Pre-Owned Rolex Explorer Watches

The name ‘Rolex Explorer’ evokes adventure, resilience, and timeless design. With a rich history since the 1950s, the Rolex Explorer is one of Rolex’s most celebrated lines. Below, you'll find our collection of Watch Chest certified authentic pre-owned Rolex Explorer and Rolex Explorer II timepieces available for purchase for collectors and first-time buyers seeking a reliable companion for their next summit.

Rolex Explorer I

Key Features:

  • Case Size: 36mm & 39mm
  • Bezel: Fixed stainless steel
  • Bracelet: Oystersteel
  • Dial Layout: Distinct 3-6-9 Arabic numerals
  • Crystal: Sapphire scratch-resistant
  • Water resistance: 100m (1959 onwards)

Rolex Explorer I Background

In 1953, Rolex unveiled a watch commissioned for the British Mount Everest expedition team aiming to summit the tallest mountain. This prototype accompanied Hillary and Norgay on the first confirmed successful Everest summit. Building on this pioneering feat, Rolex released the Explorer ref. 6350 to the public later in 1953. Its traits defined the line for decades - the 36mm Oyster case, automatic winding movement, and distinct 3-6-9 dial layout.

While Rolex updated the Explorer over the years, it stayed true to the rugged, reliable, no-frills aesthetic established by the 1953 model that conquered Everest. Arguably, the biggest change came in 2010 with the 39mm ref. 214270. Discontinued in 2019, it has now driven increased demand by enthusiasts looking to add a pre-owned Rolex Explorer to their collection.

In 2021, Rolex made a slight U-turn, returning the Explorer I to its vintage 36mm roots with the release of reference 124270, and for the first time ever, Rolex unveiled a two-tone model, reference 124273, now a much sought-after used Rolex Explorer. With form following function, the Explorer remains one of Rolex’s most celebrated sports watches.

Popular Rolex Explorer Reference Numbers

  • Ref. 6150
  • Ref. 6350
  • Ref. 1016
  • Ref. 1038
  • Ref. 5504
  • Ref. 14270
  • Ref. 114270
  • Ref. 214270
  • Ref. 124273

Rolex Explorer II

Key Features:

  • Case Size: 42mm (previously 39mm & 40mm)
  • Bracelet: Oystersteel
  • Dial: Chromalight
  • Bezel: Fixed stainless steel with a 24-hour scale
  • Water resistance: 100m

Rolex Explorer II Background

While the original Explorer claimed the heights of Everest, Rolex saw an opportunity to continue its adventuring heritage. By the late 1960s, the brand produced a range of rugged sports watches suited for land, sea, and slopes. However, a niche group of spelunkers lacked their own steadfast underground companion. Answering their call, in 1971 Rolex introduced the Explorer II for cave divers. It retained the original's charm but added a 24-hour hand and fixed bezel for tracking day vs night during long camps.

The Explorer II has undergone several updates over the decades, including changes to case size, crystal, and movements.

Popular Rolex Explorer Reference Numbers

  • Ref. 16550
  • Ref. 16570
  • Ref. 216570
  • Ref. 226570

Investing in Used Rolex Explorer Watches

Rolex designed Explorers to handle years of daily use thanks to their durable build. Combined with timeless styling that retains aesthetic appeal, this makes them attractive collector watches built to last. The renowned Rolex name further drives interest in pre-owned Explorer models.

Those with original boxes and papers hold greater value. For investors, Explorers represent accessible Rolex ownership with upside. Discontinued Rolex references draw higher secondary prices over time. Even entry models make worthwhile purchases for appreciation potential.

Price Trends for Pre-Owned Rolex Explorers

The secondary market for vintage and used Rolex watches is dynamic, with prices fluctuating based on factors like model demand, market trends, and condition. We currently have an excellent selection of used Rolex Explorer watches for sale available at competitive price points.

Certain references offer outstanding value for those looking to begin their Rolex collection or who admire the rugged exploratory roots of this iconic watch line. Our entry-level pre-owned Explorer models start at prices accessible even to first-time buyers.

The Explorer line retains excellent resale value potential on the secondary market. Discontinued references draw particularly high demand. Along with appreciating value over decades of use, this makes pre-owned Explorer watches a smart long-term investment.

As trusted dealers, we price our watches based on fair market value reflecting current market conditions. Buyers can shop our inventory with confidence that they are receiving both quality and value.

Why Buy a Pre-Owned Rolex Explorer From Watch Chest?

Online Convenience - Pre-owned Rolex's right at your fingertips bypass long waitlists and get immediate access to a wide selection of Rolex Explorer watches today.

Access Discontinued and Rare Models - Purchasing pre-owned gives you access to discontinued and rare Rolex Explorer models, giving you the opportunity to acquire unique timepieces that are now challenging to find.

Quality and Durability - With the enduring quality of Rolex Explorers, even if the watch is over 20 years old, you'll receive a finely crafted and functional timepiece built to perform consistently thanks to Rolex’s strict standards.

Expert Sourcing - If there's a specific pre-owned Rolex Explorer we don't have in stock, that certainly doesn't mean we are unable to source the watch for you. With over two decades in business, we have an extensive network to source rare and unique Rolex Explorer watches to match client requests.

Commitment to Authenticity - For every used Rolex Explorer in our collection, we guarantee absolute authenticity. Our promise is backed by thorough inspection and verification processes and a two-year warranty.

Expert Rolex Explorer Repair and Servicing

In addition to selling fine pre-owned Rolex Explorer watches, we also specialize in expertly repairing them. Our master watchmaker, Glenn Rutledge, is Rolex-trained and intricately familiar with the Explorer's design and mechanics.

Watches we restore are brought back to working order with care and precision. We service all components and polish the case and bracelet parts. The end result is a like-new vintage Explorer you can wear and enjoy for years to come. And all our Rolex repair work comes with a 2-year warranty.

Building Your Dream Watch Collection

We help collectors like you build a watch collection you love. Whether you're just starting your collection or looking to add another classic Explorer, we're here to help in any way we can.

Chris Wiley and team are glad to work with you and answer any specific questions you have about pre-owned Rolex Explorers.

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Copyright © 2002-present Watch Chest, LLC. All rights reserved. Watch Chest is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A, or any other brands advertised by Watch Chest. The brand names and associated model names of Rolex and other advertised brands are the trademarks of their respective owners. Regardless of physical condition, all watches sold by Watch Chest are pre-owned in terms of ownership status according to legal regulations. Watch Chest provides its own warranties for the products it sells, and watches sold with manufacturer warranties are generally recognized, though their guarantee is not absolute.