Released in 1953 alongside the Submariner and the Turn-O-Graph, and characterized by numerals at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, the Rolex Explorer was made for arduous adventures on the trail. For much of its initial 35 years in production, the Explorer remained largely unchanged, with the most notable transition being from a gilt-gloss dial to a matte, white text dial in the late 1960s under the reference 1016. Then, in 1989, Rolex made its most significant design update by equipping the reference 14270 with a glossy black dial, applied white gold indices, and a sapphire crystal. The new-look Explorer was decidedly more modern–and more dressy–than previous iterations, and has retained this style all the way up to the latest reference 124270. This particular version for sale is a T-Swiss 14270 with closed lugs from 1996, one of the last years Rolex produced the Explorer with a tritium dial.
Rolex 78790 stainless steel bracelet with 558B end links and Z6 clasp code
Max Wrist Size:
7.5in (13 links)
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The case is sharp and strong and shows normal signs of wear for a watch that has been worn consistently over its 25+ year life. There are little hairlines, dings, and scratches here and there but no major blemishes. The most notable scratch is on the bezel at the 7:30 position (as can be seen in the photos). Despite the signs of normal wear, I’d say it wears pretty clean overall.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The tritium dial is excellent and shows no cracking or degradation. The hands are Rolex service hands that were re-lumed from LumiNova back to tritium to match the dial. This work was done by Los Angeles Watch Works, the best in the business. The UV response of the dial lasts a little longer than the hands, but it’s obviously much better than when the hands were LumiNova. The sapphire crystal is blemish-free and has the laser-etched Rolex crown at 6 o’clock.
Bracelet/Strap: The Rolex 78790 bracelet is in good condition with little-to-no stretch and some normal hairlines and desk-diving marks. The clasp code is Z6, which dates the bracelet to 1997.
Functions: All functions including the crown-winding and time-setting are working as expected.
Service History: Unknown.