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Thread: Rolex explorer 1

  1. #1
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    Rolex explorer 1

    Hi all, I had a trip Christmas shopping for the other half in the Trafford centre this week, and as you do ended up browsing watches for myself! Anyway I've been looking at my next purchase which I thought was going to be an omega speedmaster pro but after trying on wasn't sold on it.. hmmm back to browsing, looking at rolex albeit through the window I saw the explorer 1 and it just shouted to me, it's absolutely stunning.. now here's the dilemma I normally wear 40 to 44mm watches and not sure how a 39mm will fit? Looks like another trip to try one on! So a couple of questions is the 5k asking price negotiable? And can anyone recommended a good dealer in and around the Manchester area? Thanks guys👍

  2. #2
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    I would say without doubt that the Explorer in the Window will be sold now, they dont last long.. you can usually source one if you try hard enough,, but I would say very little chance of a discount from any AD as they can easily sell it.
    As for size, because of the bezel and the design the watch wears bigger than the 39mm.. it does not look small at all.
    There is a good chance that you can pick one up on SC from time to time and save yourself a little bit of money if you are patient enough.. I wouldnt pay retail and would not use watchfinder as they always polish and refurb.. usually not very well either.


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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.! Yeah tbh i didnt think a discount was doable, definitely need to try one as I mostly wear dive watches so I know what you mean in regards size👍

  4. #4
    Craftsman Jardine32's Avatar
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    I think the Explorer is pretty close to perfect in terms of design and build. It can be as smart or as casual as you want it to be. I have pretty big wrists and it wears spot on. It's pretty under the radar for a Rolex as well.
    J

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frantastic View Post
    I would say without doubt that the Explorer in the Window will be sold now, they dont last long.. you can usually source one if you try hard enough,, but I would say very little chance of a discount from any AD as they can easily sell it.
    As for size, because of the bezel and the design the watch wears bigger than the 39mm.. it does not look small at all.
    There is a good chance that you can pick one up on SC from time to time and save yourself a little bit of money if you are patient enough.. I wouldnt pay retail and would not use watchfinder as they always polish and refurb.. usually not very well either.


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    The explorer in the Trafford has been there about 3 weeks now and you can pick up an explorer in 2 weeks max up north.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys.. I'm going to have a trip out soon to see what they're like on the wrist👍

  7. #7
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    The 39mm Explorer is what a true Rolex is all about - sheer perfection without being flash.

  8. #8
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    I think 39mm is a perfect size. Like you I used to wear a lot of large watches and have since sold most or given them to my dad who has bigger wrists. I never thought I'd be down to that size but they feel so much better in terms of comfort. I do still have 40/41mm but I insist on quality bracelets for a good fit or a quality leather strap.

    I concur the Explorer is a beautiful piece. I'm no fan of the green addition to the recent release mind. I long for a 1016

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  9. #9
    I picked one up recently, I have 8Ē wrists so had some concerns about size, I took a couple of watches with me to compare against, I have to say it wears ok and it is in my opinion a great watch, subtle and versatile. The perspective wonít be perfect on the pics below but may give you an idea against a couple of 40mm watches... I think itís well worth you trying it if you are happy wearing a 40mm watch



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  10. #10
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    I started out with a Timefactors Everest, only vaguely aware what it was a homage to. Eventually, and many watch flips later, I ended up with an Explorer, and that's where I expect to stay.

    In my view, it's a timeless classic, a design that's endured. There are no unnecessary complications to clutter the dial, the simple black and white colours, bold numerals and batons make it very legible, and now the numerals are lumed it looks less blingy and better balanced in the dark too. On the bracelet it looks smart, but it's really versatile and works in almost any situation. The bracelet is great. It looks good, suits the watch, and the easy clasp adjustment is great in the summer.

    Running at +/-2s per day, it's super accurate, and it's backed by a five year guarantee. It ticks all the boxes for me!

  11. #11
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    May get shot down in flames here but another option to look at could be the new Airking. This watch is 40mm and wears bigger due to the thicker case. Also 250 quid cheaper.

    Pictures below to show sizes.

    Just a thought...

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  12. #12
    Exp 1 is the best watch Rolex make; Iíve had mine from its introduction and donít think itíll ever go.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcus.furius View Post
    May get shot down in flames here but another option to look at could be the new Airking. This watch is 40mm and wears bigger due to the thicker case. Also 250 quid cheaper.

    Pictures below to show sizes.

