Rolex Explorer*** 14270*** 1997
ROLEX Explorer Ref. 14270 Tritium/Luminova Dial, 1997
Serial: U229406
Circa: 1997
Reference No: 14270

DIAL: Black ‘Explorer’ dial with Triange 12, Numeral 3-6-9 and baton luminous hour markers

MOVEMENT: Caliber 3000, Automatic, 27 jewels

CASE: 36mm, stainless steel with smooth bezel, sapphire crystal

BRACLET: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster "Short Fliplock" bracelet Ref 78790 with 558B end links, Code Z

CONDITION REPORT: Excellent condition and all original.

NOTES: This transitional last series tritium or 'tritnova' range has an interesting dial because the triangle at 12 and the 3-6-9 hour markers are in tritium. While the baton hour markers are luminova. During this transitional phase, the luminova market began being phased in as tritium came to an end of production in 1997 and stopped delivery in 1998. Visually, it is hard to see this subtle detail, but reflects under UV light.

The Explorer 14270 was the successor to the 1016 with the introduction of the sapphire crystal, Caliber 3000 and the applied hour markers on the glossy black dial instead of the printed markers on a matte dial.

The Explorer is widely known as the tribute for the first Rolex watches to have been at the top of Mount Everest; a record feat. Rolex had been sponsoring Himalayan expedition since the early 1930’s and also equipped climbers with watches for the extreme conditions they would encounter. On May 29, 1953, Rolex automatic chronometer watches accompanied Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, led by Sir John Hunt, as they completed the historic achievement of reaching the top of Mount Everest.
The epic feat was so emblematic of the robustness Rolex was putting into its watches that it this occasion sparked the launch of the Rolex Explorer in 1953. It incorporated the technical features improved upon during the Himalayan expeditions over twenty years to make it one of the most rugged of all Oysters.