I sympathize with those who got their hands on a Rolex Explorer I 214270. In addition to those who are understandably “in” simply because of its handsome looks, there are the super thoughtful Explorer I customers who do quite a bit of research before buying their first (or next) Rolex. They’ve seen the Submariner and Submariner Date, as well as the Oyster Perpetual, both of which are on par with the Explorer I in terms of price and features. I can understand those Rolex Explorer I 214270 39mm watches who end up choosing the Explorer I 214270, but I’m not sure that if I were to purchase a reasonably priced Rolex today, I would purchase this watch.
The Rolex Explorer I 214270 is, essentially, a hybrid of the Oyster Perpetual 39 and the Submariner “no date” on the case, bezel, dial, bracelet and movement. This neatly leads us back to my initial point, which is that in terms of price and features, many people think that if they choose the Explorer I they’ll end up with the best of both worlds.
It basically uses the OP’s 39mm Oyster monobloc center case, with a slightly curvier profile than the flattened trapezoidal profile of the 40mm Oyster Submariner. The Explorer I’s bezel is different on both; the OP has a domed, highly polished bezel, while the Explorer I has what Rolex calls a “smooth” bezel; it’s just as well polished, but the surface is flat instead of the OP’s convex bezel. There’s no Cerachrom anywhere on the Explorer I, which means you’re sure to get at least a few swirls on your steel bezel, but you definitely don’t have to worry about your Cerachrom bezel insert cracking. The Explorer I is water resistant to 100 meters, while the Submariner is water resistant to 300 meters. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s really a game of trade-offs.
The movement inside the Rolex Explorer I 214270 is a Rolex 3132, the same as the Oyster Perpetual 39. The only major difference I found between it and the 3130 in the Submariner “no date” is that both the Explorer and OP have “high performance Paraflex shock absorbers”, while the Submariner with its professional dive watch pedigree, oddly enough, does not. In the picture below, you’ll see the Paraflex shock absorbers on the Rolex Explorer. While they all come with the same daily accuracy rating of Superb Chronometer-2/+2 seconds and 5-year international warranty as every Rolex watch today, the OP, Explorer I and Submariner all have a 48-hour power reserve, far less than what is known as . . the new generation Rolex movement with an extended power reserve of more than 70 hours.