View full screen - View 1 of Lot 634. Retailed by Tiffany & Co.:   'Rail Dial' Explorer II, Ref. 16550   Stainless steel wristwatch with 24-hour indication, date and bracelet  Circa 1987.
634

Rolex

Retailed by Tiffany & Co.: 'Rail Dial' Explorer II, Ref. 16550 Stainless steel wristwatch with 24-hour indication, date and bracelet Circa 1987

VAT applies to hammer price and buyer's premium

Estimate:

26,000 - 35,000 CHF

Rolex

Rolex

Retailed by Tiffany & Co.: 'Rail Dial' Explorer II, Ref. 16550 Stainless steel wristwatch with 24-hour indication, date and bracelet Circa 1987

Retailed by Tiffany & Co.: 'Rail Dial' Explorer II, Ref. 16550 Stainless steel wristwatch with 24-hour indication, date and bracelet Circa 1987

Estimate:

26,000 - 35,000 CHF

Lot sold:

52,920

CHF

Rolex

 

Retailed by Tiffany & Co.:

'Rail Dial' Explorer II, Ref. 16550

Stainless steel wristwatch with 24-hour indication, date and bracelet

Circa 1987

 

Dial: cream, 'rail'

Calibre: cal. 3085 automatic, 27 jewels

Case: stainless steel, screw-down back

Case number: 9’467’214

Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp

Dimensions: 40 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 185 mm

Signed: case, dial and movement 

Box: no 

Papers: no

Accessories: none

MVT: is running at the time of cataloguing and the date advancing.

CASE: in overall good condition chip to crystal at 9 ‘clock

DIAL: in excellent condition


Please note: Condition 16 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.

Designed with a 24-hour bezel and a luminous 24-hour red “GMT” hand, the Rolex Explorer II reference 16550 is a watch that was produced to cater for cave divers who spent long periods of time in dark environments, who might not have daylight to help differentiate night-time from day-time. Manufactured for only four or so years in the late 1980’s it is one of the shortest produced references in the Rolex catalogue.


The present example of the reference 16550 features an uncommon 'rail dial' which refers to the spacing between the text "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified", creating a visual break between the wording.


This watch is further distinguished by its double signed dial. This particular example is signed Tiffany & Co and incredibly sought after by collectors and comes from the son of the original owner, who purchased it in the late 1980’s at Tiffany & Co New York. In addition to this the dial has aged into a warm creamy hue due to the paint fault found across the white “polar” dials from this Rolex reference.

 

For a watch to have even one of these accolades is enough to interest any collector, but to carry an interesting text variation, a sought after dealer signature and a factory dial with a paint defect all in one piece is a real rarity and near unheard of.

 

A similar example of 16550 (without the rail dial variation) was sold by Sotheby’s in July 2020 in Hong Kong, as part of the Important Watches sale.