Rolex Explorer 6350 'Honeycomb'

Museum Piece
We built the Rolex Explorer because there isn't any watch repair shop on top of the Matterhorn, read the headline of the 1964 Rolex advertisement for the Explorer.
We built the Rolex Explorer because there isn't any watch repair shop on top of the Matterhorn, read the headline of the 1964 Rolex advertisement for the Explorer.

Eleven years prior, in 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay carried Rolex Oyster Perpetuals with them during the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. To commemorate this achievement, Rolex launched the Explorer model.

Released in 1953, the ref. 6350 is the very first true Explorer model. While two earlier references (the 6096, 6298, and 6150) already featured many of the design cues associated with the Explorer line—in particular, the 3-6-9 Arabic numerals—the 6350 was the first model to consistently feature the Explorer name on the dial (a small number of 6150s did so as well).

This 6350 features the most desirable dial variations: the honeycomb dial. Also found on the legendary ref. 6541 Milgauss, the dial is characterized by a beautiful honeycomb texture. The dial was 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. This results in a glossy black dial with gold colored details.

The radium luminous compound that makes up the iconic 3-6-9 numerals and the indices are in exceptional condition and have aged to a pleasing pumpkin color, matching perfectly with the lume in the gilt handset. There are multiple handsets used for this ref, this one having a "Mercedes hour hand" and awesome "syringe minute hand".

This ultra collectible 6350 dates back to 1953 and is in stunning condition with an untouched dial, nice case, and original riveted stretch Oyster bracelet.
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’).