Not all vintage Rolex references that are profoundly respected today had effective gatherings when they originally appeared. Simply take a gander at the uber collectable “Paul Newman” Daytona: when these “extraordinary dial” chronographs originally began to show up at vendors, the vast majority thought they were revolting, and some even ventured to such an extreme as to have their colorful, “Paul Newman” dials traded out for standard ones during routine servicing.
In respects to vintage Rolex watches, regularly it is the underlying cold reaction to a specific model that eventually prompts a more noteworthy degree of extraordinariness and allure for future authorities. Today we are investigating the absolute first Rolex Explorer II , and an undisputed top choice of mine: the reference 1655.
The Rolex Explorer II was made explicitly for cavern explorers.
Introducing the Explorer II 1655
In 1971, Rolex presented the absolute first form of the Explorer II: the reference 1655. At the hour of its delivery, Rolex watches were not viewed as the superficial points of interest that they are today, and the Explorer II 1655 was pointed explicitly at speleologists, expected to be significantly more of a ‘instrument watch’ than an extravagance item.
As a company that assembled its standing creating top of the line watches that were seen as things of need instead of premium-evaluated frill, this methodology was especially in-accordance with Rolex’s foundations. The Explorer II 1655 was just at any point made in hardened steel, with positively no strong gold or two-tone alternatives accessible. Furthermore, in the same way as other of Rolex’s different games watches, the reference 1655 Explorer II was solely offered with a dark dial.
The huge orange 24-hour hand on the Explorer II 1655 was proposed to fill in as a conspicuous AM/PM indicator.
The Rolex Explorer II 1655 is fueled by the 26-gem Caliber 1575 movement, and the watch includes various qualities pointed explicitly at cavern investigating. Among these are a date work, a fixed bezel with 24-markings, a 100-meter profundity rating, and a huge, brilliantly shaded 24-hour hand.
The thought behind this one of a kind arrangement of highlights was to make a watch for cavern explorers working for quite a long time in complete murkiness, who Rolex guaranteed would “soon lose all idea of time: morning, evening, day, or night.”
Powering the Rolex Explorer II 1655 is the Caliber 1575 movement.
A 15 Year Production Run
The Rolex Explorer II 1655 experienced generally helpless deals upon its underlying presentation, and stayed underway for around fifteen years until it was stopped in 1985. Its restricted and profoundly explicit objective segment, combined with a dial that numerous authorities at the time considered to be “jumbled” and “indecipherable” upset its notoriety, and generally couple of models were sold.
During its 1971 to 1985 run, the reference 1655 experienced five slight dial changes, four bezel variations, and two distinctive second hands. All progressions were minor; anyway similar to the case with the “Paul Newman” Daytona, none of the progressions figured out how to animate Explorer II deals, and reference 1655 watches waited on seller racks. Indeed, even superstar supports (counting one from the “Ruler of Cool”) missed the mark regarding definitely expanding the ubiquity of the watch.
While it is presently profoundly collectable, the Rolex Explorer II 1655 experienced generally helpless deals when it was first released.
Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen
Both Olympic ski champion, Jean-Claude Killy and entertainer, Steve McQueen had their names related with the Explorer II 1655. The two men were included in various promotions for the watch; anyway Steve McQueen never really wore the reference 1655.
There are numerous photos of McQueen wearing a reference 5512 Submariner, however there are no known photographs of him wearing an Explorer II 1655 – including the photographs that were utilized for the advertisements.
Although it is regularly called the “Steve McQueen” Rolex, the celebrated entertainer never really wore an Explorer 1655 in genuine life.
As it stands today, the Rolex Explorer II 1655 is to some degree a crackpot in Rolex’s set of experiences. It was made unequivocally for cavern explorers, yet advanced by entertainers and expert competitors. Its deals were baffling while underway; anyway it is currently one of the more alluring and uncommon vintage Rolex references.
Even the watch’s surprising dial and unmistakable 24-hour hand – which were recently censured – have now become the characterizing qualities that give the reference 1655 such incentive among vintage authorities. The latest variant of the Rolex Explorer II (the 42mm reference 216750) even ventures to such an extreme as to bring back the enormous, splendid orange, bolt molded 24-hour hand as a gesture to the first form from the mid 1970s.
It appears to be that virtually every watch Rolex makes is a work of art – in any event, when they miss, they hit the imprint… it just may require years and years to get on!
It may have at first been disliked, yet now the Explorer II 1655 is among the most collectable vintage Rolex references.