    Just a thought...

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    Agreed; I tried both on and prefer the Explorer but the air king does wear slightly larger for those who prefer a bigger watch.

    As the air king uses the Milgauss case, thatís another possible option although it costs a bit more.


  14. #14
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    Thanks guys! I must admit I was a little shocked that the speedy pro didn't shout to me, I've been looking at them for a while and I love it on photos but on my wrist I was left a little underwhelmed..? Maybe I need to try again but tbh all my watches are 3 hand so maybe the chronograph isn't for me, I've always liked the explorer but with the price was never really an option before but it's not to far from the price of a speedy which got me looking again, I've learnt it's better to save and get what I really want!. I currently also own a ball engineer ohio, my only non dive watch, which is a little similar and 40mm which is perfect size for me without the bezel. I will wear this when I go to try the explorer.. certainly looks great on your wrist shots and seems to wear bigger, thanks for the great photos and first hand knowledge, I will have a look at the airking too but for me the explorer is just about perfect👍 cheers everyone I hope you all have a great Christmas and new year.

  15. #15
    Perhaps controversially, I prefer the OP39, particularly with the rhodium dial. The little splashed of colour just make it a bit more interesting.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by carryondentist View Post
    Perhaps controversially, I prefer the OP39, particularly with the rhodium dial. The little splashed of colour just make it a bit more interesting.
    and donít forget the sunburst dial....personally prefer the blue

  17. #17
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcus.furius View Post
    May get shot down in flames here but another option to look at could be the new Airking
    The dial on that Air King is a mish mash of a mess. Horrid.

  18. #18
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    I have to agree.. its the 3 6 and 9 of the previous explorer with useless and pointless second markers which ruin the dial
    I.e 5 10 3 20 25 6 .. i tried one the other day, loved the white gold and the green second hand and Rolex on the dial.. hated those markers.. id buy it in a flash if they just had index markers... but then again it would be an explorer with a green second hand !! They wouldnt ever do it


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz77 View Post
    now here's the dilemma I normally wear 40 to 44mm watches and not sure how a 39mm will fit?
    Straight integrated lugs are always worth an extra couple of millimetres

  20. #20
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    Currently saving for a 214270. After a fair bit of research i learned about the 2016 update (it will be my first Rolex so I wasn't up to speed) with the commonly preferred longer hands and lumed numerals.

    After a chat with my AD they're on a much shorter waiting list than other steel sports Rollies so I've got my name down. Failing that I'm not overly concerned as post 2016 ones can be picked up mint with b&p for around £4.5k (and not on Watchfinder).

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    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 23rd December 2018 at 09:19.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    Currently saving for a 214270. After a fair bit of research i learned about the 2016 update (it will be my first Rolex so I wasn't up to speed) with the commonly preferred longer hands and lumed numerals.

    After a chat with my AD they're on a much shorter waiting list than other steel sports Rollies so I've got my name down. Failing that I'm not overly concerned as post 2016 ones can be picked up mint with b&p for around £4.5k (and not on Watchfinder).

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    That's good news, I was thinking a 12 month wait.. Then again I've got some saving to do! Yeah I've done some research and got the same info regarding the lumed numerals and slightly different hands, I must admit I would definitely rather pay 5k brand new with a wait than 4.5k used. To some that won't make sense but I would need a bigger saving if I was buying used..

  22. #22
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    12 month wait ??? Gaz you'll get one within 2 weeks of putting your name down !

  23. #23
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    The 39mm Rolex Exp wears more like a 41mm in my view so def wonít feel small. Great watch.


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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Drago View Post
    12 month wait ??? Gaz you'll get one within 2 weeks of putting your name down !
    Awesome news! Still need to save some pennies, although a trip to an ad is in order, anywhere you would recommend? Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    The 39mm Rolex Exp wears more like a 41mm in my view so def wonít feel small. Great watch.
    That's great, I was concerned thinking it would wear small, definitely need to try on the wrist. I'm kicking myself that I didn't ask when I was in the Trafford centre!

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    The 39mm Rolex Exp wears more like a 41mm in my view so def wonít feel small. Great watch.


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    Respect your opinion as I've just sold my Aqua Terra 41mm to bank some money for the Explorer. When I tried it I thought I wore a bit smaller but maybe not when I've owned it for a while.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    Currently saving for a 214270. After a fair bit of research i learned about the 2016 update (it will be my first Rolex so I wasn't up to speed) with the commonly preferred longer hands and lumed numerals.

