The Oyster Perpetual Explorer embodies the spirit of adventure and the perseverance that lies behind every exploit.
On 29 May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach Everest’s 8,848-metre summit. Members of a British expedition that was equipped with Oyster Perpetual watches, the two men’s remarkable human adventure served to further reinforce the reputation of Rolex timepieces. The Oyster Perpetual Explorer, launched in 1953 in the wake of the successful ascent of the world’s highest mountain, soon acquired iconic status.
THE WORLD AS A LABORATORYThe Explorer typifies the privileged relationship that has always bound Rolex and exploration. As early as the 1930s, Rolex was using the world as a laboratory in which to test its watches under real conditions. This pioneering spirit prompted the company to equip numerous Himalayan expeditions with Oyster Perpetual watches. The feedback from these teams has had a direct impact on the development of the brand’s watches and the quest for greater precision and robustness.
HERITAGE AND EVOLUTIONAs it has evolved, the Explorer has remained faithful to its heritage and unique identity while continuing to encompass Rolex’s technological innovations, such as the Parachrom hairspring and high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers. Since 2010, it has been a bolder watch in a larger 39 mm case. On the sleek dial, the hour markers, emblematic 3, 6, 9 numerals and hands stand out in contrast, offering excellent legibility in all circumstances, even in the dark, thanks to the Chromalight display; they are filled or coated with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow – lasting up to two times longer than traditional phosphorescent materials.
THE EXPLORER, SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER CERTIFIEDLike all Rolex watches, the Explorer is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. This exclusive designation attests that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria. These certification tests apply to the fully assembled watch, after casing the movement, guaranteeing superlative performance on the wrist in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) – is tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria that are far stricter than those of the official certification. The tolerance for the average rate of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day. Its precision is tested by Rolex using an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and is much more representative of real-life experience.
The Superlative Chronometer certification testing is carried out after casing using state-of-the-art equipment specially developed by Rolex. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 per cent of Rolex watches. These tests systematically complement the qualification testing upstream during development and production, in order to ensure the watches’ reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks.
THE OYSTER CASE, SYMBOL OF WATERPROOFNESSThe Explorer’s Oyster case, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness and reliability. The characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that grants only Rolex watchmakers access to the movement. The Twinlock winding crown, fitted with a double waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the Explorer’s movement.
PERPETUAL CALIBRE 3132
The Explorer is equipped with calibre 3132, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. The architecture, manufacturing and innovative features of this movement make it exceptionally precise and reliable.
The oscillator of calibre 3132 has a large balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely via gold Microstella nuts. It is held firmly in place by a height-adjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance. The oscillator is also fitted on high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, designed and patented by Rolex.
Calibre 3132 has a blue Parachrom hairspring patented and manufactured by Rolex in an exclusive paramagnetic alloy. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring offers great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. It is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring its regularity in any position.
Calibre 3132 is fitted with a self-winding module featuring a Perpetual rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide constant energy. It offers a power reserve of approximately 48 hours.
The Explorer’s movement will be seen only by certified Rolex watchmakers, yet it is beautifully finished and decorated in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards.