1972 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 features the earlier Rolex coronet that is commonly referred to as the "frog foot" as this era of coronet (post gilt dial) which resembles a frog's foot whereas the coronets 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 and matching 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 # RLXEXP721016
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 1016
Serial 35XXXXX
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 yet the case retains very full and even lugs. Overall the case is presentable showing light honest wear from general use. The watch is supplied on our Craft +Tailored Oiled Leather Watch Strap in taupe


The early "Frog Foot" matte black dial remains in wonderful condition. The tritium lume plots and hands are matching and have aged to an excellent golden patina exhibiting no lume degradation under U.V. light inspection. There is slight oiling on the lower right side near the minute track of the dial that is not entirely visible unless viewed under a loupe. 


None. The watch is running at COSC spec, extended service history is unknown..