Explorer II, Ref. 1655
A Stainless Steel Wristwatch with Bracelet, Circa 1984
Caliber: Cal. 1575 automatic, 26 jewels
Case: stainless steel, screw-down back
Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp
Dimensions: 39 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 180 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Case numbers: ref. 1655 / serial: 8096397
Originally developed in 1971 for cave explorers, the Explorer II ref. 1655 is the first reference in this family of Rolex watches. The Explorer 1655 is often referred to by the nickname “Freccione” (Italian for “arrow”) thanks to its prominent arrow-tipped orange 24-hour hand. By pointing to the fixed 24-hour marked bezel, the orange 24-hour hand serves as a prominent AM/PM indicator; practical for those who spend extended periods deep inside caves. This watch features a matte black MK5 dial along with a stainless steel Oyster case and Oyster bracelet. The dial design of the Explorer II 1655, which includes pencil hands, a prominent minute track, and plenty of luminous details, is markedly different from other Rolex sports watches to better lend itself to a 24-hour display. Rolex produced the ref. 1655 until 1985, and all subsequent Explorer II references differ quite significantly in both style and functionality, which further fuels the collectability of this particular vintage Rolex reference.
This ref. 1655 Explorer II dates back to approximately 1984. The original MK5 matte black dial is in superb condition and the luminous material on the hands and hour markers has developed a matching cream colored patina. The watch and bracelet are in excellent overall condition and are free from all significant marks and damage.
Sotheby’s Watches Department is pleased to offer Condition Reports to potential purchasers. A Condition Report is an opinion describing the lot in more detail with regard to, but not limited to the general condition, quality of the watches and/or other relevant information.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome). Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact by Sotheby's). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species. Please be advised that wristbands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS (ONLINE ONLY).