*Unpolished* 1977 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) "Pumpkin"

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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 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 watches, 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. We are proud to offer this exceptional, unique, and fully original 1977 Rolex Explorer I ref. 1016 that features a vivid orange or "pumpkin" patina to the lume, a highly cherished characteristic by the vintage watch collecting community.

Stock # RLXEXP101677
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 1016
Serial 56XXXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Matte Black 3-6-9 "Pumpkin"
Millimeters 36
Bracelet Rolex C+I "U.S.A. Made" Rivet Bracelet



The exceptional case is believed to be unpolished with the original factory dimensions, finishing, and angles all remaining intact, the case does exhibit honest signs of use throughout. The smooth stainless steel bezel also remains unpolished the honest signs of use present throughout. The watch retains its original Rolex "U.S.A. Made" C+I rivet bracelet that is stamped "77" and features 12 links that exhibit mild stretch for the style and age of the bracelet.


The matte black 3-6-9 Explorer dial is in exceptionally well-preserved condition with no marks or damage present on the dial, the only element of age is a small oil stain spot above the 3 o'clock lume plot that is only visible under magnification. The original tritium lume plots have achieved a striking and vivid orange patina that is consistent through every lume plot, no degradation is present under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands have aged to a similar shade of orange and exhibit no degradation under U.V. light inspection.


None. The watch is keeping time perfectly.