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Opinion on Reworking Rolex 1016 Explorer Case

  1. thelinendial Aug 9, 2021

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    Hi,

    I have a Rolex 1016 from 1986 with the original papers.

    I've scoured the Internet especially explorer1016 by @t_swiss_t to compare the case and crystal ... but would really like thoughts from the community.
    1. Would you say the case is unpolished?
    2. Should I have RolliWorks or LA Works do some respectful rework on the case to remove the pitting?
    3. Would you agree I have the the original domed crystal?
    Here are the pictures and for some reason I can't show all of them inline...

    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00201.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00202.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00213.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00214.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00215.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00216.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00217.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00218.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - DSC00222.jpg
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - IMG_5609.jpg

    ...
     
    Rolex 1016 Case and Original Domed Crystal - IMG_5609.jpg
    Edited Aug 9, 2021
  2. omegastar Aug 9, 2021

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    Leave as it as is, for God sake !
     
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  3. wsfarrell Aug 9, 2021

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    Both Rolliworks and Rolex Service Center would do respectful refurbishment of that case. I'd go with RSC and get the movement overhauled as well.
     
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  4. onthedial Aug 9, 2021

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    @phamti
    You're not likely to get a unified answer to you question: some will be vehemently opposed to having the case refinished, whereas others look at your watch specifically and come to the conclusion that a thoughtful case restoration would be the best way forward. In the end you have to decide if you want the watch to show its history (it is noticeably chewed up) or if in its current state the sight is upsetting to you.
    If you decide to have the case restored, I recommend going to Los Angeles Watchworks.
     
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  5. thelinendial Aug 9, 2021

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    Thanks for the responses. One of the key factors for me was, is this an unpolished case? If it was, I would leave it. However, a watchmaker pointed out to me that he feels the case has been polished as the brush lines on the case aren’t original.

    In that case, I'll do some freshening up there.

    As for the crystal, I hope it's the original... would appreciate an expert confirming my conclusion.
     
  6. thelinendial Aug 9, 2021

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  7. vibe Aug 9, 2021

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    Two things, wouldn't a 1986 1016 have a top hat crystal?
    The engravings do not look good to me. Could it have been re-engraved?
     
  8. thelinendial Aug 9, 2021

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    Thanks @vibe those are good points.

    Crystal - I never looked that up before. According to this owner (silo), his 1985 started with a tophat (domed crystal) that looks like mine. He swapped his out for a T22 Service Crystal. speedolex noted the fully domed crystals came btw 1960-1990. Ultimately, I like that top hat crystal better... I also have the flat NOS service crystal I could replace it with too.

    Engravings - Stylistically, they are Type C fonts. However, zooming in, the fonts do look off when I compare to the explorer1016 images. I never knew that was possible to re-engrave and will look into this more. If so, that's a lot of lengths to go to on what I believe is a genuine case.

    Service Case Replacement Contemplation - If the case has been compromised that that extent, I'm going to consider getting a Service Case replacement. Yes new serial.. but I wonder if Rolex will be stopping production of these cases at some point. I intend to keep the watch forever, so I'd be kinda neat to wear one that is in original factory shape.
     
    Edited Aug 9, 2021
  9. vibe Aug 10, 2021

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    The middle bar in the “E” all look to be about equal length as the of the top and bottom and the 9 doesn’t match typeface C. There is not a lot of wear present from an end link and the scratches over the serial look kind of fresh. And lastly, the profile of the lugs look a bit boxy for a 1016 to me. Not sure if they had changed the profile to a modern one at the end of the run. I am far from an expert though.
     
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  10. t_swiss_t Aug 10, 2021

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    Can you show us pictures of the papers and the dial / hands?
     
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  11. thelinendial Aug 10, 2021

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    Thanks @t_swiss_t I appreciate a subject matter expert like you taking a look.

    Here's the papers, Mark 3 Dial (note I removed some unique identifying scuffs), and it came with what looks to be incorrect, but still authentic 13mm hands.

    And now the inline photos is working for me,

    Rolex 1016 Case Papers 1 of 2.jpg

    Rolex 1016 Case Papers 2 of 2.jpg

    Mark 3 Dial (note I removed some unique identifying scuffs),

    Rolex 1016 Mark 3 Dial - DSC00179.jpg

    Hands are 13mm but I'm pretty sure not the right ones, will be re-luming anyways - I hear the Rolex Service Center will replace with shorter hands,

    Rolex 1016 Hands - DSC00192.jpg
     
    Edited Aug 10, 2021
  12. t_swiss_t Aug 10, 2021

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    The case seems suspicious. The shape of the lugs are not normal and the engravings are not anything I remember seeing - I agree with @vibe . Here are some photos of your case engravings next to fonts from 9.6m cases. They’re all exactly alike each other (and Type C) but not like the OPs (the middle two).

    765C2828-9252-45F8-B270-BCE71A8675DF.jpeg B0FD6EA5-B3AD-4C9F-8D74-5087CF48C7E0.jpeg

    (I couldn’t find a 1016 in my records with a 9.6m SN so I preferred to use cases closer in SN rather than 1016s from other ranges since, as you can see, engravings tend to be consistent across models by this period.)

    Service cases are normally 4.4-4.7m serials, and none of the service case engravings look like the OPs either.

    Also, is the dial washed? And why are the hands so damaged and a completely different color?

    I’m a bit suspicious of this whole thing.
     
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  13. watchknut New watch + Instagram + wife = dumbass Aug 10, 2021

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    I’m in agreement with others, it seems off.

    Where did it come from?
     
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  14. thelinendial Aug 10, 2021

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    Thanks @t_swiss_t and everyone. That helps a lot!

    The seller is a relative, and was bit doubtful about it himself... he travels around a lot and picks up all kinda things, and sometimes it works out, and others not so much.

    We did a watch trade, so I'll just get mine back and go back to hunting around.
     
  15. onthedial Aug 11, 2021

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    @phamti
    Look at how the “1016” is lining up in relation “ORIG ROLEX DESIGN.”