In this episode of “What Is On My Wrist” Cam takes us through the matte dial range of the Rolex Explorer 1 Ref 1016 and reviews a rare dial variant of Rolex Explorer 1 Ref. 1016 commonly referred to as the “Fat Font”. The Explorer 1 reference bridges the gap between a dress watch and a sports watch. Without the crown guards and rotating bezels commonly found on sports models offered by Rolex, the Explorer I has a cleaner, sleeker profile while incorporating recognizable sport model features into the dial. The highly visible block indices, luminescent numerals at the 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock positions, and the Submariner style triangle at the 12 o’clock position allow for readability under any conditions. The Submariner hands featured on the Ref. 1016 add to the unique feel and appearance.
The earliest matte dial variants for the Rolex Explorer I ref. 1016 featured a coronet that is commonly referred to as the “frog foot” as this era of coronet (post gilt dial) resembles a frog’s foot where later variants on the ref. 1016 are much more stout and pronounced. Of the early “frog foot” ref. 1016 dial variants, the “fat font” or “fat lume” dial variant is the most elusive, rare, and sought after amongst the collecting community for its thicker and more pronounced 3, 6, and 9 numerals that are visibly much larger than the standard numerals seen on early Rolex ref. 1016 dial variants.
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