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SOLD "Drawer Find" Estate Sale Rolex Gilt Chapter Ring Explorer Ref. 1016

  1. JamesL1680 Jul 14, 2020

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    Thanks to OF for the space.

    Up for sale is my Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 with a gilt, chapter ring dial. I purchased this watch from a fellow forum member, who (famously) bought it from the estate of the original owner - a "drawer find," quite literally. Serial number is 901xxx, dating it to ~1963.

    On to the details...

    Dial/Hands: The dial is impeccable, completely mirror gloss (no evidence of going matte whatsoever) with original recessed radium lume that has aged to a beautiful yellow hue. The gilt print is sharp and crisp. The hands are early tritium service units - likely from the late 60s as they do not retain a UV charge, but they have aged with the dial lume incredibly well. My understanding is hand replacements were not uncommon on these watches, as there are several well known examples out there aside from this one (the tell is that the tip of the minute hand does not reach the chapter ring).

    Case: Excellent condition - though I will not say unpolished (impossible to know for sure), it has been treated properly.

    Movement: The watch has not been serviced in my possession, but is keeping good time. I am not selling this watch with a service guarantee.

    Bracelet
    : This watch is sold head only.

    Bonus: The watch is accompanied by the original retailer's box from Philippe Beguin in Geneva (for what it's worth in "cool factor" - the same retailer that sold the Rolex "Bao Dai" Ref. 6062).

    On to pricing...

    I am asking $26,000 for this watch, and am happy to hear offers. In looking for/at comps, I would stress that while there are other gilt chapter ring Explorers out there, examples with a dial in this condition, attractive lume, and traceable provenance are few and far between.

    The price includes fully insured shipping within CONUS (strongly preferred). Local pick-up is also welcome in the NYC area. I may ship internationally on a case by case basis, fully insured only and at the buyer's cost. For a transaction this size, I would prefer bank wire, but I would consider a partial payment through Paypal if that is of interest (you assume fees if you prefer not to use Friends & Family). I can provide references relating to purchases from and sales to fellow OF members on request, you should be able to do the same.

    Now on to the best part - the photos! If there are other photos you'd like to see, please reach out and I can add accordingly in the comments. Additionally, I can share some photos taken by the previous owner privately, as well as video footage of the dial in natural light. Alternatively, you can see more photos of the watch "in the wild" on Instagram @watchaholicnyc. Thanks for looking!

    IMG_5867.jpg IMG_5868.jpg IMG_5869.jpg IMG_5870.jpg IMG_5871.jpg IMG_5872.jpg IMG_5892.jpg IMG_5893.jpg
     
    R3D9, 0uss, Zdzislaw and 23 others like this.
  2. Kazyole Jul 14, 2020

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    I have seen this watch in person a number of times. It is at least as good as it looks in the photos. Really a true stunner.

    I've also bought from James in the past and he's a great seller/all around good guy. Buy with confidence.

    Someone please buy it so that I can't.
     
    wagudc, watch3s, WatchTimes and 5 others like this.
  3. JamesL1680 Jul 16, 2020

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    bump
     
  4. wristpirate Jul 17, 2020

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  5. OllieOnTheRocks Jul 17, 2020

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    One of the most beautiful Rolex's I have seen.
     
    wagudc and JamesL1680 like this.
  6. JamesL1680 Jul 17, 2020

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    i should mention, i could entertain a partial trade...currently perusing matte 1675s (although i wouldn't not look at a gilt...)
     
  7. JamesL1680 Jul 20, 2020

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    sunlight shots from this weekend

    D652D1FA-FB2B-42FF-AABA-1A6FC47C9874.jpeg D3ECA0C4-CCCF-4C48-B7AF-E71266440E69.jpeg
     
  8. JamesL1680 Aug 20, 2020

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    a bump, a clarification, and a price drop.

    originally i mention the dial numerals contain radium lume, as i had been under the (incorrect) impression that any dial from this era marked "Swiss" only was furnished as such. however, after speaking to several collectors who i would consider to be experts in vintage Rolex, i've learned that is not necessarily the case. by 1963 regulations had changed and Rolex had already been in the process of phasing out radium for quite a while (some say they started as early as ‘59 on some models).

    my serial number of 901xxx is a late '63, and by this point they had almost certainly cut over to using other elements (tritium/zinc sulfide mix is a popular theory - but it's hard to know for sure). as such, the watch barely registers on a geiger. very late '63s will often have underlines or exclamation points to designate the change (lack of radium), but there are dials that lack these hallmarks. given the watch's provenance, i'm confident the dial has not been touched since birth, and the people i've spoken to have echoed that sentiment.

    unrelated to this clarification, i am also dropping the price to $24,500 OBO (as there is something else actively in my crosshairs).
     
  9. Candle00 Aug 20, 2020

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    I wish I found these kinda things in my drawers. All I find are old silica gel packs to combat moisture! GLWS
     
    Lonestar, watch3s, Mtnmansa and 3 others like this.
  10. wagudc Aug 20, 2020

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    :coffee:
     
    MarktheTime likes this.
  11. JamesL1680 Aug 25, 2020

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    OHPF
     
  12. JamesL1680 Sep 1, 2020

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    Sold. Thanks A and OF for the space!
     
    Lonestar, wristpirate and apsm100 like this.