Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
The summit of Everest and the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Only Rolex has sent watches to the the highest altitudes and lowest depths on the planet, and from these exploits they have created some of the most technically reliable watches ever produced.
Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay began their final ascent of Everest on May 29, 1953, reaching the summit, 29,028 feet above sea level. They checked the Rolexes on their wrists and marked the time: 11:30 a.m.
We know that the watch on Hillary’s wrist was a Rolex Oyster Precision (see it HERE), but we’re not sure which dial was on Norgay’s Precision. The Oyster Precision was the precursor to the Explorer, and it was the Precision that introduced the 3-6-9 black Arabic dial that we all associate with the Explorer today. The facts may have been lost to history, but one member of the Everest expedition, if not Norgay himself, likely had a proto-Explorer on his wrist, and the 3-6-9-dialed Precision is the watch that Rolex chose to rechristen as the Explorer in honor of Hillary and Norgay’s historic accomplishment.
Rolex went on to produce the Explorer for five decades (and counting, since it’s still in production), but as is the case with most Rolex sports models, the earliest versions of the watch tend to be the best looking. The triumph of the 1953 expedition and spirit of adventure and exploration that Explorer represents can be felt when this watch is strapped to your wrist. It is a memento of man’s ability to conquer the world through hard work, grit and determination (plus, doing so with timeless style and panache).
This particular watch has a 2.1 million serial, dating it to roughly 1967. The Reference 1016 was produced for about thirty years, so you've got room to be picky and find a great one. With an excellently patinated dial, matching aged hands and a crisp case without the common signs of over-polishing, this example is the honest Explorer you've been looking for.
The Explorer is one hell of a watch and has a killer story to match. You can't get much better.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.