1991 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 14270) "Creamy Patina"

The Rolex Explorer 1 ref. 14270 was introduced by Rolex in 1989 as the successor to the iconic ref. 1016. The Rolex Explorer 1 ref. 1016 was in production for 27 years and saw only minor updates to the dial and bracelet, though the ref. 1016 largely remained unchanged throughout its 27 years of production. The ref. 14270, however, was a massive technical update to the Explorer 1 model. The ref. 14270 received a more modern sapphire crystal, a new, faster-beating Rolex Cal. 1570, and then the Cal. 3000 movements. The updates also featured a more modern solid link bracelet with the later era bracelets receiving a smaller flip-lock clasp, and the most notable difference and update from a design visual perspective is a glossy black dial with applied white gold indices that were filled with tritium luminous material and then later with luminova. The Rolex Explorer ref. 14270 has quickly generated a cult-like following especially the earlier examples that possess tritium-filled markers and hands.

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The Rolex Explorer I references bridge the gap between a dress watch and a sports watch. Without the crown guards and rotating bezels commonly found on sports models offered by Rolex, the Explorer I has a cleaner, sleeker profile while incorporating recognizable sport model features into the dial. The highly visible block indices, numerals at the 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock positions, and Submariner style triangle at the 12 o'clock position allow for readability under any conditions. The Submariner-style hands featured on the ref. 14270 adds to the unique feel and appearance. The Rolex explorer blends the classic and timeless look of a 36mm Rolex Oyster style watch while offering a ruggedness and utilitarian feel that can be worn in the most formal and or casual settings.

Stock # RLXEXP14270-9
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 14270
Serial X4XXXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Glossy Black 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36
Bracelet Rolex Oyster 78360 Bracelet w/ 558B End Pieces



The strong case has been lightly polished in the past and retains full and symmetrical lugs that display light signs of use. The smooth stainless steel is in excellent shape showing almost no signs of use. The original Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 558B end pieces retains 12 links that exhibit almost no stretch from use.


The glossy black dial with white gold surround markers is simply gorgeous and has developed a beautiful patina that is consistent throughout. The subtle speckled patina provides a unique depth and handsome vintage aesthetic. The tritium lume plots have taken on a desirable creamy ivory patina and display no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly, under U.V. light inspection the minute hand shows some light lume loss and remains stable, the hour and sweep-seconds hands display no degradation.


Watch just received a complete service and is running at COSC spec backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.