Rugged enough for mountain climbing adventures, the Explorer will forever be associated with the 1953 Mount Everest expedition, when it accompanied the first successful climbers of the Himalayan summit. Strong, water resistant and able to withstand extreme temperatures, the Explorer is also exotic, luxurious and stylish.
The reference 16550 Explorer II was a short lived watch. Produced only from 1985-1987, the cream dial Explorer II is quite collectable. This dial is also a “rail dial”, giving it extra collectability. The condition of this watch is fantastic. It is also one of the last watches with a serial number without the ‘R’ prefix.
Original stainless steel case measures 40mm in diameter by 12.5mm thick. The 16550 was the first Explorer II to have a sapphire crystal. Screw down crown works perfectly. The bezel is brushed steel with black 24 hour index, and the original bezel on this watch maintains its original factory beveled edge.
Original untouched ivory cream rail dial in perfect condition, as are the original hands. Note that the hour markers on a 16550 are surrounded by white gold rings, versus the black rings on the subsequent (and much higher production) reference 16570.
Original movement is the automatic winding Rolex Caliber 3085 with 27 jewels and adjusted to 5 positions. This movement is a C.O.S.C. Certified Chronometer and is clean and running.
Bracelet is heavy link Rolex Oyster 78790A with solid end-links and flip-lock clasp. The bracelet, like the watch, is in mint condition.
The reference 1655 is the first Explorer II, which was designed for cave explorers. The orange hand makes one sweep of the dial every 24 hours, allowing the wearer to keep on a day/night schedule even in a complete absence of light. For me, the best thing about the 1655 is that no other Rolex looks like it. For such an important vintage Rolex, these watches are still inexpensive.
Original stainless steel case measures 38mm diameter by 13.8mm thick. Original bezel. The case is in excellent condition with full lugs. Crystal is plastic. Original screw down crown operates perfectly. Serial number 4460XXX dates production to 1975.
Original untouched black dial and original hands are mint and perfect. The patina is just the right color, not too white and not too dark. The orange hand is still a vibrant orange which is desirable.
Original movement is the 26 jewel automatic winding Rolex Caliber 1570, which is adjusted to five positions and temperature. This movement is a C.O.S.C. Certified Chronometer. Condition is clean and running.
Rolex heavy link Oyster bracelet with folding clasp.
The Rolex Explorer II reference 1655 was the first Explorer II. It has a unique look in the history of Rolex watches, with its orange colored 24 hour second timezone hand, steel bezel with 24 hour scale and the hands and dial on the 1655 are unique to this model.
Original never polished stainless steel case measures 38mm diameter by 14mm thick. The bezel has an engraved and brush finished 24 hour scale with black numbers and factory sharp edges. Screw down crown is operating perfectly. Plastic crystal. Serial number 7432XXX dates production to 1982, which is late in 1655 production.
Original dial is black with perfectly patinaed luminous hour markers and matching color original hands. Dial is in perfect condition. You can tell this watch is from the last series of 1655 production by the elongated shape of the Rolex coronet on the dial.
Original movement is Rolex Caliber 1570 26 jewel automatic winding caliber, adjusted to five positions and temperature. This movement is a C.O.S.C. Certified Chronometer. Movement is clean and running.
Original bracelet is the heavy link Rolex Oyster reference 78360 with non-flip lock clasp with 12 links.