Strap Guide written by @averagewatches. Thank you Eric!
I think when many Rolex Explorer owners consider their watch, the first word that comes to mind is “versatility”. With a highly legible black dial, a practical 100m water resistance, and a clean, classic style that has remained largely unchanged since its first iteration in 1953, the Explorer checks all the boxes for a GADA (Go Anywhere Do Anything) watch.
The one thing that has limited this legendary versatility though (for me and my 214270 at least), is the ability to wear it with different straps, especially leather ones. You don’t see many explorers on leather straps because, as with many modern Rolex watches, the Explorer lug holes are positioned quite close to the case, which, when combined with some sharp bevelling between the lugs, tears up most leather straps. Luckily Delugs has a solution in their curved straps line which leaves more space between the spring bar and the sharp edges of the case (Confused? Read this!). This has opened up a whole new world of strap possibilities!
In this series I’ll be talking about some of my favorite strap pairings from the Delugs line of curved straps.
Dressing down with a Light Grey Nubuck
Nubuck is cowhide leather that has been rubbed on the outside of the hide to give the feeling of suede. It’s typically more durable than suede because it is made from the outer hide. For all intents and purposes, it’s a buttery soft and more durable suede, great for everyday wear. One of my favorite details on this strap is the contrasting white stitching, which pairs perfectly with the white markers on the Explorer’s dial.
Dressing up with a Matte Dark Brown Alligator
It wasn’t until recently that I learned what “embossed” crocodile leather was. They basically machine press the crocodile skin pattern into real leather to make it feel more premium. Genuine crocodile leather is much more irregular in its patterning, more difficult to work with due to imperfections, and overall more costly due to scarcity. The next step up from crocodile is alligator leather, which is even more scarce and costly. All this to say that an alligator strap is about as dressed up as they come, however the matte finish and the dark warm colour make it still versatile enough for more casual occasions.
Dressing down with a Brown Waxy
Waxy leather has an aged look that gives it a ton of character. Even brand new, the strap looks like it’s accompanied you for years and will continue to patina making each one truly unique depending on wear. I absolutely love the tan brown colour because of how well it pairs with denim.
Dressing up with a Taupe Saffiano
For decades, saffiano leather was used exclusively by the design house Prada, who had patented it in the early 1900’s. However, when the patent expired around the 90’s, other makers now had access to this durable, water resistant, scratch resistant, wonder leather. I personally love the material for the way that it catches light so beautifully, the sheen giving it a very dressy feel. Taupe is also just such a great colour. Is it grey? Is it brown? It’s both and I think it pairs well with either.
Having fun with it on a Tiffany Blue Chèvre
The Chèvre leather that Delugs uses is produced at the Alran tannery in France, which has been in business for over 100 years! The tanning process is very time consuming and manual but the final product is a supple and beautifully pebbled texture that is highly resistant to damage and water. And let’s talk about the Tiffany Blue colour. This is one of those strap combos you don’t know you want until you see it on someone else. In my case it was seeing Stuart (@timeinscotland) rock the Tiffany Blue strap on his Tiffany stamped Datejust that made me realize I needed one of these in my life! This might just be the most fun strap you can have on an Explorer!
Hope you enjoyed this strap style guide. Feel free to DM me with any questions or let me know if there are other guides you’re interested in seeing!
- Reference: Rolex Explorer 1 214270
- Case Size: 39mm
- Lug-to-Lug: 47.4mm
- Thickness: 12mm
- Lug Width: 20mm (Curved)
If you enjoyed this Strap Guide, be sure to check out the rest of our Strap Guides for more inspirations!