The Explorer was among the first of Rolex’s Professional watches. Legible, precise and resistant, it boasts essential features that allow it to accompany those who push the limits of exploration.
The Oyster case The guardian of waterproofness
Presented by Rolex in 1926 and patented, the Oyster case is a major milestone in the history of modern watchmaking. Thanks to its system of screwing down the bezel, case back and winding crown against the middle case, it was the world’s first waterproof wristwatch case.
Equipped with a middle case in Oystersteel machined in Rolex workshops, the Explorer is guaranteed waterproof to 100 metres (330 feet), following the stringent tests conducted as part of the Superlative Chronometer certification.
The Oyster case, a symbol of robustness and waterproofness, also stands out thanks to the elegance of its proportions, offering the ideal balance between form and function.
Numerals 3, 6, 9 and Chromalight display A signature dial
For those who defy the elements, a tool that is instantly readable is vital. Thanks to the high contrast of its characteristic black dial with 3, 6 and 9 numerals and Chromalight display, the Explorer guarantees optimum legibility in all circumstances.
The luminescent material applied to the numerals, hour markers and hands is a brilliant white in daylight and emits an intense blue glow in the dark. Exclusive to Rolex and introduced in 2008, the Chromalight display was optimized in 2021 with the use of a new substance that emits a longer-lasting blue emission intensity and an even brighter white hue in daylight. The performance of this luminescent material clearly exceeds the standards required by watchmaking norms.
The result of a complex manufacturing process, this material is obtained by firing an ultra-fine powder – composed of various metal oxides – at a high temperature and then mixing it with liquid resin. The hands, numerals and hour markers are either coated or filled with the material by hand. This operation requires great precision in order to perfectly dose the quantity of material and obtain a uniform result that meets Rolex’s criteria of excellence.
Oystersteel An exclusive alloy
The Explorer 36 and Explorer 40 are available in Oystersteel, an exclusive alloy that belongs to the 904L steel family, most commonly used in high-technology environments, such as in the aerospace and chemical industries.
In 1985, Rolex became the first watchmaking brand to use solid blocks of 904L steel for certain cases.
Oystersteel is extremely corrosion-resistant and boasts a unique radiance, which retains its lustre even when the watch is put to extreme use.
Yellow Rolesor A choice alliance
Since 2021, the Explorer 36 has also been available in a yellow Rolesor version. For nearly a century, gold and steel have been combined at Rolex in a duet where refinement meets robustness.
Created in the early 1930s, Rolesor is exclusive to Rolex watches in the Oyster Perpetual collection. The concept is simple: the bezel, the winding crown and the centre bracelet links are made of yellow or Everose gold, while the middle case and the outer links of the bracelet are made of Oystersteel. On white Rolesor models, the bezel alone is in white gold. These unique combinations are a brand signature.
Twinlock crown The double waterproofness system
The Twinlock winding crown, unveiled in 1953, presents two waterproofness zones. It is made up of around 10 components, made from materials rigorously selected on the basis of their intrinsic qualities, such as polymers for the waterproof seals, Oystersteel and 18 ct gold.
Hermetically screwed to the Oyster case, the Twinlock winding crown is a crucial component that contributes to the Explorer's complete waterproofness to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet).
On Rolex watches, the Twinlock system is identified by one dot, two dots or a line on the face of the winding crown, depending on its material.
The Oyster bracelet and Oysterlock clasp Harmonious form and function
Developed in the late 1930s, the Oyster bracelet is the original metal bracelet of the Oyster Perpetual collection. With its rows of three-piece links, it combines comfort, elegance and robustness.
On the Explorer watch, it is equipped with an Oysterlock folding safety clasp to prevent accidental opening.
This Oyster bracelet is also fitted with the Easylink rapid extension system, integrated into the clasp. The system allows the length of the bracelet to be easily adjusted by approximately 5 mm by means of an unfolding and folding link for instant comfort.
Calibre 3230 A high-performance movement
Covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification, the Explorer 36 and Explorer 40 are fitted with calibre 3230. This self-winding mechanical movement via Perpetual rotor is entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex.
Calibre 3230, unveiled in 2020, incorporates the blue Parachrom hairspring. Resistant to shocks and strong magnetic fields, the hairspring is also extremely stable when exposed to temperature fluctuations. The movement also features the patented Chronergy escapement: a mechanism made from a nickel-phosphorous alloy, also insensitive to magnetic interference.
The oscillator of the movement has a large balance wheel with variable inertia, precisely regulated via gold Microstella nuts and fitted on high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers.
A consummate demonstration of technology, calibre 3230 carries a number of patents. It guarantees outstanding performance, particularly in terms of chronometric precision (rate variation of -2/+2 seconds per day), as well as autonomy (approximately 70 hours), shock resistance, ease of use and reliability.