The Explorer, unlike other sports watches like the Daytona and Submariner, was not created for a specific sport or activity. A simple time-only timepiece with a highly legible display that was made to the highest possible standards and designed for the active individual.
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Rolex Explorer Sports Watch
Rolex’s Explorer line has long been overshadowed by the company’s other offerings. Rolex collectors have recently begun to see this sturdy watch as something of an insider’s tip, which is reflected in the price.” According to a 2010 release, the 39-mm ref. 214270 now costs 32,250 Saudi Riyals. Five years ago, the same watch cost 20,250 SAR.
Similar trends have been observed in the prices of models made between 1988 and 2009. Between 32,000 and 33,750 SAR, the price of watches like the 36-mm ref. 114270 and 14270 have increased by 13,500 Riyals in just five years.
Watch collectors have become increasingly interested in vintage models from the 1950s, 1960s, and ’70s. The Saudi Second-hand market sells the original Explorer (ref. 6610) for around 82,500 SAR. It’s possible to find a pre-owned ref. 1016 for between 78,750 and 88,100 SAR.
Brief History of the Rolex Explorer
Oyster watches from Rolex were already widely recognized as some of the most reliable and durable timepieces of their time. As early as the 1930s, Rolex began supplying early mountaineering expeditions, notably the Houston-Everest Expedition, which successfully flew over Mount Everest.
A waterproof Oyster and a self-winding Perpetual watch from Rolex continued to be used on historic trips for another 20 years. Colonel John Hunt’s 1953 British Mount Everest expedition received Oyster Perpetual watches. On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest during the ninth attempt of the first climb of the mountain.
Rolex introduced the Oyster Perpetual Explorer watch to recognize the Everest feat in the same year. Shock-resistant, self-winding mechanical movement powered the watch’s black dial, which featured critical luminous details. It was designed for adventurers who needed a wristwatch that could withstand the harshest conditions.
In 1971, Rolex produced the second model, a more oversized, bolder, and more sophisticated watch than the first one, based on the success of the first one. The new model was positioned as a tool watch for speleologists, volcanologists, arctic explorers, and other adventurers who spend extended amounts of time in darkness and can’t rely on the sun to inform them when it’s night and when it is the day. These Rolex watches are some of the greatest in the Oyster line, making them ideal for arctic, climbing, or caving trips, as well as daily luxury use.