, but but not a Rolex. So I pretty well knew going in that I was coming home with this watch.

It is gorgeous, a fantastic size, proportion, height and weight that sits beautifully on the wrist or forearm. The new and improved engine will keep precise time, if that’s what you wear a watch for. But exploring? Not unless there is a board of directors meeting on Mount Everest! This is a luxury watch. A dress watch. Not to say it is out of place peeking out of a flannel shirt in the winter or on the arm in a short sleeve or tee at a summer barbecue or picnic.

It is very understated. It is sheer class and confidence while not bragging or begging for attention, not screaming “look at me!”. At $6500, I was not so sure of how comfortable I was with that. I waited a few weeks before composing this review, and now have grown very comfortable with it.
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Last edited by Tbonewalk; 17 November 2016 at 09:46 AM.. Reason: a 'lil touch up...
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Old 30 November 2017, 04:07 PM   #2
razmy3
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wear in good health...I have the same watch...cheers
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Old 30 November 2017, 05:10 PM   #3
Tbonewalk
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it is long gone. For whatever reason, probably the ones I mention, it just did not get much wrist time, I never really took to it I guess. I am now somewhat interested in the updated version with the longer hands and not the solid numerals, which I thought looked kind of weird...
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Old 30 November 2017, 06:14 PM   #4
Digitran
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I sold my 214270 MKI because of the short and very thin minute hand. Sometimes, and in certain lighting conditions, it was hard to read the time at a glance. That bothered me.

So I sold it and acquired the MKII. No trouble reading the time. I am in my mid 40's and my eyesight is not going to get better. So far I am very pleased with the MKII. Will it be a keeper? I surely hope so, but only time will tell!
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Old 30 November 2017, 07:27 PM   #5
Tbonewalk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitran View Post
I sold my 214270 MKI because of the short and very thin minute hand. Sometimes, and in certain lighting conditions, it was hard to read the time at a glance. That bothered me.

So I sold it and acquired the MKII. No trouble reading the time. I am in my mid 40's and my eyesight is not going to get better. So far I am very pleased with the MKII. Will it be a keeper? I surely hope so, but only time will tell!
me too- hard to read the time, after all, isn't that what a watch is there for, at least in part...
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Old 30 November 2017, 07:29 PM   #6
Tbonewalk
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it cost me $1500 to find this out though, and I was lucky to recoup $5k...
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Old 30 November 2017, 09:35 PM   #7
Digitran
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it cost me $1500 to find this out though, and I was lucky to recoup $5k...
I feel your pain! It cost me the same amount (CHF 1'400) to "upgrade".

But I don't regret it. I have the MKII for about a month now and have not taken it off my wrist! It keeps also perfect time. Very well within the -2"/+2" Rolex specs. In seven days my watch has lost a total of 2.5 seconds.
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Old 30 November 2017, 10:17 PM   #8
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It's a beauty for sure. Enjoy it! I've come close to buying this one ever all times.
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Old 30 November 2017, 11:18 PM   #9
celticjohn
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Sorry guys just to clarify, when you say Mark II do you mean the never updated version of the explorer, or do you mean you moved across to the Explorer II (polar)

I'm looking at hopefully pulling the trigger on an Explorer prior to Christmas.
I think the polar explorer is easier to read (my eye sight is not what it used to be) but I like the clean unclutter look of the Explorer 1.
Explorer 1 I can read fine, now the OP 39mm with the sunburst dial and the stick hands, now that I do find hard to read.

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Old 1 December 2017, 08:20 AM   #10
Digitran
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Sorry guys just to clarify, when you say Mark II do you mean the never updated version of the explorer, or do you mean you moved across to the Explorer II (polar)
I am talking about the newer version of the Explorer 1, updated in 2016.
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Old 2 December 2017, 11:36 AM   #11
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I have the T-Rex with short hands and have no problem reading the time. It’s a great piece!
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Old 2 December 2017, 12:48 PM   #12
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I have Explorer 1 Mk2 and I find it's really easy to read without my +2 glasses on, almost as easy as my Speedmaster Pro...I still find the Speedy is easier to read, though.
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Old 3 December 2017, 05:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitran View Post
I feel your pain! It cost me the same amount (CHF 1'400) to "upgrade".

But I don't regret it. I have the MKII for about a month now and have not taken it off my wrist! It keeps also perfect time. Very well within the -2"/+2" Rolex specs. In seven days my watch has lost a total of 2.5 seconds.
Why buy a new one and take a big hit on depreciation, just change out the dial and short hands for the new dial and longer hands for a fraction of that amount? That is what I did. Same watch, same model number.
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Old 3 December 2017, 05:29 PM   #14
Digitran
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Why buy a new one and take a big hit on depreciation, just change out the dial and short hands for the new dial and longer hands for a fraction of that amount? That is what I did. Same watch, same model number.
Ha! Didn‘t know that was possible and didn‘t bother to ask, honestly. May I ask how much it cost you? Great news for anyone interested in getting the newer dial and hands.