    After a chat with my AD they're on a much shorter waiting list than other steel sports Rollies so I've got my name down. Failing that I'm not overly concerned as post 2016 ones can be picked up mint with b&p for around £4.5k (and not on Watchfinder).

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    Unless you like the shorter hand, surely the extra 500 for the new model makes more sense, taking into account the warranty etc.
    Lovely watch...definitely on my radar for 2019..

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakar View Post
    Unless you like the shorter hand, surely the extra 500 for the new model makes more sense, taking into account the warranty etc.
    Lovely watch...definitely on my radar for 2019..
    That's my thought as well regarding warranty.. and I would just like to be the first owner, I would need a bigger discount from rrp, although I think he would be looking at the newer model with the longer hands and lumed numerals as well.

  28. #28
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    It’s a nice size. Def never felt small to me with my 7 inch wrist

  29. #29
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    Funnily enough it's not actually the short hands that would bug me on the previous one (which seems to be the main gripe) it's the white gold numerals. Much prefer the fully lumed ones.

    Saying that i'm no Rolex aficionado...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by carryondentist View Post
    Perhaps controversially, I prefer the OP39, particularly with the rhodium dial. The little splashed of colour just make it a bit more interesting.
    +1. I'm also always a bit surprised that the OP 39 isn't mentioned (more) in despatches when there's Explorer love going around.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-P View Post
    +1. I'm also always a bit surprised that the OP 39 isn't mentioned (more) in despatches when there's Explorer love going around.
    Of course, good call. My understanding is they are pretty much the only steel Rolex you can walk in and walk out with these days. Doesn't it have the same case as the Explorer 39?
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 24th December 2018 at 09:39.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-P View Post
    +1. I'm also always a bit surprised that the OP 39 isn't mentioned (more) in despatches when there's Explorer love going around.
    I think it's precisely because of the colour/negative pips that the 39 is overlooked. Plus the over sized cardinal/under sized non cardinal indices on the coloured dials don't look right to me either. IMO, the 36mm is the pick of the OP's.

  33. #33
    And the OP is not actually a sports / professional model...

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    Funnily enough it's not actually the short hands that would bug me on the previous one (which seems to be the main gripe) it's the white gold numerals. Much prefer the fully lumed ones.

    Saying that i'm no Rolex aficionado...
    Each to their own of course, but as an owner of the first 39mm model with the white gold 3 6 9s, I'd mention these two points, after four years of ownership.

    In day to day use, the "short" minute hand is not an issue and I prefer their thinner diameter to the newer model, as they match the non-maxi hands on my 16610 Sub. They seem paired. Second, the lume filled 3 6 9s remind me of an Alpha Explorer I had before buying the Rolex. I realise this is a highly subjective point of view and that many previous Rolex Explorers had lumed filled arabics. I just prefer the non-lumed numbers.


  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    Each to their own of course, but as an owner of the first 39mm model with the white gold 3 6 9s, I'd mention these two points, after four years of ownership.

    In day to day use, the "short" minute hand is not an issue and I prefer their thinner diameter to the newer model, as they match the non-maxi hands on my 16610 Sub. They seem paired. Second, the lume filled 3 6 9s remind me of an Alpha Explorer I had before buying the Rolex. I realise this is a highly subjective point of view and that many previous Rolex Explorers had lumed filled arabics. I just prefer the non-lumed numbers.
    Fair one. Can i please ask what you mean by thinner diameter? Never owned a Rolex let alone an Explorer so i'm learning.

    Also re the white gold non-lumed numbers does it make the watch i bit more 'shiny' when light reflects as that's what i'd prefer to avoid?
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 23rd December 2018 at 19:29.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    Fair one. Can i please ask what you mean by thinner diameter? Never owned a Rolex let alone an Explorer so i'm learning.

    Also re the white gold non-lumed numbers does it make the watch i bit more 'shiny' when light reflects as that's what i'd prefer to avoid.
    Hi Will,

    About the diameter, I mean that the hands on the latest model of Explorer are "fatter" than on the previous model, the one which I have. Especially when you look at the hour hand.

    Here's the new one.



    And mine.



    In terms of the 369 being too shiny, I wouldn't say so in day to day usage. At night time the newer model has the advantage.... ;) Obviously using lume at night, you can still easily tell the time with the previous model.

