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Special Dial

Rolex Explorer I reference 14270, T-Swiss dial T serial from 1996

Rolex Explorer I reference 14270, T-Swiss dial T serial from 1996

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Maker: Rolex
Model: Explorer I
Reference: 14270
Year: T serial, 1996
Serial: T9692XX
Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 36 mm diameter; 11.3 mm thickness
Sapphire Crystal: Yes
Lume: Tritium
Caliber: Caliber 3000 automatic-winding movement
Bracelet/Strap: original Rolex steel Oyster bracelet reference 78790A with end-links reference 558B
Lug Width: 20 mm
Box/Papers: Rolex Box only

The Rolex Explorer's origin can be traced back to the 1953 Mt. Everest expedition when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay braved the treacherous climb with a white Rolex Oyster Perpetual in tow, showcasing Rolex's knack for creating myths and effective marketing.

The reference 14270 was the successor to the legendary reference 1016. All versions of the Rolex Explorer 14270 maintain the timeless 36mm size. In a contemporary twist, each watch boasts a glossy black lacquer dial adorned with applied markers and numerals featuring white-gold surrounds. Furthermore, the 14270 come with folded or hollow end-link bracelets, a sapphire crystal, and are powered by the modern Rolex Caliber 3000 movement. During its production run, the Explorer 14270 underwent several dial variations. From approximately 1989 to 1991, there was the "Blackout" version. Then, from 1991 to 1998, we saw the "T-Swiss" variant. The transitional "Swiss Only" dial was in production from 1998 to 1999, and from 1999 until its discontinuation in 2001, the "Swiss Made" dial was used. This specific example is the T serial produced in 1996 and represents the final tritium dial Explorers, featuring flip-lock clasps, and cases without lug holes (changed from drilled lug cases from around 1994).

This Rolex Explorer ref 14270 is in overall great condition. The case has likely been polished in the past but is still strong with just minor scratches. The original black dial, is in beautiful shape with no blemishes. The lume on the index has developed a nice cream colored patina which is definitely the main attraction for these 14270 tritium Explorer dials. Interestingly, the patination on the Explorer 14270's dials affects the markers and numerals differently due to tritium only being applied to the markers. This results in a striking contrast, where the numerals retain their stark white color, while the markers take on a light creamy hue. The Oyster bracelet continues to prove that it is one of the most comfortable bracelets ever. The bracelet has some stretch and some minor scratches but is in overall good condition. The bracelet is marked "78790" and the end-links are marked "558B" which is correct for this ref 14270. The numbers between both sets of lugs are clearly visible. The case, dial, movement, crown, and bracelet are all signed by Rolex.

The last movement service date is unknown but the watch is currently running well at +3.8 second/day at the upright position. The watch also comes with a Rolex box. The watch can fit up to a wrist size of 18cm. 

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