1997 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 14270) With Box and Papers

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 add 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 # RLXEXP14270-5
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 14270
Serial U3XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Glossy Black 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex Oyster 78790 Bracelet w/ 558B End Pieces



The no-noles case has been very lightly polished in the past, showing very little wear. The smooth stainless steel bezel is unpolished exhibiting very light wear. The sapphire crystal is clean without scratching or cracking. The Rolex 78790 oyster bracelet with 558B end pieces is in great condition with very little stretch showing typical wear from use. 


The glossy black explorer dial with white gold surrounds is in flawless condition. The original tritium lume is a nice ivory coloration and shows no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly and like the dial also exhibits no degradation when viewed under U.V. light.


The watch comes with its original inner and outer boxes, paperwork, instruction booklets, serialized hangtag and wax seal chronometer tag. The watch just received a complete service and is running at COSC spec backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.