Rolex has released the new-for-2021 Rolex Explorer. Big news! The watchmaker’s moved the word “Explorer” from below the dial’s center to above. Back where it was, before. The change is sure to be the subject of furious debate, if not the cause of armed confrontation. So let’s have a look at ye olde text-above-the-6 Rolex Explorer . . .
I prefer the word “Explorer” in the old new (new old?) lower position. Symmetry-loving horophile that I am, I reckon Rollie should have simply raised the entire lower text block up a bit and called it good. More to the point, the new watch has WAY too much negative space below the center point. Ah but . . .
The “new” Explorer is 36mm. The dial belongs to the now-discontinued 2019 39mm model.
OMG! Will Rolex change the “Explorer” positioning on ALL Explorers? The Rodney King riots will seem like a gathering of canasta enthusiasts.
Ominously, all Explorers save the 36mm variants have disappeared from Rolex’s website. We could attribute their disappearance to the fact that “normal” Explorers are sold out from here to eternity (causing bar fights worldwide). Or we could suppose that Geneva’s favorite son knows that publicly spreading this change across the line could ignite nuclear armageddon.
Yeah, I know: a two-tone gold Explorer? While the addition of a lacquered dial Rolesor Explorer to the family may be a sore spot for traditionalists – you go looking for gold with an Explorer not bringing it with you – the golden-hued blingerie is in keeping with the post-pandemic horological gold rush (with the new caliber 3230 sheltering within).
It’s not politically correct to say so, but it’s also worth noting that 36mm is considered a women’s watch size. Generally speaking, the fairer sex hearts gold, and doesn’t give a damn about adventurers like Sir Edmund Hillary.
Who didn’t wear an Explorer on Everest, despite the Explorer’s new “The Call of the Peaks” tagline. Snowy backdrop? Geddowdaheah!
More importantly – obviously – the two-tone gold Explorer also has the word “Explorer” at its summit. Rolex dropped a new Explorer II in 42mm and yes, same deal there. I’d write about that model – which I really like – but give me a minute. I’m still in shock. As is the entire Rolex community.
I hope both side of this design issue can respect each other’s opinion on this momentous change, but I fear Rolex has launched a textual debate to rival The First Council of Nicea. I never thought I’d say this, but in some ways I’m glad I sold my 39mm Explorer. I’d hate to get in the middle of this thing.