There is a reason why the Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 was one of Rolex’s longest production watches. Spanning a run from 1963 to 1990, with a few updates here and there, it is, without doubt, one of the purest Rolex sport models that underpins the entire Rolex ‘tool watch’ ethos.
The Explorer, named so after famously summiting Mount Everest in 1953, is, is as perfect as it gets. Perhaps one of the most beautifully proportioned and understated Rolex’s, utility was always taken into consideration. A simple yet reliable three hander, a highly legible dial with a great 3,6,9 layout, no date, and housed in a muscular 36mm stainless steel case, today the Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 is a vintage lover’s dream.
While Rolex began the 1016 production using glossy gilt dials, they transitioned to matte dials several years later. This example is an early matte dial Explorer, characteristically distinguished by it’s ‘frog’s foot’ dial, where the Rolex coronet resembles a frog’s foot. Furthermore, it has the non-hacking Cal. 1560 movement, another trait of early matte dial 1016s.