The bracelet displays fantastically subtle brushed surfaces on its upper segments, while the edges of its outer links have been brought to a high polish to match the bezel and case profile. And that sapphire crystal! The replica Rolex Explorer I three-link Oyster bracelet may be a thousand-years-old, but it has aged better than fine wine. The links feel a lot like pebbles that have spent just as long at the bottom of a fast flowing river: their insides are smooth, and so are their edges. I have never experienced hair-pulling or skin irritation from poorly engineered link spacing or sharp edges anywhere.
The clasp looks and feels expensive, too. Massive pieces of milled metal swivel with beautiful mechanical resistance and close with a most reassuring click. The replica rolex Explorer has the Oysterlock safety clasp, which has a secondary folding closure for extra security against unintended opening (the OP has a single closure). The Explorer I does not, however, have the Submariner’s Glidelock adjustment system that allows for up to 20mm of extension in 2mm increments. In its place is the Easylink system, with a half-link piece that you can either extend or tuck back in under the clasp. Not a bad system, but once you get used to the finer, 2mm increments, you’ll feel it being a little bit more crude and sometimes less perfect of a fit. I am sure the Glidelock is more difficult to manufacture, but I’d nevertheless love to have it on the Explorer I.
It is frighteningly easy to get lost in the hundreds upon hundreds of forum pages and watch reviews, as well as the countless minutes of video dedicated to the struggle adventure of trying to make the “best for you” decision when choosing a Rolex. You’ll find cyclops fans, maxi-case haters, Cerachrom ceramic bezel naysayers and believers, OP (that’s Oyster Perpetual for us mortals) value proposition preachers, fact sheet comparers, and the list goes on and on. I could fill an entire article, or perhaps a whole book, with the psychological struggles one experiences when looking for the best Rolex watch to put hard-earned money into.
The bafflingly petite minute-hand of the previous generation Explorer I was updated at BaselWorld 2016 with the Rolex Explorer I 214270 to a handset that is not lifted from a 36-mm piece but is intended for a 39-mm-wide watch. That small-hand Explorer I should not have happened at all and it certainly shouldn’t have lasted that long, in my estimation.
Speaking of quality of execution, while I clearly believe that there is some extra work to be done in the crystal and dial departments, Rolex has been king of the hill (with Grand Seiko) when it comes to watch exteriors in the four-digit price segment. The overall touch, feel and look of the case and bracelet are astounding, even though they have done away with the polished, angled edge that ran along the lugs in older generations of their Professional watches.