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Rolex Explorer 214270

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Reference Number
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Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel

If Mount Everest conquering British hero Sir Edmund Hillary was alive today and getting kitted out to take on his next challenge, this Rolex Explorer, ref. 214270, probably wouldn't be the watch he'd reach for, it's a bit too nice - but you can be assured when he gave his speech afterward at the Royal Geographical Society it's what he'd have on. With an updated 39mm stainless steel case, (the ref. 114270 was 36mm), the superb Rolex in-house automatic caliber 3132 and Twinlock screw-down crown it represents the austere, no nonsense tool watch collectors love. That said, with the 3, 6, 9 numerals in solid white gold (updated from white gold numerals with white paint as on the predecessor ref. 114270) a bit of the sportiness has been traded for elegance better suited to fundraising dinners with expedition backers than on the side of a mountain, although Rolex would be proud to accompany you on either journey. This is the watch you buy when you're the guy behind the guy - the power, the procuring cause. Originally released in 2010 it was discontinued in 2015 and then re-released in 2016 with longer, wider hands, luminous numerals and the same reference number, which can be a bit confusing. The white gold numerals notwithstanding, the balance of the hour markers on this 214270 are filled with Rolex's Chromalight luminescence, which glows a brilliant blue in the dark - more than enough these days to catch the eyes of audience members being regaled with stories and slide shows of polar heroism, which Hillary had in spades. On March 29, 1953 he and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first men in history to successfully summit and descend from Mount Everest and at least one of them was outfitted with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer. Aesthetically that particular watch in no way resembles the modern 214270s but theirs' is the watch that launched the Explorer line and it's in that spirit that Rolex continues to create and challenge its owners to roam.

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12 Month Historical
# of Sales
Price Premium
(Over Original Retail Price)
Average Sale Price
  • 52 Week
    High $5,300 | Low $4,159
  • Trade Range (12 Mos.)
    $4,808 - $5,792
  • Volatility