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Up for grabs is a lovely and incredibly rare example of a gilt dial Rolex Explorer, Ref. 1016. This example dates to 1963, and features a “chapter ring” dial, used only in the early 1960s (from approximately 1960-1964). However, this watch was also produced during an era when Rolex was experimenting with different lume compounds from radium to tritium. As such, Rolex would often designate these dials as having a lower compound of radium (or none at all), via an indication on the dial in either the form of an “underline” printed on the dial, or an “exclamation”, which was a small dot of lume applied right below the 6 o’clock marker, giving the appearance of an exclamation mark. On this watch, we see both used by the maker, something they did very, very scarcely.
This Rolex Explorer is in very nice vintage condition. The case has been previously polished, but shows thick and even lugs. The gilt dial is well preserved and still glossy, showing normal wear/aging, but no major scratches, chips, etc. The original lume is in-tact and preserved on the dial, aged to a golden yellow color; the hands have been professionally color-matched to the dial. Finally, the watch is fitted on a Rolex Swiss Jubilee bracelet with 55 endlinks, dated to 1965, fitting an approximate 7″ wrist, and with light stretch.