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Old 6 March 2013, 02:05 PM   #1
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In depth look: Explorer I (Ref. 214270)

Hey everyone,

So it's been about a week since I got my first Rolex. It took a while for me to decide which model to get as I wanted something that was not too flashy and could be worn daily on different occasions. It came down between the SubC no-date and the Explorer I 39mm. I'm not going to talk about the differences between these two watches and compare them as I think they're both exceptional, nor am I going to give you guys a summary of the history of the Explorer since there are numerous other articles that can articulate it better than I I'm just going to give my honest first week's impression of the Ref. 214270.

Made of 904L steel. The lugs, which are brushed at the top but whose sides are polished, blend very nicely with the bracelet in a smooth taper. The polished bezel is the central key in making this watch appropriate for formal/professional wear like suits in my opinion. Thus seeing the polished bezel (the sides of the case are also polished) matched with the brushed finish of the lugs give it both a dressy and sporty/casual look.

I used to dislike the 3-6-9 numerals, but I think that it actually adds to the sporty/casual look of the Explorer. And many people complain about the lack of lumination -- I actually find the solid white gold markers without the lume is the classier choice...otherwise it'd look too much like a glow in the dark toy. If it had only the stick markers then it would be a little too dressy/formal for days where I'd just go out with shorts and polos. The gray matte background has a very subtle color difference depending on the lighting that I hold the watch in, which is a cool effect. Also the white gold markers/borders really do add to the substance of such an unimposing look.

And in terms of the notorious complaint about the short minute and hour hands....I only notice it when I see a blown up image and analyze every millimeter of the watch on my computer screen. But when holding or wearing it in person, I've never had trouble reading nor did I feel the watch was imbalanced in any way. I actually think not going into the maxi-dial approach retains the classiness of the Exp I.

In short: it takes the best of both formal and casual elegance, and blends them together in a very understated manner. Forming something that is appropriate in nearly any occasion.

The solid end links, along with the solid links bracelet (from 904L steel too) feels....very...solid . It's super smooth and comfortable when fit onto my wrist and has a nice weight to it -- I do the 1 pinky fit. It doesn't swish around when I move my wrist in any position...and doesn't give me deep markings when I take it off. My only complaint is that it still squeaks when the bracelet swings free, but the noise has since decreased after taking it to the shower (warm water + soap helps easing it in I suppose). Once again, the brush finish + polished sides on the bracelet is in line with the Explorer's goal of combining the rugged sportiness with class.

Movement (accuracy)
I'm gonna step away from talking about the merits of the blue parachrom hairspring and the paraflex shock absorbers in the the Exp I movement (Caliber 3132) I don't have any other watch to compare how great these additions are to the movement, which is the same as the movements in the Submariners minus the date wheel. It has a nice, controlled ticking sound when I hold it to my ear, and is running around +3 to +5 a day. I only started setting the watch crown down when I sleep, and do notice that it slows down very slightly the next it's a good trick to have when self-regulating the accuracy with some master clock. All in all it's running within COSC specs and is not gaining like 30 seconds or 2+ minutes a I have no complaints here. When I first held the watch within the first few minutes of unboxing, the movement actually began to tick as if it couldn't wait to get started

The crown unwinds very smoothly, and pops out without any trouble in either the 1st or 2nd position. Setting the time is very easy, and I especially like how once I push the crown back in the minute hands do not accidentally jolt forward/backwards...making the whole process very accurate with a solid feel.

The clasp is also very well made, fits perfectly with a crisp CLICK when I put on the watch -- but you don't have to press down with any effort. It just seems to connect naturally. And lastly the EZ link extension is also very easy to use, though I don't need it very much unless I wear my watch after a workout or something.

The lume on the markers is cool -- I like its blue tone, though I don't think it's something to fret over as I don't usually look at the time when I sleep at night . Charging it does give it a very intensely bright blue, and I think it lasts quite a while since I've seen at least some hint of lume during the random checkups I've done every now and then under different lighting conditions.

So all in all I cannot say enough great things about this watch. Anyone out there still searching for his first Rolex...this is my recommendation hands down...unless you want stranger passerbys to know that you have a badass Rolex blinged out on your wrist. This watch flies under the radar without any trouble, I wear it to my lab, parties, formal events without feeling like it's either too dressy or too casual.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 6 March 2013, 02:35 PM   #2
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Thanks for taking the time to write up your review. It's always great to read a persons review of any watch and get a feel for what they like/dislike about it. A good read.
The Explorer is one of the pieces I would have shortlisted for my 2nd Rolex.
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Old 6 March 2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the write up. Being new to this forum, your posting is perfect timing for me.
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Old 7 March 2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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Great review and pics - thanks!
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Old 7 March 2013, 10:27 PM   #5
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great write up and pix, thanks!
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Old 9 March 2013, 03:58 AM   #6
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Nice review! I love that new Explorer 1!
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Old 9 March 2013, 06:23 AM   #7
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Stunning watch, great review. If - when I purchase another Rolex that will probably be the one. I love it, congrtaulations!