    The differences are really not that large and having a new watch, from an AD with a 5 year warranty would be the way I'd get one now. The Explorer is a superb watch and having tried a lot of homages and look-a-likes, if your heart is set on one, only the real deal will do.

    Good luck.

    EDIT:

    I just found my favourite Explorer shot on my computer, from the web somewhere and far better than I could manage.

    Last edited by dkpw; 23rd December 2018 at 19:38.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    Hi Will,

    About the diameter, I mean that the hands on the latest model of Explorer are "fatter" than on the previous model, the one which I have. Especially when you look at the hour hand.

    Here's the new one.

    And mine.

    In terms of the 369 being too shiny, I wouldn't say so in day to day usage. At night time the newer model has the advantage.... ;) Obviously using lume at night, you can still easily tell the time with the previous model.

    The differences are really not that large and having a new watch, from an AD with a 5 year warranty would be the way I'd get one now. The Explorer is a superb watch and having tried a lot of homages and look-a-likes, if your heart is set on one, only the real deal will do.

    Good luck.

    EDIT:

    I just found my favourite Explorer shot on my computer, from the web somewhere and far better than I could manage.
    Many thanks sir, really appreciate the info and advice.

    And your watch looks absolutely stunning in that photo. You've just cost me thousands with that post and it's all your fault, as i know for definite that i'm getting one now. Thanks for nothing! ;)
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 23rd December 2018 at 20:06.

  38. #38
    ^ Youíre lucky my pics here have evaporated along with my Flickr... I must fix that for you

    I have worn both versions of the 214270, owning the revised version since itís release.

    Handset: I would agree wholeheartedly with the above, that the hands are a non-issue, objectionable in either direction only by the type of commentariat that lives in their folkís basement and has no real world experience of the watches in question.

    Arabics: down to preference. The original was lumed, so I like the idea of lumed. It also gives greater dial balance at night and additionally it tones down the shininess of the early 214270s. The Alpha above has much blockier Arabics and infra dig.

    Movement: Sonething else to consider. Okay, not really, both versions off the 214270 use the 3132, but certainly the certification of the movement changed, albeit in mid 2015. After that, youíve the 5year warranty and the +/-2spd. Worth thinking about if youíre otherwise agnostic regarding a 39mm Expy.



    Some more info:
    https://monochrome-watches.com/rolex...olex-explorer/


    And Iíll get you some pics of the later watch to counter those nice ones above ;)

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGJG View Post


    And Iíll get you some pics of the later watch to counter those nice ones above ;)
    Don't do this to me! This is going to cost....

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    The dial on that Air King is a mish mash of a mess. Horrid.



    Had always quite liked the Airking ,not enough to buy one but just admired it .

    The Explorer has never been on my radar , until Iíve read this thread , what a nice looking watch and I couldnít agree with you more regarding your comments .

    Bet they donít sell many of those in comparison.

  41. #41
    In fairness to the current AirKing, it begins to make sense when you read up on the Bloodhound project. Check out the documentaries on YouTube.

  42. #42
    Back to the Explorer...








  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by JGJG View Post
    Back to the Explorer...

    Love your last lume shot.

  44. #44
    i sold my 36mm explorer partly because i didn't like the shine of the white gold arabics, i think the lume takes the watch back towards earlier iterations (for me this is a good thing)

  45. #45
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    For a bit of variety, here's what it looks like on rubber.



    And here it is in the snow.



    And long exposure.


  46. #46
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    Great photos. What a watch. And looks good on rubber too.

    I've always liked my watches to have a date (i think i check the date as much as i do the time on my wrist - keep forgetting!) but i can see by just by staring at that dial that it would ruin it. There's nowhere it could go without ruining it.

    I guess that's what my phone's for.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 24th December 2018 at 11:41.

  47. #47
    The Explorer 1 is a great watch its just the flat bezel that put me off buying one.

  48. #48
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    Some great photos, absolutely love it on bracelet but it looks great on a rubber strap too👍

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by kultschar View Post
    Itís a nice size. Def never felt small to me with my 7 inch wrist
    To contrast ^^^, I found the 39 just wore too big when I had one, that extra bulk in the bezel bothered me. Lovely watch though but in the end just wasn't for me and I now have what I consider THE perfect Explorer (after the 6610/1016) in the 114270, 36mil of pure class IMO.

  50. #50
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    On the Dutch watch forum somebody posted a picture of a Explorer on Jubilee. That's beautiful as well. A pity I cant find the picture now, though. (sorry).

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