You’d never think that luxury and exploration could ever go hand in hand, but somehow Rolex has been making this combination work since the late 1920s. The Swiss company is among the top watchmakers in the history of the trade, and one of the brand’s best lines is the Explorer. It’s the perfect watch for those who brazenly go out into the world to create experiences no one else would. The Rolex Explorer is comprised of several different styles and designs to cater to you. If you’re looking for a watch to take with you anywhere you go, here are the five best (in no particular order) Rolex Explorer watches for you to choose from.
1. 1997 Rolex Explorer I 14270 Black Dial
It’s as classic as any watch could be. It’s almost unassuming in its simplicity, but the Rolex I is one of the brand’s best-selling watches. It features everything you know Rolex to be good for. The solid Oystersteel stainless steel bracelet and clasp gives this watch an incredibly strong body. The stunning black dial design elevates the readability of the watch’s markers, which are simple and clean. Linear markers that accentuate the smooth bezel surround the Arabic numerals on the three, six, and nine o’clock positions. All in all, it’s a beautiful watch that uses an unparalleled self-winding mechanical movement. This particular Rolex is one that will never go out of style.
2. 1998 Rolex Explorer II 16570 White Dial
This particular Explorer is unique in its style. It’s a lot more rugged-looking than other Explorer watches, which is actually something more of what you’d expect from a watch that’s made for exploring. This Explorer II features a stark white dial that has circular markers (except on the three, six, nine, and twelve o’clock positions). There’s a date counter on the three o’clock position—another important feature for exploring. The fixed bezel marks a 24-hour clock. This watch also features Rolex’s impressive Oystersteel bands and clasps for extra strength, and it also happens to be water resistant up to 100 meters. It’s not exactly a diving watch, but you’ll be able to swim with this in shallow waters with no problem.
3. 1993 Rolex Explorer II 16570 Black Dial
If you can take the first two entries on this list and combine them into one, the result would be this particular Explorer. It combines all the best features of both watches into one. This Explorer Ii has rugged and sleek elements, made especially for the most stylish explorers out there. The fixed stainless steel bezel offers a 24-hour clock. The black dial is an amazing contrast against the luminous non-numerical markers. There’s a date counter on the three o’clock position; and it’s in a special encasing so you can’t miss it. This watch is also water resistant up to 100 meters.
4. 1965 Vintage Rolex Explorer 1016 Tropical Dial
There’s no mistaking this particular vintage Rolex, and it’s truly a testament to the longevity of the brand’s watches. The quality make of Rolex watches is evident in this 1965 watch, as the black dial has transformed into a stunning tropical patina. There’s no other watch out there like it. The watch works perfectly, and its age has not affected the movement at all. The stainless steel bracelet may have slight signs of wear, but it remains as sturdy as ever. If you happen to be a watch collector and prize unique timepieces, this particular Rolex is an absolute must. Of course it sell for just under $25k, but it’s well worth that price for its history and more.
5. 1990 Rolex Explorer 14270 Rare Blackout Dial
This particular timepiece is everything that a typical Rolex Explorer is. It features the brand’s Oystersteel. It has a clean and sleek look, and it has an immaculate black face. The smooth bezel completes the smooth look of the watch. But what’s special about this particular Explorer can be found in the markers. The watch features linear markers except on the three, six, and nine o’clock positions. Those positions have Arabic numerals that are typically either luminous or plain white. However, this rare blackout watch has Arabic numerals that are filled with beautiful black enamel, giving the watch a one of a kind vibe you won’t find in any other Rolex or watch altogether.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker