ROLEX EXPLORER II 1655 MK2 'UNPOLISHED'

Regular price £20,995
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ROLEX EXPLORER II 1655 MK2 'UNPOLISHED'

Black
  • London Showroom

    Pickup available, usually ready in 2-4 days

    35/37 Ludgate Hill
    London EC4M 7JN
    United Kingdom

    +442072481321

FULLY AUTHENTICATED
PART EXCHANGE AVAILABLE
12 MONTH WARRANTY
FREE WORLD WIDE SHIPPING

THE ESSENTIALS

MAKE: ROLEX
MODEL: 1655
YEAR: 1974
BOX/PAPERS: NO/NO
CASE DIAMETER: 39mm
CASE MATERIAL: STAINLESS STEEL
BRACELET MATERIAL: STAINLESS STEEL
MOVEMENT: AUTOMATIC

The 1655 Explorer II needs no introduction, considered by many collectors to be the ultimate Explorer model, and for good reason. This model, the very first Explorer II, was introduced in 1971 and produced for approximately 15 years. Similar to the Paul Newman and the exotic dials, this watch wasn’t particularly popular at the time. While most models were elegant and simple, this one was often described as “cluttered” and “illegible” by collectors and writers alike.

The 1655, however, was designed for a very specific target market. It was aimed at cave explorers who, when working underground for long periods in darkness, could lose their sense of time, even distinguishing between day and night. The introduction of the 24-hour bezel and large luminous 24-hour hand addressed this niche issue, and its rugged case made it a perfect wrist companion for any adventure.

Curiously, this watch carries the nickname “Steve McQueen” because he was depicted wearing the 1655 in various commercial adverts, although he never personally wore one. He was more often seen with a 5512 Submariner.

Fast forward 50 years, and the model has gained significant traction among Rolex collectors and vintage enthusiasts. The 1655 is becoming one of the hardest watches to source due to the aforementioned reasons and because they were owned by people who used them for their intended purpose. Finding complete and original examples in great condition is increasingly difficult.

This particular piece dates to 1974 and features the Mk2 'Frog Foot' coronet dial and Mk2 bezel, perfectly aligned with this serial. The original 7836/380 oyster bracelet, stamped 2/72 denoting its manufacture in 1972, comes with full links, although two are detached from the bracelet.

The movement is performing exceptionally well after its recent service, including a mainspring replacement, running at -1 second per day, with an amplitude of 265 and a beat error of 0.1.

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