Tiffany Dial 1016 Rolex Explorer
It is sometimes said that contrast is nature’s way of drawing attention. I was reminded of this recently by a friend, who often enjoys pairing a Royal Oak with Crocs. So is this Tiffany 1016 more attention-grabbing? Not really. At a glance, not at all. That’s its charm. We’re all used to Tiffany as a defined luxury brand today, one which attracts silly money in return for social cachet amongst the wrong people through blue Nautilus sales. But years before that, Tiffany were simply a jeweler who offered Rolex. At the time it was sold, this was steel tool watch designed to scale Everest, sold through a well-known name. I like that Tiffany better, despite the fact that today this is a luxury item. Very luxurious. ~30K USD for a line of text luxurious.
Why is contrast appropriate to describe the attraction here? A Tiffany 1016 now a bit like if Chanel made non-stick saucepans. Yes, I am arguing that in philosophy a 1016 Explorer is perfect aligned with a Hexclad. And I would really like a pan produced by a Chanel branded Hexclad, mainly because that could never exist today. This watch could never exist today. It is an anachronism, one which reminds Rolex that they do things besides luxury brand emojis made for Jean-Frédéric Dufour’s mistress and Tiffany that not everything need be LVMH-ified and blue.
And then we can’t gloss over the 1016 itself. This is an exercise in legibility and restraint, you all know it as such. This 1976 example has thick tritium slightly warm in tone, a full case, and C+I rivet bracelet. You love to see congruent wear between the dial, case, and bracelet, and this example has it. Look at the patina on the handset and wear at the edges of the crystal, every detail shouts consistent even light ageing. The trouble today with Tiffany 60s Rolex is how often they’re imitated or made up in the East. Study the details and do your homework. If you do, it’s a tasty Chanel omelette for your wrist, and that’s not something that’s ever been said before.
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