For this 2016 edition of Baselworld, fans of Rolex are – with good reasons – mainly focusing on the introduction of a new Daytona in steel, now with a black ceramic bezel. However, there’s more from Rolex to this year (in fact, there’s a lot). Rolex will indeed discreetly correct some of the aspects people complained about on the Rolex Explorer 214270 (the 39mm with 3-hands), mainly focusing on a more relevant display. New hands, new indexes, all with improved proportions; this is what you’ll have with the 2016 Rolex Explorer 214270. And here is our hands-on.
Some collectors complained about the increased size of the Rolex Explorer, when it moved from 36mm to 39mm with the ref. 214270. However, this diameter remains reasonable and elegant enough – and after a few years, people get used to these 3 extra millimeters. The main problem that collectors saw with this reworked Explorer 1 was the size of the hands. Both were too short compared to the dial and mainly, the minute hand was not relevant, as the tip of the hand wasn’t touching the minute track.
Same treatment has been applied on the hour hand, which is now a little bit longer. Both hands are also slightly larger. Overall, even if the dial looses some lightness with these fatter hands, it also becomes more convenient and more rational, as the hands are now long enough for the diameter of the dial.
The second evolution concerns the iconic 3 – 6 – 9 indexes – certainly the most important part of the Explorer – that are now also coated with blue Chromalight luminous material, just like the rest of the indexes and the hands (as a reminder, the previous edition of the Rolex Explorer 214270 was featuring plain steel, polished 3 – 6 – 9 indexes). If the day-time look will remain close, it will on the other hand bring a better legibility in low light conditions – then again with the idea of a more rational display in mind.
The rest of the watch remains similar, meaning that the 2016 Rolex Explorer 214270 still features its 39mm Oyster case, in 904L stainless steel, water resistant to 100m, with flat and polished bezel and a 3-link Oyster bracelet with brushed surfaces and the Oysterlock clasp, with Easylink adjustment.
Finally – and this shouldn’t be underestimated – the 2016 Rolex Explorer 214270 features the same improvements than the 2016 Rolex Daytona in terms of precision of the movement, meaning that it has the Superlative Chronometer certification, done in-house by Rolex and with stricter criteria (-2/+2 seconds per day). It also is guaranteed for 5 years.
Overall, we’re talking minor but intelligent improvements. Certainly, the 2016 Rolex Explorer still is an Explorer, with its timeless appeal, its superlative comfort on the wrist and its iconic dial, which just feels more rational than ever… and as for the look of the new hands, we’ll let you judge if you prefer the new ones or the older ones. But this watch is somehow the proof that even Rolex can admit their mistakes. Price: 5,900 Euros (same price as the previous edition). www.rolex.com.