Rolex Explorer 1 Ref. 14270 U Series "Swiss Only" Dial
The first man to climb Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hilary, did so with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual strapped to his wrist that proved to be the ancestor and inspiration for the first Explorer. While the model has been updated since that first ascent to the world's highest mountaintop, the Explorer remains a tough watch that also offers an elegant and timeless design that looks at home on the wrist in nearly any situation.
The Explorer was upgraded with the introduction of the reference 14270 in 1989 as the replacement for the legendary reference 1016 Explorer with some big shoes to fill, and it did just that. The dial retained the familiar 3-6-9 layout and is a wonderfully balanced symmetric design, now in gloss form with applied markers underneath a sapphire crystal. As tritium dials were phased out for Luminova starting around 1998, Rolex changed the print at the bottom of the dial from the old "Swiss T>25" to just "Swiss" to signify the new, no longer radioactive luminous compound. . These "Swiss only" dials were used for only a brief period during late U, A, and K series watches before Rolex adopted both adopted Superluminova for their luminous compound, changing the dial text to "Swiss Made", and making other changes to the Explorer which resulted in a new reference, the 114270.
The example offered here is in excellent condition, with a clean no-holes case, late U Serial and mint "Swiss Only" dial and hand set. Condition is per the photos and as follows:
Case: 36mm stainless steel case in excellent condition as pictured. The case appears unpolished and is sharp with crisp edges and shows only minor surface wear. Crown screws down securely. Serial and reference numbers are both visible and crisp.
Bezel: Original stainless steel polished bezel that shows light wear as pictured.
Dial/Hands: Original black gloss Luminova "Swiss Only" dial with applied markers free of any marks or damage. Dial and hands are free from any imperfections.
Caseback: Original SS caseback in excellent condition with minor surface wear as pictured.
Crystal: Original sapphire crystal in excellent condition free of any scratches, chips or cracks.
Movement: Rolex caliber 3130 automatic movement with hacking. The movement is in excellent condition although service history is unknown. All functions work as they should and the watch keeps excellent time.
Bracelet/Strap: Original 78790 bracelet with 558B end links in excellent condition as pictured with only minor wear. Clasp features a sharp coronet. Bracelet should fit to a 7.75" wrist.
Box/Papers/Accessories: None, sold as watch only.