Rolex Explorer 1016 ‘Tiffany & Co.’
Antiquourm hosted the ‘Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon’ auction in 2014, with a total sales result of over $45 million! Paul Mellon used to be one of the richest Americans and was a breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. Among the lots were many Rolex watches, all signed by American retailer Tiffany & Co.
Remarkably, 7 out of the 17 lots were 1016s with Tiffany & Co. signing. Quite possibly he bought many so it could also be gifted to friends and relatives as he was known for being very generous and one of the most important philanthropists from back in the days. Most of these Explorers have serial numbers in close ranges and the one we have fits perfectly in this batch. Most serials of the 1016s in the auction start with the numbers 408. So does ours. One of them (see link: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/mellon-jewelry-n09246/lot.141.html) is under 200 numbers apart from the one we have to offer. Moreover, this exact watch was previously sold in California by a renowned collector and dealer. The listing can still be found via this link: https://www.1stdibs.com/jewelry/watches/wrist-watches/rolex-tiffany-co-stainless-steel-explorer-chronometer-wristwatch-ref-1016/id-j_604322/
This beautiful 1016 dates back to 1975. By the year 1990 the 1016 was replaced by the 14270, which for the first time featured a glossy dial with white-gold hour marker surroundings and sapphire crystal. Our 1016 still sports the classic matte-black dial with painted tritium markers and the well-known Arabic numerals on the quarters (3-6-9). Top of the bill, is the Tiffany & Co. signing above the S.C.O.C. text on the 6-hour position. The dial, like the bezel and case, are in remarkebly crisp condition with lume beautifully discoloured to a custard colour. The watch has a stainless steel case with the elegant case diameter of 36 mm, which is just perfect for everyone. It runs on the 1570 calibre; the first Rolex in-house calibre (together with the 1560) that passed the tests of the COSC. This movement was used for the 1016 until the end of its production. The stainless steel Oyster bracelet is in sharp condition and barely has any stretch.