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Old 17 March 2013, 02:40 AM   #8
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Great review, I love mine too! It really is a great jack-of-all-trades watch that you can wear for just about any occasion.

Just to comment on accuracy, mine varies based on position as well, running slower with crown down than face up or face down. I was regulating it by overnight positioning as well, but since then my wife got me a winder as a gift. For whatever reason, the variation of every other day wear and sitting on the winder (spins 1 minute every 5 minutes, reverses direction each time), the watch is only off by a few seconds either way over the course of weeks.
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Old 24 March 2013, 05:32 AM   #9
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Thanks for the review, now I want one.
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Old 25 March 2013, 02:14 AM   #10
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nice review, i do like the face of that watch!
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Old 14 April 2013, 08:57 AM   #11
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congrats !
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Old 30 April 2013, 04:19 AM   #12
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nice review...just waiting mine to arrive!!!!
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Old 30 April 2013, 04:46 AM   #13
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Thanks for the review. If I was to purchase a no date Rolex this would be the one.
Life without Rolex would be a bad time.
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Old 9 June 2013, 10:15 AM   #14
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Many thanks for this review!
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Old 11 June 2013, 07:17 AM   #15
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Thx for the review and pics!
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Old 11 June 2013, 07:28 AM   #16
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great info , many thanks
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Old 11 June 2013, 12:40 PM   #17
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good watch
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Old 20 July 2013, 10:50 PM   #18
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Fantastic review. Can't wait to get mine now.
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Old 21 July 2013, 01:43 AM   #19
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Even while the hands are too short, i prefere this one over the old one any time.
I like the bigger case and the pracelet on the new one.
Nice watch, enjoy it!
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Old 21 July 2013, 02:52 AM   #20
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Thanks for the review.

A couple of years ago I passed it up and bought a Milgauss, which I later flipped, I am more and more inclided to sell my 111 and get an Explorer for daily wear.
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Old 21 July 2013, 03:07 AM   #21
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Great writeup, it is a lovely watch.
I'm certainly going to add the explorer I to my collection in a few years time (the older 36mm, because of my 6.25 inch wrists.)
Originally Posted by GB-man View Post
Rolex uses rare elves to polish the platinum. They have a union deal and make like $90 per hour and get time and half on weekends.
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Old 21 July 2013, 09:23 AM   #22
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Definitely a watch for all seasons. Thanks for taking the time
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Old 22 July 2013, 12:05 AM   #23
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great review! looks great on the wrist
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Old 22 July 2013, 06:31 AM   #24
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In many ways, the coolest sport Rolex. Uncommon, simple, sleek, and very stylish. I love the 3-6-9 symmetry and elegance and comfort. A true joy to wear.
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Old 19 September 2013, 02:34 AM   #25
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Great review and pics and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said :-) I have had mine about a month now and just keep on staring at it and then realise I haven't even checked the time :-) I love that it isn't obviously a Rolex and can fly under the radar quite easily. I haven't worn anything else since I bought it and probably won't as none of my other watches are in the same league.

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Old 19 September 2013, 05:06 AM   #26
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" in terms of the notorious complaint about the short minute and hour hands....I only notice it when I see a blown up image and analyze every millimeter of the watch on my computer screen. But when holding or wearing it in person, I've never had trouble reading nor did I feel the watch was imbalanced in any way. "

Great review! I received my new Explorer last week and I 100% agree on everything you said, especially the perceived issue of small hands. Minute hand is perfect as it doesn't obscure the numbers and markers,if you look at previous models (as in pics.) it is the same proportions. The hour hand, just the right size,any longer and it would touch the 3 6 9 hour markers . The sweeping seconds hand is very readable as well . Had the 39mm Explorer been my first Rolex it may well have been my last! Again great review
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Old 6 October 2013, 10:16 AM   #27
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Great review and pictures. Enjoyed it so much I ran out and picked one up for myself !
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Old 28 September 2014, 08:18 PM   #28
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Great review.

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Old 28 September 2014, 11:27 PM   #29
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Fantastic write up, but I am biased toward the 214270.
Perfect balance of tool and dress
Mine is +/- 0 on the wrist and only gains 2 seconds when off, but that due to how I place it when it's off and like you I can adjust the +/- based on resting position
Agree on the hands, as well. In fact, and unfortunately, the pictures kept me away from it for a long time until I actually tried one on and then it became a non-issue whatsoever.

well done and thank you
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Old 11 October 2014, 11:51 PM   #30
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Great review. Love the watch and will be picking one up soon!
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