Rumours have been circulating for a while already, but now it’s official: In addition to a marginally modified Explorer 2, the Explorer has been given a major facelift, especially in terms of case diameter. Thus, the 39mm Explorer (Ref. 214270) from 2016 has now officially made way for the new Reference 124270.
You didn’t have to be a soothsayer to predict that Rolex would give the new watch a calibre upgrade. With the in-house developed calibre 3230, Rolex will henceforth install the latest generation of calibres in the Explorer presented today, which were first used in the colourful Oyster Perpetual 36 models in 2020. Particularly characteristic of the calibre is the efficient Chronergy escapement for 70h of power reserve, as well as the luminous blue Parachrom hairspring, which resists strong magnetic fields particularly well. (If you would like to learn more about that, make sure to check out our article Rolex Vocabulary: 10 Terms You Definitely Need To Know).
What is a little bit more interesting here is the new case diameter. Contrary to the recent upsizing trend at Rolex – just think of the new 41mm diameter Submariner for a sec – the Swiss watch industry top dog has gone back to a smaller case size already used in the past.
If you go back in time, you can quickly see that Rolex Explorer watches have essentially always had a diameter of 36mm since their introduction in 1953. The only exceptions to this rule are the last two iterations, i.e. the Explorer 214270 Mk1 (2010-2016) and the Mk2 Explorer 214270 (2016-2021). These raised the diameter to 39mm, which was certainly due to the zeitgeist of the time, but not equally well received by all Rolex aficionados.
Another first is the fact that Rolex is offering a Rolesor Explorer for the first time in the company’s history. Rolesor is basic Rolex parlance and refers to the interplay between gold and oystersteel, ultimately describing watches that mix these materials. For the new two-tone Ref. 124273, the polished bezel, crown and centre links of the Oyster bracelet are now crafted in gold.
Both models are available as of now. The stainless-steel version (Ref. 124270) retails for €6,100, while the bicolour version (Ref. 124273) is slightly more expensive at €10,350 due to the gold used.
More information at rolex.com.