1967 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) Mk. I "Fat Font"

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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 the Submariner style triangle at the 12 o'clock position allow for readability under any conditions. The Submariner hands featured on the Ref. 1016 add to the unique feel and appearance.

The earliest matte dial variants for the Rolex Explorer I ref. 1016 featured a coronet that is commonly referred to as the "frog foot" as this era of coronet (post gilt dial) resembles a frog's foot where later variants on the ref. 1016 are much more stout and pronounced. Of the early “frog foot” ref. 1016 dial variants, the “fat font” or “fat lume” dial variant is the most elusive, rare, and sought after amongst the collecting community for its thicker and more pronounced 3, 6, and 9 numerals that are visibly much larger than the standard numerals seen on early Rolex ref. 1016 dial variants. 

Stock # RLXEXPFF671016
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 1016
Serial 17XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Matte Black 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex 7206 Oyster-Rivet Bracelet W/ 58 End Pieces



The symmetrical case has been lightly polished in the past and retains very full lugs that show light signs of honest use. The smooth stainless steel bezel appears to have only been very lightly polished in the past and shows light, honest use. The era-correct Rolex 7206 Oyster-Rivet bracelet with 58 end pieces is stamped 1/69 and could be original to the watch due to Rolex's distribution of parts in this era and retains 11 links with minimal stretch from use.


The early matte black Mk. I "Frog Foot" and "Fat Font" dial is in very well preserved vintage condition, showing light signs of aging around the dial edges and light speckling which is common for early matte dials. The tritium lume plots have achieved a handsome creamy patina and exhibit some dark speckling which is expected, under U.V. light inspection the lume plots exhibit no degradation. The hands are original to the watch, under U.V. light inspection the hour and minute hands have been professionally restored with tritium to match the dial, the sweep seconds hand retains its original lume and shows a very minor crack, remaining stable. 


None. Watch just received full and complete service and is running at COSC spec backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.