C.1966 Rolex Gilt Dial Explorer Ref. 1016

Additional images

Model: ,

Year of issue: 1966

Reference number: 1016

Serial number: 1497xxx

Condition: hardly worn

Status: reserved

Dealer country: United States

Price in US $: n/a

Watch details

The history of this watch offers a unique opportunity for the Explorer collector. It was acquired from a US soldier who served in Vietnam. Look closely to notice the matte finish of the case. During the war, the original owner applied an anti-reflective coating to the case, presumably to reduce his visibility. The color difference is quite subtle, but can be seen clearly between the case lugs, where the serial number was covered prior to the application. Additionally, the gilt dial is beginning to turn tropical brown, which augments the authentic vintage look. 36mm. Stock 42491


Joshua Bonifas


Rolex on Everest's first ascents
Inspired by knowledge gained from this fascinating chapter of human adventure, the Oyster Perpetual Explorer, launched in 1953 to celebrate the victorious ascent of Everest, immediately acquired iconic status.


In 1953, Sir John Hunt’s expedition, in which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, was equipped with Oyster Perpetuals.


In the early 1950s, Rolex developed professional watches that served as tools and whose functions went far beyond simply telling the time. These watches were intended for professional activities, such as deep-sea diving, aviation, mountain climbing and scientific exploration. The watches generated lasting enthusiasm and became known as the watches of achievers.