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Oyster Perpetual Explore: One of Rolex’s very first Professional watches

The word ‘Perpetual’ is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values.

Vertiginous reliability
Created following the historic ascent of Everest in 1953, the Oyster Perpetual Explorer accompanies men and women who see every challenge as a thrilling test. Whatever the dangers that must be faced, the Explorer always provides the essential: it offers the greatest chronometric precision even in the most extreme conditions. Robust and legible, it is a faithful companion for anyone wishing to face the elements and overcome the odds.

At the top of the world
On 29 May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay achieved what no human being had ever accomplished before: reaching the highest point on Earth. Guided by their unswerving determination and driven by sheer stamina, they were the first people to see the Himalayas from the summit of Mount Everest, at an altitude of 8,848 metres (29,029 feet). The expedition was equipped with Oyster Perpetual chronometers. Later that year, Rolex launched one of its first Professional watches: the Explorer.


A living laboratory
Since the 1930s, Rolex has equipped numerous expeditions. This pioneering approach allows the brand to constantly improve its watches by subjecting them to real-life conditions. With the Explorer, Rolex rose to the challenge of accompanying extreme adventurers by designing a watch capable of withstanding high humidity, intense heat and freezing temperatures, such as those found on the highest peaks. Its launch was the result of a continuous exchange of information between the manufacture and the explorers returning from their expeditions. When it was designed in 1953, the Explorer therefore incorporated all the technical advances developed by Rolex as a result of its experience in the field, which have enabled the brand to perfect its Oyster Perpetual watches over the years.

A constantly improved companion
In addition to its durability and reliability, one of the primary qualities of the Explorer is the outstanding legibility of its iconic black dial with 3, 6 and 9 numerals. While remaining true to its original design, the Explorer is now available in two sizes: 36 mm in diameter, identical to the original model, or in a 40 mm version. In 2021, the dial of the Explorer, together with that of the Explorer II, was the first to benefit from an improved Chromalight display. Over time, the Explorer has benefited from the technical advances incorporated into Rolex watch movements, including the Parachrom hairspring, Chronergy escapement and Paraflex shock absorbers.


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