Unpolished 1996 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 14270)

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The Rolex Explorer 1 ref. 14270 was introduced by Rolex in 1989 as the successor to the Ref. 1016. The Rolex Explorer 1 Ref. 1016 was in production for 27 years and saw only minor updates to the dial and bracelet, 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. 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 lacquered 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.

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 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 # RLXEXP14270-4
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 14270
Serial T7XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Glossy Black 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex Oyster 78790 Bracelet w/ 558B End Pieces



The unpolished case exhibits factory case profiling and finishing, showing honest wear and retains its original caseback sticker. The smooth stainless steel bezel remains unpolished as well, showing light honest wear. The Rolex 78790 Oyster bracelet with 558B end pieces remains in excellent unpolished condition showing like wear and no stretch from use.


The glossy black dial with white gold surround markers is in flawless condition. The original tritium lume plots have taken on a very slight ivory patina and exhibit no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands match the dial and show no degradation under U.V. light inspection.


None. Watch is keeping time at spec, previous service history is unknown.