1969 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016)

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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. 1016 add to the unique feel and appearance.

This specific example that we are featuring here at craft and tailored features the earlier Rolex 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. The flawless dial is intact without any chipping or issue and the lume plots and hands have achieved a wonderful golden patina which adds to this specific example's charm and wrist appeal. The Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) would make a great addition to an existing collection and offers the utmost versatility as a stand-alone piece. It would also make a daily driver as it is suitable for the most formal as well as the most casual of settings! 

Stock # RLXEXP691016-2
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 1016
Serial 21XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Black 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet 2pc Handmade Leather Strap



The case shows signs of a very light previous polishing, the case retains very full and even lugs. The smooth stainless steel bezel remains sharp and unpolished showing light honest wear. The case back is stamped II.69 and the watch will come on a 2pc leather strap of your choosing.


The early "Frog Foot" matte black dial remains in flawless condition. The lume plots have aged to an excellent golden patina, exhibiting no lume degradation under U.V. light inspection. The hands were previously restored to match the dial perfectly and show no degradation under U.V. light inspection. 


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