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. This remarkable human adventure also served to reinforce the reputation of the Oyster watches that equipped the expedition. 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. Since the late 1920s, Rolex has been 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, whose observations have had a direct impact on the development of Oyster watches and the quest for greater precision, robustness and reliability.
HERITAGE AND EVOLUTIONAs it has evolved, the Explorer has remained faithful to its heritage and unique identity while encompassing Rolex’s technological innovations, such as the Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. Since 2010, it has been a bolder watch in a larger 39 mm case. The Chromalight hour markers, emblematic 3, 6 and 9 and hands stand out in contrast on the sleek dial. They are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow that offers excellent legibility even in the dark.
THE EXPLORER, SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETERLike all Rolex watches, each Explorer is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that it has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards. These tests are carried out on the fully assembled watch, in order to guarantee its superlative performance on the wrist. 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 COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) – is, therefore, tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria for precision that are far more exacting than those for an official chronometer. 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 that ensures 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 particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel. 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 winding crown, fitted with the Twinlock double waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides the Explorer’s high-precision movement with optimal protection.
PERPETUAL CALIBRE 3132The Explorer is equipped with calibre 3132, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture, manufacturing and innovative features make it exceptionally precise and reliable.
The oscillator 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 fitted on the Rolex-designed and –patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing shock resistance by 50 per cent.
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 a constant source of energy.
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.