1998 Rolex Explorer Ref. 14270

  • “Swiss Only” dial

  • U-Serial

  • Full set, boxes and papers

  • $6,250 shipped

I’ve had this watch a little over a month. I’ve never worn it. It’s just been resting in my watch case. In fact, there’s no way I could wear this, the bracelet has all 13 links attached - way too big for my wrist! I’ve just enjoyed checking it out and showing it off to a few friends.

What drew me to this watch? First, the condition. The case is raw and sharp. If the lugs and bezel didn't look crisp, I would never have bought this.

Next, it has a “Swiss Only” dial, which makes this watch a little extra special. Dials marked just “Swiss” below 6 o’clock are the first to use luminova (transitioning from tritium) and were produced and installed for a short period of time (around late 1998 through 1999).

Finally, this is a full set, so it has just about everything that came with it the day it was bought (October 10, 1998).

I guess there’s one more reason I couldn't resist it... It’s an Explorer. If you know me, or simply follow me on Instagram, you know I have a few Explorers… If you’re looking for a 36mm, Ref. 14270, I think this is the best kind of example to get. You get the classic, super-wearable design that’s been around since the early 1990s, including the non-SEL, hollow-end-link bracelet. But also, you get a little bit of new technology with the luminova dial.

“Swiss Only” models are the perfect blend of old and new.


I stumbled on this watch and couldn’t say no. It wasn’t offered by a dealer or collector. Rather I purchased it from a tool salesman in Pennsylvania. He told me he bought it from a friend. He also said he thinks the watch was serviced around 2015-16. I called Rolex to see if they did the maintenance. The serial number was not in their records, so if serviced, it was likely done elsewhere... I haven't opened the watch to see if there are any markings on the inside of caseback. The crown operates beautifully and winds smooth - nice feel and sound. I have wound the watch fully and let it run… The watch seems to keep excellent time.

Full Set

This watch is a full set and comes with everything you see pictured in this listing, including the green “Oyster Swimpruf” hangtag fully stickered with original price. The warranty/chronometer certificate is completely filled out with purchaser’s name, date of purchase and jeweler stamp. Certificate indicates “Black Arabic” dial.


This watch has hairline scratches and some dings. I honestly don't know if the case has been polished or not. In my opinion, the finish on the top of lugs looks damn close to how it’d look leaving the factory. The crystal has the slightest chipping around 11 o’clock. This Explorer is 21 years old and shows signs of being worn. The scuffs and nicks give it a vintage feel, which it kinda is! I’m more than happy to discuss condition and take additional photos for you. I want you to be completely informed about what you’re getting. The dial is flawless as far as I can tell. The lume activates as it should and its greenish hues are consistent between the hour markers and handset.


As I said above, I haven’t touched the watch. I haven't cleaned it at all. I’ll let the new owner do the honors. I prefer to sell it “as found” and let the new owner make all the decisions. Not touching the watch means I haven’t removed the bracelet to confirm that the serial number engraved between lugs matches serial number printed on warranty/chronometer certificate. I’m happy to do this. About the Oyster bracelet, the Fliplock clasp is stamped “U8” and is a reference “78790” style with “558B” end links. All of the bracelet info is correct for this model, from this era (late 1998). The bracelet has minimal stretch and the end links fit snuggly and flush against case.

Thanks for looking! Happy to answer any questions you have!