At least I got the 5 years warranty!
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Old 4 December 2017, 12:06 AM   #15
alangloi
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The Explorer with the white gold 3/6/9 is model 214270-001; the Explorer with the lumed 3/6/9 is known as model 214270-003; wish they marked it as 007 :)

I've had my -003 for seven months now. Had a link installed in the bracelet to fit my eight inch wrist, and I'm impressed with the watch every time I have it on.
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Old 4 December 2017, 11:21 AM   #16
cornerstore
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Ha! Didn‘t know that was possible and didn‘t bother to ask, honestly. May I ask how much it cost you? Great news for anyone interested in getting the newer dial and hands.

At least I got the 5 years warranty!
I think it cost me about $600 CDN /$450 US and it was regulated, oiled and all new gaskets installed. I declined the free polishing offer.
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Old 17 January 2018, 06:47 AM   #17
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it cost me $1500 to find this out though, and I was lucky to recoup $5k...
To each his own. I love the "shorthand" explorer and believe in time it will become a classic.
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Old 17 January 2018, 12:33 PM   #18
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Nice write up. I think the Mk1 and Mk2 are like twins. They basically look the same, but with subtle differences. I think the Mk1 is a little dressier with the white gold 3,6,9 and the Mk2 is a little sportier. I'm really not sure which one I like better to be honest.
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Old 21 January 2018, 11:00 AM   #19
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The MK 1 with 369 WG and T-Rex hands rocks!
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Old 24 January 2018, 04:50 PM   #20
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I bought the Mk1 by mistake and regretted it. Because it shares the same reference number as its 2010-2016 39 mm predecessor (214270), it can be tricky to buy right, and there is still quite a bit of "new old stock" floating around on the internet. Online you'll find the Mk1 sometimes represented as "Blackface Dial", but you can only tell by looking at whether there is lume on the arabic numerals or not. The 2016 updated version has a superior movement, longer (more legible) minute hand, and lume on the arabic numerals, making it super easy to read time at night. Be careful buying 214270 on grey market. Buy from an AD and be sure you are getting the right watch, which now has a 5 year warranty and +2 / -2 second chronometer certification. It's one watch to rule them all.
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Old 24 January 2018, 10:15 PM   #21
DFC45
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The MK 1 and MK 2 have the same movement.
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Old 28 January 2018, 03:56 PM   #22
run23
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Wait, for those that got the new dial and hands, does Rolex offer that service, or was it an independent? $450 seems well worth it given what you can get the older 214270s for.
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Old 2 February 2018, 03:13 AM   #23
Colin G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitran View Post
I sold my 214270 MKI because of the short and very thin minute hand. Sometimes, and in certain lighting conditions, it was hard to read the time at a glance. That bothered me.

So I sold it and acquired the MKII. No trouble reading the time. I am in my mid 40's and my eyesight is not going to get better. So far I am very pleased with the MKII. Will it be a keeper? I surely hope so, but only time will tell!
I also recently sold my MKI for a MKII and I am very happy I did.
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Old 21 February 2018, 02:12 AM   #24
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when I bought mine a couple years ago I had the MKI and MKII side by side to compare. I chose the MKII and never looked back. Nice review though
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Old 21 February 2018, 03:12 AM   #25
Tbonewalk
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To each his own. I love the "shorthand" explorer and believe in time it will become a classic.
there may have been other reasons why I sold it. I had just gotten into the Rolex world, the watch world and did so with alot of fervor lol Looking back, I didn't know if I was coming or going. Almost like "too much of a good thing". I sold a few watches that I kind of miss and missed and have replaced a few, bought them again. And I am torn about that Explorer. I also had spent alot of cash and was kind of nervous about having that much money into watches. I have learned alot since then (I think!), and will see what the future holds. I now have my first Rolex, a sub for about 2 years now, and got a 16570 Explorer a few months ago that I still like. One thing though that for sure does bug me about the 214270 I owned... it did not have the best legibility or lume. I kind of like that feature...
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Old 21 February 2018, 03:16 AM   #26
Tbonewalk
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The MK 1 with 369 WG and T-Rex hands rocks!
it does! it really does! Would not have been such a bad thing to stick with it. A great watch for sure!
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Old 21 February 2018, 03:24 AM   #27
Tbonewalk
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when I bought mine a couple years ago I had the MKI and MKII side by side to compare. I chose the MKII and never looked back. Nice review though
Thank you! When I bought it, I was unaware that a new one w longer hands and lume was available or would soon be available. As I wrote, I was not so gassed when I saw it and was kind of caught up in the moment. Then I discovered the reviews of the new one... I was never really comfortable or in love with the watch, and for $6500 I think a guy should be! So after awhile I decided to sell it. I have since come very close to buying either one. Some reservations though, not exactly sure why, but in part, I know I had one already, it ain't cheap, and it didn't move me all that much. I guess the move would be to get the long hand since I already had the short one lol
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