1988 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 weren'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, the ref. 1016 is suitable for any setting from casual to formal.  

Stock # RLXEXP881016R
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 1016
Serial R8XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Matte Black 3-6-9 Dial
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex Oyster 78360 Bracelet w/ 580 End Pieces



The sharp case retains strong factory finishing and original case profiling with light signs of use. The smooth stainless steel bezel is in remarkable condition showing little wear. The original Rolex 78360 bracelet with 580 end pieces remains unpolished showing only light signs of use and little to no stretch.


This end of production matte black Rolex Explorer 1 dial is in factory original condition, showing no signs of use of blemishing. The tritium lume plots exhibit no patina and show no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly, under U.V. light inspection the top sector of the Mercedes hour hand shows very minor cracking, the minute and sweep-seconds hands remains fully intact.


None. Watch is keeping time within COSC Spec, previous service history is unknown.