Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1968
    Reference No: 1016, inside caseback stamped IV.67
    Case No: 1’736’842
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 7206, endlinks stamped 58, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped "2,69"
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Having witnessed the world’s highest ascent on the wrist of Sir Edmund Hilary, the Explorer is by no means a grail within the pedigree of Rolex. Initially launched in 1953, in the same year of the climb up Mount Everest conquered by Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzig Norgay, the reference 6298 was born to commemorate or many would think to profit off the successful feat of the two expeditioners. Nonetheless, the Explorer has gained a popular status ever since and will always remain a stronghold in the Rolex collection.

    The reference 1016 is arguably one of the most iconic Explorer references produced. First introduced to the public in 1963 and remained in production until 1989. Staying true to the signature Explorer aesthetics descended from the reference 6610, it still retained a 3-6-9 dial configuration with early examples fitted with a glossy black dial with the text in gilt. Furthermore, during the launch of the reference, Rolex was undergoing slight updates on their production such as the transition from radium to tritium hence bearing the SWISS-T<25 on the bottom of the dial.

    The present example is an attractive example of a Rolex Explorer reference 1016 fitted with a glossy black dial.

  • 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, inside caseback stamped IV.67
A very fine, attractive and rare stainless steel wristwatch with sweep center seconds, black glossy dial and bracelet

Circa 1968
36mm Diameter
Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for HK$237,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019