New watch prices have dramatically increased over the years. Even when factoring for inflation, watches cost more today than any other time in history. This is why when we come across a watch that is a good deal, we like to mention it asap!
Today’s bang-for-your-buck is the Rolex Explorer ref.14270 (or even the 114270, which had minor changes: a slightly upgraded caliber 3130, the addition of solid end links, and the subtraction of lug holes), which can be bought on the pre-owned market for just over $3,000 to about $3,500. An excellent value, especially when you consider that a brand new Explorer will run you close to $7,000.
The 14270 is the reference released right after the coveted 1016. As such, it bridges the gap between the vintage and contemporary models and a big reason for this is the 36mm case. When Rolex released the 214270 (the current reference in production), they upped the case to 39mm and something was lost in the process (the 214270 looks like every other Rolex but with a black dial, not like an Explorer).
Another advantage to the 14270 is that since Rolex works really really hard to make the best damn case possible, any pre-owned Rolex looks as good as a new one. At a minimum, most pre-owned 14270s will look as good as any new Rolex would after a couple months of wear. So, why not take advantage of this and save nearly $4,000?
Movement wise too, the Rolex caliber 3000 is a modern, precise, easy-to-service workhorse. Any improvements in the Rolex 3132 found in the 214270, as was the case with the 3130 are going to be evolutionary, not revolutionary and do not justify the extra cash. But, again a big part of why we’re endorsing the 14270 has a lot to do with that 36mm case, which means we won’t be endorsing the 214270 anytime soon (if a 39mm Rolex is what you want, there are other models that are better buys).
So, if you’re in the market to get yourself a new watch and want something that is timeless, reliable, won’t break the bank and will even “impress” beyond what you spend, the Rolex Explorer 14270 is a great option.