1975 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) Mk. III Dial "Pumpkin"

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 sports 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.

The 1016 Explorer was one of the longest-produced Rolex references, and has become a cornerstone piece for any Rolex collection that can hold its own. Although the Explorer ref. 1016 was produced for a long period of time, it has become one of the more elusive references in recent years due to the simple fact that Rolex didn't manufacture very many during its tenure. Along with the low production numbers, collectors have been holding onto these pieces which further reduces the number of models available for purchase. 

Stock # RLXEXP101675-3
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 1016
Serial 40XXXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Matte Black 3-6-9 "Mk. III"
Millimeters 36
Bracelet Rolex 78360 Oyster Bracelet W/ 580 End Pieces



The impressive case exhibits a subtle sleeve polish from wear and honest signs of use, however, the thick and symmetrical lugs show no notable evidence of previous polishing. The smooth stainless steel bezel is in crisp condition, exhibiting gentle signs of use. The original acrylic crystal exhibits some light crazing. The original Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 580 end pieces retains 12 links that show minor stretch and will fit up to a 7 1/4-inch wrist. 


The original matte black Mk. III "3-6-9 Explorer" dial is in exceptionally well-preserved condition, showing no damage and only nominal elements of age that are virtually invisible to the naked eye. The tritium lume plots have achieved a vivid and beautifully saturated orange or "pumpkin" patina and exhibit no degradation when inspected under UV light. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly and show no degradation under UV light inspection.


None. The watch is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.