Here is a really nice vintage Rolex Explorer reference 1016 from 1960 with original gilt rail-track dial. The Explorer (also known as the Explorer 1) was designed for mountain climbers, and in my opinion the dial is one of the best designed and rendered dials on any watch. In fact, the dial is the essence of form following function – the time, legibly, at a glance.
Original case is stainless steel with dimensions of 35.5mm diameter by 12mm thick. Crystal is acrylic. The original screw down crown is still operating well. The case, like the dial, is purely formed, simple, and beautiful.
The inside of the case back is date stamped ‘I.60’ indicating that it left the factory in the first quarter of 1960. The 1016 production began in late 1959, so this is definitely one of the first 1016 Explorers.
Original dial is gilt with rail track minutes chapter. There is some lacquer crazing and flaking and the luminous has been very subtly re-touched. These gilt rail-track dials are only seen in the very earliest production of the reference 1016 Explorers.
The watch is on a very nice riveted Oyster bracelet with 11 links and in mint condition.