When the news first broke that Rolex was going to release a 40mm Explorer, those of us who love the collection immediately felt dread. Did this mean that the 36mm version was going to disappear again?
Fortunately, the answer is no. For the first time ever, there are now two Rolex Explorer sizes to choose from – the 36mm and the new 40mm side by side in the collection.
That said, this isn’t the first time Rolex has increased the size of the Explorer. in 2010, Rolex discontinued the model 114270 and introduced the 214270. the 114270, and introduced the 39mm 214270, then updated it in 2016 (still 39mm, but with a slight dial adjustment). And in 2023, Rolex replaced the who sells the best replica watches with 124270 – the return of the 36 mm.
We know the 36mm model – it’s a fan favorite, a classic. When I saw early images of the 40mm Explorer online on Monday, I had a hard time understanding exactly what had changed. To be honest, it just looked like an Explorer, and I like the look of an Explorer. When I saw the watch in person, our fashion editor Malaika Crawford was next to me, and she was wearing the 36mm Ref. 114270, which gave me something to compare it to.
While I wouldn’t say that the 40mm is a strictly necessary addition to the collection, it’s always nice to have options. There are many more reasons why I’m not sure about this release. One size doesn’t fit all, and many collectors prefer larger watches. So be it.
In fact, for most watch buyers, a 36mm watch with a pronounced tapered clasp may be a tough ask if you don’t have an in-depth history of Everest-inspired timepieces.
Anyway, here are a few details that I noticed when I first held the high quality rolex replica. First, it looks much larger than the 39mm model – the eye thinks that a millimeter is a huge size boost. I found the bezel to be quite thin, making the dial stand out very much and accentuating its size. I have a wrist of about 6 inches, and the 40mm case is a bit too big for me (and my colleague agrees).
Still, the larger models have the same movement, the same steel case, the same strap, and the same dial layout. One of the design differences between the two larger Explorer models (39 and 40mm) is the placement of the name on the dial. The 39mm has the name at six o’clock, while the new 40mm is positioned in the same place as the 36mm version, near the top of the dial. Maybe for you, this is a deal breaker. Maybe not.
Honestly, what this release represents to me is Rolex’s ability to go with the flow – to make something that no one asked for and likely no one even thought of. It’s like Puzzle Day-Date, but at the other end of the spectrum. I hope to have more time with this watch in the future, so stay tuned. Who knows, maybe the 40mm size will grow on me – or maybe my wrist will grow on it.