Tropical 1966 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) Gilt

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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.

Tropical 1966 Rolex Explorer I (Ref. 1016) Gilt

Tropical dials are a mesmerizing phenomenon and among the most collectible when considering gilt or matte dial Rolex. This Tropical Rolex Explorer 1 ref. 1016 is astonishingly beautiful with an ombre-like tropical patina that creates a grander sense of depth to the dial. Starting with a rich glossy caramel brown coloration to the left of the dial which gradually fades to a chocolate brown to the far right of the dial. This Explorer 1 ref. 1016 is a truly stunning example of the uniqueness and character of tropical patina dials and how they can transform a wristwatch into pieces of art.

Stock # RLXEXP1016-66
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer I
Model 1016
Serial 13XXXXX
Size Men's
Material SS
Dial Glossy Black 3-6-9 Dial "Tropical"
Millimeters 36mm
Bracelet Rolex Stretch-Rivet Oyster Bracelet W/ 58 End Pieces



The stunning case is believed to remain unpolished showing strong factory finishing and dimensions with light signs of use. The smooth stainless steel bezel remains unpolished showing little to no signs of use. The original Rolex Oyster stretch-rivet bracelet with 58 end pieces remains in excellent condition showing no stretch from use and retains 12 links.


The glossy gilt Explorer 1 dial has achieved a stunning tropical patina that starts in a rich brown coloration to the left of the dial and gradually fades to a much darker brown to the right edge of the dial. The dial shows some consistent spidering in the lacquer, which is normal for gilt dials of this era. The tritium lume plots have achieved a wonderful creamy golden patina and exhibit no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly and show no degradation when inspected under U.V. light.


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