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FS: 1960 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) "SWISS only" Chapter Ring

FS: 1960 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) "SWISS only" Chapter Ring

Offered at $18,250 USD We are always open to offers and trades. Please feel free to contact us at [email][/email] or by calling (213) 293-0555

The Rolex Explorer I references bridge the gap between a dress watch and a sports watch as they possess a smooth bezel, the lack of crown guards, and the rotating bezels more commonly found on the sports models of watches offered by Rolex. But with that being said the Rolex explorer references possess highly visible block indices and luminescent numerals at the 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock positions with a submariner style triangle at the 12 o'clock position. The Rolex Submariner style hands more commonly found on the sports line of Rolex watches also add to the Rolex explorer's unique feel and appearance.

This rare and early example of the Ref. 1016 Explorer dates to 1960. The gilted "SWISS only" chapter ring dial is the first dial iteration offered within the 1016 reference range, directly succeeding the Rolex Ref. 6610 Explorer. The Rolex Explorer reference range as a whole has become a favorited and celebrated model since first produced in commemoration for the success of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in their ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953. The Ref. 1016 is celebrated in its own right for being having the longest running production under the Explorer line and is highly sought after among collectors as it's seen as the "true" Rolex Explorer 1.

Stock # RLXEXP601016
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model Ref. 1016
Serial 51XXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Glossy Gilt "Chapter Ring" 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Nato (Coyote Brown)


The honest case retains full lugs showing honest wear, remaining in overall good vintage condition. The stainless steel bezel remains in unpolished condition, showing honest wear from use. The case back is stamped I.60, matching the serial range between the lugs.


The early "SWISS only" gilt chapter ring dial has taken on a striking and consistent patina. The gilting and of the chapter ring and text remains fully intact and undamaged. The dial itself has taken on a slightly gray coloration with a very subtle textured patina. The early tritium lume on the dial remains fully intact and has taken on a dark patina, almost green in coloration. The original gilt hour and minute hands remain original to the watch. The minute hand remains fully intact and matches the dial coloration perfectly, the hour hand exhibits a minor crack in the hand itself at its base and some minor lume loss is shown at the base as well. The dial and hands have a strong glow when exposed under U.V. light and fade evenly.


None. Watch is running perfectly and keeping time, additional service history is unknown.

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