facebook pixel
Actual Photo
Lot 2

Rolex Explorer 1016 "Tropical Dial"

Auction Ended On:
September 14, 2022
4 Total Bids
Auction Ended:

Product Details

Lot 2
Starting Bid: $20,000
Estimate:  $30,000 to $50,000
Manufacturer: Rolex
Year: 1966
Model Name:
Reference: 1016
Case Serial Number: 1,2XX,XXX
Condition: Excellent condition.
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 36mm
Bracelet: Stainless Steel Oyster
Item Number: 144908
Movement: Automatic 1560
Signed Case, dial, movement, and bracelet.

The watch has been checked for proper functionality
Bob's Watches does not charge a buyer's premium and no shipping costs in US. View International Shipping Info here.

Vintage Rolex Explorer Ref 1016 "Tropical Dial" 

Bob's does NOT charge a buyer's premium – what you bid is what you pay.

Condition Report

This Explorer is in overall great, honest condition with signs of wear and scratches throughout. The case is in great condition and is possibly unpolished. The bezel has remained sharp and shows some wear with nicks. The dial has color changed from black to brown throughout, some areas of the dial are lighter than others. The dial has aged unevenly giving the watch a unique and beautiful aesthetic. The hands have developed patina and the lume in the minutes hand has been redone to match the other lume. The seconds hand is missing some lume. The lume on the dial has developed patina and aged to a lovely yellow color. The bracelet is in very good condition with wear throughout and stretch between the links. The clasp has some scratches. 


Excellent tropical dial that has turned an uneven brown that gives it a very unique look. The hour markers are a caramel color that have turned a light yellow. The lume in the hour and seconds have aged to a matching beige color. The seconds hand has some lume missing in the center. The lume in the minute hand has been color corrected and is pretty close to matching the other hands. The hands have developed patina.


Very Good stainless steel case that appears to be possibly unpolished with visible signs of wear and nicks throughout.  Caseback is stamped: 1016 "IV.65". Serial and reference numbers are crisp and well defined. There is some wear / pitting present between the lugs.


Excellent stainless steel Oyster Rivet 7206 with 12 links and 58 end links. The back of the clasp is stamped 2/66. Overall the bracelet is in nice condition with some stretch and wear consistent with age.

Box and Papers

Bob's presentation box

Catalog Essay:

Rolex introduced the 1016 Explorer in 1959 and it was in production until 1989 making it one of the longest running produced references from the brand. At the beginning of the run Rolex made the dials glossy and then switched to the matte style around 1966. The example we have here is circa 1966 and features a glossy dial, this would have been the last variation of the glossy dial before Rolex went to the matte version. This watch was born with a black dial and over the years it has turned to a beautiful brown and caramel color throughout. The left side of the dial is a bit darker than the right side and the whole dial has aged in a unique way.

Special Notice

MOVEMENT: Movement is functioning. This vintage Rolex comes with Bob's Watches one year warranty.

Auction Terms & Conditions | Bob's Watches | (800) 494-3708 | Bond # 72BSBHE9842

* The money you spend bidding on items you receive at auction is not tax deductible. Please consult your accountant for all tax related questions or deduction qualifications and bid accordingly.