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Morgan Howen

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The Rolex Explorer Welcomes New 40mm Case

The Explorer 40 is exactly what it sounds like, a slightly scaled up Explorer with the same dial and case design as the 36. Most importantly, the scale and proportions of the 3, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals, as well as the block hour markers, feels harmonious with the new scale of the dial , averting the ‘dinner-plate’-esque nature of the 39mm reference. What’s more, they seem to have nailed down the scale of the hour and minute hand on the first go this time. Each of these elements receive a healthy amount of Chromalight lume, also on the first go. 

The case certainly feels larger than the 36mm on the wrist, obviously, but it doesn’t feel much if at all bigger than the older 39mm reference from memory. We’ve made a note to bring a set of calipers next year, but I’d be surprised if this case measures a true 40mm in diameter. 

Within the newest Explorer resides the same 3230 automatic movement that we got in the 36mm example, with around 70 hours of reserve and a superlative -2/+2 seconds per day of accuracy (fwiw, my 124270 still keeps time well within this range). No official word from Rolex regarding the waning amplitude issues with the 32xx movements but it’s something we’re keeping an eye on. 

The new Explorer 40 in Oystersteel will be available (to what extent we’re not sure) later this year at the price of $7,700. Rolex.

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