Among the most awaited news of Watches & Wonders we find the Rolex releases that confirmed what had been rumored for months, namely the introduction of the new Rolex Explorer in steel and an unprecedented as well as unexpected version in yellow Rolesor, a combination of Oystersteel and 18ct gold.

Il Rolex Explorer was unveiled in 1953 after the first historic and successful ascent of Everest, which Rolex was one of the official sponsors, by sir edmund hillary e Tenzing norgay, who faced this feat equipped with Oyster Perpetual chronometers. We told you extensively about the history of the Rolex Explorer a few weeks ago in our extensive article, so with this article we will focus on the new models and innovations that have been introduced. First of all - and I dare say finally - the new ones Explorer ref. 124273 in yellow Rolesor e 124270 in Oystersteel they return to the classic dimensions with a 36 mm case, waterproof up to 100 meters, abandoning the 39 mm of the reference 214270.

124273 and 124270

The black lacquered dial with Arabic numerals 3 - 6 and 9 is back in a definitely improved version compared to the old 36mm Explorer versions. Judging by the comparison I had the opportunity to make at the presentation, the numbers and indices of the dial are slightly larger than the dials 14270 and 114270. Furthermore, the Chromalight optimized and used for the new 2021 models on lanette and dial, emits long-lasting emissions blue in color. These two improvements have further improvements increased readability, responding to the needs of those who might want to use them where their use has been thought of, such as caves or terrestrial depths. The sapphire crystal with internal anti-reflective treatment also plays a key role in this.

The bezel used on the new Rolex Explorer is smooth as always, in steel for the reference 124270 and in 18 ct yellow gold in the more sophisticated version in yellow Rolesor (124273). The 19mm Oyster bracelet (case-bracelet attachment) is equipped with Oysterlock clasp and the comfortable Rolex-patented Easylink quick-extension system, which allows you to adjust the bracelet by approximately 5mm.

While the new Rolex Explorer represents a return to the past, on the technical side they are in line with the new specifications and technical solutions introduced in recent years by the crowned house. The new caliber 3230, presented just a year ago on models 124060 (Submariner) and 126600 (Oyster Perpetual), is equipped with Chronergy escapement which guarantees high energy efficiency and extreme precision. Result? Approximately 70 hours of power reserve and an accuracy of -2 / +2 seconds per day. In addition to guaranteeing the watch for 5 years, this caliber - according to Rolex - also allows the watch to be serviced for the first time in 10 years.


As you may have read in previous articles, and those who know me know it, it is since the introduction of the Explorer 39mm that I looked with nostalgia at the previous references that I have always judged to be more proportionate. Apart from the fascinating Explorer 1016s to which I am linked for various reasons, I have always considered the 14270 and 114270 to be the best modern Rolex 'tool watches'. However, on the wrist the new Explorer seems slightly smaller of past versions: feeling that could be due to the bracelet that narrows slightly at the closure, to a greater extent than the old 36mm over.

Rolex Explorer 124270 in Oystersteel
Rolex Explorer 124273 in yellow Rolesor

We come to the Hot Topic: the yellow Explorer Rolesor ref. 124273. Why make it in steel-gold when it has always been in steel? Simple, precisely because it was never made! You could argue that since it is a 'tool watch' gold, as a precious material, is at least out of place and I would partially agree with you. However, why embellish a GMT-Master, Submariner or Daytona with fine materials? They are also sports watches and gold with salt water - if not treated with the right accuracy - will certainly not have an easy life over the years and after several uses.

Since its first sporty Rolexes, the Geneva-based house has always used this configuration. Think of one of the first professional Rolexes: the Bubbleback, which we all consider today as an elegant watch.

In my opinion, the choice of Rolex is correct and aimed at making the most of one of its icons, somehow obscured in commercial terms by the “older” brothers. I believe other evaluations fall within the personal tastes of each of us. Welcome back Explorer 36mm!


The list price of the new Explorer is as follows: 

Oystersteel ref.124270, 6.100 Euro

Oystersteel and 18ct yellow gold. ref. 124273 , 10.350 Euro

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