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, in its design, is in my opinion, 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.
This particular example is an early production 1016, most obvious through its glossy gilt dial. The gilt dials have always been more coveted than the later matte dials and with this Explorer, it is made even more special as it is in excellent original condition with a stunning dial that has turned a tropical. Under the sun, shades of dark and light brown really bring this watch to life, making it a unique piece and also a very big reason why we love vintage pieces so much.