1957 Rolex Explorer Ref. 6610 Gilt radium dial ‘Big white lollipop’


Reference: 6610

Serial: 268xxx

Year: 1957

Case: All Stainless Steel

Dimensions: 36mm excluding original crown

Function: Sports watch

Caliber: Rolex cal. 1030 Automatic

Strap: Original 20mm Rolex stainless steel riveted extensible bracelet with 58 endlinks and date stamped 4/57

Box/Papers: No/No

The Rolex Explorer is the brand’s most understated sports watch, often flying under the radar. However, with its rich history and very wearable look, the Explorer is a Rolex watch that shouldn’t be overlooked and it’s getting much appreciation by the watch community. The Explorer’s official story famously takes shape with Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s pioneering ascent to Mount Everest in 1953.


The Explorer began to truly differentiate itself from the Oyster Perpetual line in 1957 with the introduction of Reference 6610. It had all the classic hallmarks of an Explorer: stainless steel oyster case measuring 36mm, black dial (gilt dial in this case, now highly desirable), 3-6-9 numerals, a reverse triangle at 12 o’clock, and a Mercedes hour hand. An especially rare variant of the 6610 is a “red depth indication” model, which has the water resistance (50m) printed in red under the Explorer moniker on the dial. You’ll also find some variants with the water rating printed in white. Ref. 6610 used a new caliber 1030 movement, which allowed the Explorer to shed the bubble back it’d been sporting up until this point. Because the 6610 had such a short production run, it’s a very rare find.


What is even rarer is to see them in this condition presented here today. This particular example here remains in raw and unmolested condition, featuring an original, untouched and breathtaking radium gilt dial in flawless condition. The radium lume remains untouched, with a lovely golden tone and evenly matching both in dial markers and hands. The gilt hands are also original, remaining shiny and complete. Another very cool and special feature seen here is the existence of an original big white seconds lollipop hand ) these are most frequently seen with the non-white small lollipop hand), which also remains in perfect condition showing a bright white color and an awesome matching radium lume.


The original crystal is still present, showing only a minor crack on the center which doesn’t avoid you seeing the beauty of this piece.


The 36mm case remains in incredible shape, remaining unpolished. The case back also remains unpolished and correctly signed inside (6610 and I.57).


The cal. 1030 is running great and keeping time although service history is unknown.

It is suited on its original 20mm Rolex stainless steel riveted extensible bracelet with 58 endlinks and date stamped 4/57. The bracelet also remains in great shape showing hardly any stretch.


The watch comes directly from the son of the first owner, handled to us after remaining inside a drawer for the past 20 years.


This is indeed a very rare reference which is rapidly gaining popularity amongst Rolex collectors. The chances of finding it in this untouched condition are minimum. It’s an opportunity not to be missed or it will be missed forever.