Rolex SPACE-DWELLER ref. 1016

The Swiss watchmaker well known partnership in legendary Mount Everest exploration of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The released the Rolex Explorer watch in 1953, in honor of this historic feat, had proved to be a commercial success. Come a decade later, space race was on and so happen in 1963, the astronauts of the Project Mercury spaceflight program embarked on a global goodwill tour with a stop in Japan. The enthusiasm shown by Japanese public is so convincing that Rolex decided to release a watch paying tribute to the explorers of a new frontier: “space explorers”.

However, in 1963 Rolex only released Space-Dweller in very limited quantities, perhaps testing the market response to it. Hence only released the Space-Dweller in Japan as a start. Since the Japanese public was so enthusiastic about the astronauts’ visit, they should be equally receptive to a Rolex watch that paid tribute to this group of professionals.

The Rolex Space-Dweller an Explorer ref. 1016 fitted with a different dial: “SPACE-DWELLER” instead of “EXPLORER” appeared on the dial. Sadly the Space-Dweller never really took off, and as stopped after a few short years; making it one of the rarest vintages around.