Rolex Explorer 1016 'Gilt MK1'Sold
Rolex Explorer 1016 'Gilt MK1'
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The Explorer I is the most understated of Rolex’ legendary toolwatches. This first-series 1016 is a collector’s dream.
The ref. 1016 Explorer was introduced in 1959 and was produced for an impressive 30 years, making it one of rolex’ longest-running references. This 1016 is a very early execution, dating back to 1960. The watch features the classic 3-6-9 Explorer dial configuration, with thick painted tritium markers that have turned a pleasing custardy color. The dial is an exceptional glossy gilt execution, referred to as a ‘Mark 1’ dial, a detail only found on Explorers that were produced in the first half of the 1960s. These dials were created by a galvanic coating process, in which the dial plates were first stamped with a clear coating to define the text and chapter ring, after which a black substance was applied using a chemical binding process. The resulting glossy black finish and gilt details infuse this otherwise reserved toolwatch with a radiant glow.
The watch is in amazing condition, with a thick and sharp 36 mm stainless steel case. The watch comes on a period-correct riveted Oyster bracelet. Apart from some scratches and a little stretch, the bracelet is in excellent condition and should serve you for years to come.
Rolex Explorer IRolex has a storied history of building tool watches dedicated to professional users. In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual on Hillary's wrist. In honor of the expedition, Rolex released the Explorer later that year.Over the years, the Explorer I has been produced in various executions. Except for the very earliest ones, they all have one thing in common: the characteristic 3-6-9 numerals on the dial (the so-called ‘Explorer dial’).