Rolex Explorer Goes Large (Again)

Rolex Explorer

In 2021, Rolex pleased many purists by reintroducing the 36mm Explorer to its original size. However, there were also numerous fans who felt that 36mm was too small and missed the 39mm version. Additionally, many casual Rolex buyers preferred larger watches. These customers will be delighted by Rolex's releases for Watches and Wonders 2023, as the brand brings back the larger Explorer, now sized at 40mm.

Unlike the 36mm version, the new, bigger Explorer is only available in one version. There is no two-tone model, and the 40mm Explorer is exclusively offered with a black dial and made from Oystersteel, Rolex's proprietary blend of 904L steel. The case design remains familiar, staying true to the Explorer's iconic formula. The crown remains unguarded, and the case combines brushed surfaces with a fully-polished bezel. The bracelet links are entirely brushed, and the clasp includes the convenient Easylink extension.

Similar to the updated 36mm Explorer, this new version features Chromalight blue luminous paint filling the 3, 6, and 9 numerals, instead of solid polished metal. As with other modern Rolex watches, the blue luminescence provides a striking glow.

The 40mm Explorer is equipped with the same Calibre 3230 no-date movement found in the Explorer 36. This in-house caliber is a self-winding movement that offers a power reserve of 70 hours and an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds. It has also received the official COSC chronometer certification. These impressive specifications are achieved in part through the use of a paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring and high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers.

With the introduction of this larger size, Rolex provides another option for those who appreciate the tool watch styling, rather than a standard Oyster Perpetual or Air King. As one of my personal favorites in the Rolex catalog, I found the 36mm version slightly too small for my taste, making the return of this new model quite exciting. The Explorer 40 (Reference 224270) . MSRP $7,700

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