1987 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) "R Serial"

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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.

The 1016 Explorer was one of Rolexes longest produced watches, and these end of production "R Serial" 1016 Rolex Explorer 1's have become highly collectible. Due to the simple fact that there wasn't many manufactured. Collectors love these watches as they were the last of the Rolex watches produced with a matte black dial well into the 80s, whereas the rest of the Rolex sports line switched to glossy lacquer with white gold surround lume plots. 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. A perfect daily driver, it is suitable for any setting from casual to formal.  

Stock # RLXEXP871016
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model Ref. 1016
Serial R5XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Black 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex Oyster 78360 Bracelet w/ 580 End Pieces



The excellent case shows factory finishing with honest wear. The smooth stainless steel bezel remains in wonderful condition showing little to no signs of wear. The case retains its original twin-lock crown. The later Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 580 end pieces remains unpolished showing light wear with little to no stretch.


This end of production example Rolex 1016 matte black dial remains in impeccable condition with no blemishing or scratches. The tritium lume plots remain fully intact, showing no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly. Under U.V. light inspection the hour and sweep seconds hand are fully intact, the minute hand exhibits minor degradation.


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