Offered here is a very early Rolex Explorer, circa 1958 (serial 37xxxx), bearing the Reference 5504, which was a predecessor to the more common Reference 1016. The Ref. 5504 appeared around 1957, and was the the first model to feature a black dial with highly luminous “Mercedes” hands and hour markers designed to ensure the watch would be readable in dark condition. The present example is a “gilt” dial, with the words “Rolex” and “Oyster Perpetual” produced in gilt inlay, and “Explorer” and “Super Precision” printed in silver script, making these days a bit more unique.
The watch itself is in great vintage condition. The case appears unpolished and sharp, with not a lot of wear. The dial is in great condition, with no major wear, and only some minor peeling in the chapter ring near 5 o’clock. The original radium lume is present in both hands and dial, aged to a golden yellow color.