Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer

This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer began life in the late 1950s as a midsized homage to the classic Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016. Visually identical to the 36mm Explorer, this watch features a 34mm case and originally wore a tapered 19mm oyster-link bracelet.

After this specific example was located and purchased, the watch was disassembled and the movement was overhauled and timed. The dial redesign sought to retain the distinctive features of the Rolex Explorer while both updating the color scheme and creating an understated affect.

The matte black dial was reimagined as deep blue and applied with a sun ray finish found on both modern Rolexes and Datejusts of the 1960s and 1970s. The white luminous paint used on the markers and hands was replaced with dark grey accents that were used also for the dial text. The finishing detail on the dial replaced the lower text with the last name of the piece’s new owner.

After the dial was refinished, the watch was reassembled and a new old stock crystal was sourced and installed. Finally, a custom-made strap was ordered from ABP Paris with suede matched to the grey of the dial text, and stitching matched to the blue of the dial. The watch was fitted with a period correct, stainless steel Rolex tang buckle.