Rolex’s latest timepiece is designed for life’s explorers
Rolex’s history of creating tool watches can be traced back to the 1930s when the timepieces it provided to explorers became an integral part of an expedition’s kit. In 1953, when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, it was with white ‘Oyster Perpetual’ watches on their wrists. Building on this success, Rolex released the first ‘Explorer’ watch later the same year.
The toughened case and clear design codes are still present in today’s ‘Oyster Perpetual Explorer’, with the three, six and nine numerals making for quick and easy legibility. The ‘Explorer’ has been bulked up over time, but this year’s model, equipped with calibre 3230, cuts a neater silhouette, returning to its original 1953 case size of a restrained 36mm. Its smaller proportions are drawn in yellow Rolesor (a blend of 18ct yellow gold and Oystersteel, Rolex’s own corrosion-proof brand of strong steel), which has been a recurring feature of the brand’s designs since it was first patented in 1933. The juxtaposition of soft warm gold against the cool solidity of steel makes an effective foil for a glossy black lacquered dial. Markers and hands, coated in a luminescent material that emits a vivid blue glow in the darkness and promises to last for an impressive eight hours, will be hard to miss for adventurers in both urban and extreme settings.