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Rolex Explorer I Ref. 1016 - Tropical Gilt Exclamation Point Dial

Sale price$17,500.00 USD

Straight Facts

May 29, 1953

After an arduous journey starting on March 10th of 1953, and an extremely difficult assault on the summit, Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary became the first people to successfully summit Mt. Everest. On their wrist? NOT a Rolex Explorer.

Whoops.

Well, to be fair the Rolex Explorer wasn’t created yet. So why the hullabaloo about Sir Edmund Hillary? Well - he was wearing a Rolex. A Rolex Oyster Perpetual. After hearing of the success of this expedition and ruggedness of the watch - the decision was made to replace the Oyster Perpetual with a new model named in Hillary’s honor - The Explorer. Or so the story goes.

Either way, the Rolex Explorer I was introduced in 1953 but like many Rolex models, the first series was not considered ‘the best’ reference. For many collectors - the ultimate Explorer I is the reference 1016. It’s clean, highly legible and still tough enough for use in modern day wear. While using the same case as a Datejust, the smooth bezel and applied luminous Arabic 3,6,9 lend a more rugged and utilitarian aesthetic to the watch. This present example is in extremely well preserved condition, and it a very early gilt dial model. It has a beautiful glossy-gilt dial, that has aged to a stunning and deep tropical brown color. The case has been polished in the past, but was done so respectfully and evenly preserving those beautiful case lines we look for in the early Explorers. Furthermore, this watch - hailing from 1962 - features a coveted ‘Exclamation Point’ dial. That small dot under the ‘6’ position was thought to have been placed there (for one year only in ‘62) to denote a higher mix of tritium in the lume, NOT radium. It’s those kinds of details that really elevate a watch to true collector status.


 

*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting.

Stainless Steel 1962 Manual Sport

"As collectors themselves, Oliver and Clarke are on a mission to make buying vintage watches as painless as possible."

"The company focuses on good prices for its pieces, elite customer service and full transparency."

"The appointment-only space is inviting, with comfortable seating areas and exposed brick walls."

From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.

Oliver & Clarke

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