Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV Hong Kong Friday, May 27, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1963
    Reference No: 1016
    Movement No: D90’454
    Case No: 901’202; inside caseback stamped II.63
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1560, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “7206”, endlinks stamped “82”, max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “K11”
    Dimensions: 36mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Explorer was launched following the successful event of conquering Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay in 1953. While it was known that both expeditioners had a Rolex Oyster Perpetual on their wrists, it was not until the release of the ref. 6510 that featured its iconic luminous 3-6-9 dial configuration. With that said, it was only until the release of the ref. 6350 with a honeycomb dial that featured Explorer on the dial as well as featuring “Officially Certified Chronometer”. In 1963, Rolex released arguably the most iconic Explorer reference via the ref. 1016.

    In production from 1963 until 1989 making it the longest Explorer model in production, early examples of the reference featured a black lacquered dial with gilt texts. While these glossy examples of the reference can be broken up into two main categories with the earliest featuring a chapter ring and later examples featuring a dial without. The present example Rolex Explorer ref. 1016 belongs to the rare and one of the earliest variants featuring a chapter ring and an exclamation dial signifying its luminous material to be in radium. Furthermore, it is powered by the original cal. 1560 with later examples bearing the cal. 1570. Stamped II.63 inside the caseback with a nine hundred thousand serial, the present example from circa 1963 boasts an attractive unrestored dial with matching radium luminous material that still has a good Geiger reading.

  • 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 fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, chapter ring, black lacquer “exclamation” dial and bracelet

Circa 1963
36mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for HK$138,600

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022