Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 'Tropical Glossy Gilt Dial'   Sold

Reference: 1016

Serial: 1382xxx

Year: 1966

Case: All Stainless Steel

Dimensions: 36mm excluding original crown

Function: Sports watch

Caliber: Rolex cal. 1560 Automatic

Strap: 20mm handmade leather strap with Rolex steel buckle

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 – see these Refs. 1016 for the Explorer I and the Refs. 1655 for the Explorer II. The Explorer’s official story famously takes shape with Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s pioneering ascent to Mount Everest in 1953.


The 1016, introduced in 1963, had a long production until it stopped in 1989. Along with the Reference, a new caliber was also introduced: the 1560 (which was later replaced by the 1570).


This particular example here remains in great condition, featuring an original, untouched and breathtaking tropical glossy gilt dial that changes tones when the Sun hits it. The tritum lume remains evenly matching both in dial and hands. The case is still thick and sharp although it might have seen some polishing.


It has been fully serviced and it is ready for someone to grab it and enjoy a unique example of a reference that’s only gaining in popularity amongst vintage watch collectors.