1956 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 6610) GILT Chapter Ring

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The Rolex Explorer I references bridge the gap between a dress watch and a sports watch. Without the crown guards and rotating bezels commonly found on sports models offered by Rolex, the Explorer I has a cleaner, sleeker profile while incorporating recognizable sport model features into the dial. The highly visible block indices, luminescent numerals at the 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock positions, and Submariner style triangle at the 12 o'clock position allow for readability under any conditions. The Submariner hands featured on the Ref. 6610 add to the unique feel and appearance.

The 6610 reference range is a rare and early execution of the Explorer 1, this one in particular dating to 1956. The gilted "SWISS only" chapter ring dial is a stunning detail beloved by collectors. The Rolex Explorer reference range as a whole has been a favorite since first produced in commemoration for the success of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953. 

Stock # RLXEXP6610-2
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 6610
Serial 16XXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Gilt "Chapter Ring" 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex Rolled-Link Jubilee Bracelet W/ 55 End Pieces



The previously polished case exhibits strong full lugs with even case profiling that shows very light wear from use. The smooth stainless steel bezel shows light honest wear from use. The watch retains its original Brevet "plus sign" twin-lock crown. The era-correct Rolex rolled-link Jubilee bracelet with 55 end pieces is slightly later than the watch and exhibits normal stretch for its style and age. 


The "SWISS only" gilt chapter ring Explorer dial is uniquely stunning. The gilted chapter ring and text remains bright in coloration without damage. The glossy finish of the dial has aged to a lovely matte texture. The radium lume plots and numerals have achieved a charming dark patina, especially to the right of the dial. Under U.V. light inspection the radium lume plots remain in very good condition, only exhibiting very minor degradation. The original radium gilt hands with "lollipop" sweep-seconds hand remain in stunning condition and match the gilt coloration of the text on the dial, the radium lume has aged a few shades lighter than the dial to an excellent sandy coloration that matches the overall fit and feel of the watch.


None. Watch is running at spec, additional service history is unknown.