Rolex explorer 1016Rolex explorer 1016

Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016

PAN Amsterdam art fair watch
This is an exclusive PAN Amsterdam watch, only there from Nov. 19-26 and not available in our store. Admire, experience, and seize the opportunity to buy it.

We are very proud to present this stunning Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 from 1960, which is the first year of its reference production!

The Rolex Explorer was created in the 1950s as a tool watch for mountaineers and explorers. The story goes that in 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and they did so while wearing Rolex watches.

Inspired by this achievement, Rolex decided to create a watch specifically designed for explorers and mountaineers. The result was the Rolex Explorer, which was introduced in 1953

The ref. 1016 is perhaps one of the most admired vintage Rolex models around. And for good reason! It is a masterclass in watch design. Clean, elegant, rugged, and quite simply beautiful. Therefore, it is considered to be a perfect ‘one-watch collection’.

What is particularly interesting about this 1016 is the beautiful correct glossy gilt dial, meaning negative black painting on a bare brass dial. The result is gold-tone text lying deeper than the surrounding black surface. An absolutely beautiful technique that is, unfortunately, no longer used. This explorer has what we call a ‘type 1 gilt dial” due to SOCS, Swiss-only, and the use of a gilt dial. This specific dial was produced for two years (1960-1962), making it even more special. Fun fact, this exact reference with type 1 dial was worn by Ian Fleming. The ref 1016 is being referred to in the James Bond books, so you could argue this is the original Bond watch. The bracelet of the watch comes from 1981, which gives it an extra sturdy feeling.

Ready to own a piece of History? Come and see for yourself at Reestraat 3 Amsterdam

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Brand Rolex
Movement Automatic
Model Explorer
Diameter 36 mm
Reference 1016
Bracelet/strap: Steel
Year of production (circa) 1960
Lug Width 19 mm
Material Steel
Set Content Watch only
Crystal Acrylic
Warranty 2 year (AWCo)
Dial color Black

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We strive to promptly handle packages to minimize delays. Delivery times begin from the day of dispatch. While we make every effort to ensure smooth delivery, we cannot be held responsible for delays caused by destination customs, local duties, taxes, or lost items during transit.

Certainly, we understand that overloaded mail-order companies can also contribute to potential delays in the delivery process. Despite our best efforts, external factors beyond our control may affect shipping times. Rest assured, we remain committed to providing timely service and will work diligently to ensure your order reaches you as promptly as possible. For any inquiries or updates, feel free to reach out to us at Your satisfaction is our priority.






Year of production (circa)






Dial color





36 mm



Lug Width

19 mm

Set Content

Watch only