Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE Geneva Saturday, May 14, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1959
    Reference No: 1016
    Movement No: D22'494
    Case No: 516'606
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1560, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 80, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp stamped 3.62
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Explorer line of watches is one of Rolex’s most successful and recognizable designs. With its combination of baton and now-iconic “3-6-9” hour markers, its minimalist styling makes it one of the most legible and attractive dial layouts found on any watch.

    This early reference 1016 from 1959 is presented with its original and totally unrestored galvanic black lacquer dial that is as glossy today as it was nearly 60 years ago. Of particular interest is the presence of a solitary luminous dot found at the tip of the 30-minute mark just underneath the 6 o’clock hour marker. Made during a period where governments began prohibiting the use of radium on watch dials, the dot was one of multiple symbols used by Rolex to signify that tritium was used for the dial’s luminous material instead of radium. Combined with its well-preserved case and riveted Oyster bracelet, the present watch is a highly collectible and very rare variant of the Explorer that is sure to please.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Ref. 1016
A rare stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer "exclamation mark" dial and bracelet

36mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for CHF12,500

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016