1957 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-style hands featured on the ref. 6610 add to the unique feel and appearance. 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.

This ref. 6610 from 1957 is a rare and early execution of the Explorer 1, that quite simply hits all the marks. From the beautifully preserved "Swiss only" gilt chapter ring explorer dial, the original and stunning gilt handset which features the white "lollipop" sweep-seconds hand, all the way down to the original Oyster stretch-rivet bracelet. This very original example is ready to be enjoyed by the next collector for years to come! 

Stock # RLXEXP6610-4
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 6610
Serial 26XXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Gilt "Chapter Ring" 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex Oyster Stretch-Rivet Bracelet.



The case is in remarkable condition and has possibly been lightly polished in the past and retains very strong and even lugs that show light honest wear from use. The smooth stainless steel bezel appears to remain unpolished with light signs of wear. The original Rolex "Swiss Made" Oyster stretch-rivet bracelet is stamped 4/57 and is in exceptional condition, displaying no stretch and retains 12 links.


The original "SWISS only" gilt chapter ring dial is exceptional, the black lacquer has aged to a more matte finish, taking on a lovely and consistent patina with no spider-cracking or blemishes on the dial. The gilt text and chapter ring remain flawless and bright in coloration. The radium lume plots have aged to a charming sandy patina, under U.V. light inspection the 3 o'clock marker shows some degradation and the 12 o'clock marker shows very minimal cracking but is not degraded, the rest of the lume plots show no degradation. The original gilt hands with rare white "lollipop" sweep-seconds hand are in excellent condition and match the dial perfectly, under U.V. light inspection the minute hand retains its original lume but has been stabilized with matching lume, the hour and "lollipop" sweep-seconds hand show no degradation.


None. The watch is keeping time and functioning perfectly, previous service history is unknown.