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More than anything, the Rolex Explorer II is a timepiece for the collector who craves something a little different from a sport model Rolex.
Unlike Rolex’s most prevalent sports model, the Submariner, the Explorer wasn’t meant for diving—although, as a Rolex, it still boasted an impressive water resistance.
Instead, it was meant for use by speleologists—that is, subterranean explorers. This hearty breed of explorer spends days on end underneath the surface of the earth, without seeing the sky. As such, they are prone to lose track of daytime hours.
To address the needs of these intrepid explorers, Rolex designed a watch with a bold fixed hour hand. The 24-hour hand would point to the appropriate place on the fixed 24-Hour bezel indicating whether it was AM or PM. Essentially, while the original Explorer was designed to go into the clouds, the Explorer II was designed to descend into darkness.
Released in 1971 as a follow-up to the original Explorer made famous by mountaineers in the 1950s, the Explorer II utilized a larger Oyster Case design more in line with the sports models already offered (such as the Submariner and the GMT). In fact, regarding the latter watch, the Explorer II was essentially a GMT Master with one notable difference: a fixed steel bezel was installed in place of the characteristic two-tone from the aviator's model.
Although the Explorer II was produced in far fewer numbers than its Sub and GMT counterparts, it maintains a strong collector following, as it gives the collector the same Rolex quality and construction but with a flair all its own.
This particular Reference 1655 is something of a time capsule. With crisp chamfers on the case and a deliciously-patinated dial, the watch comes complete with inner and outer boxes, punched papers dated November 1980, and instruction manual. It’s the perfect daily companion for all life’s adventures, above or below the ground.
Stainless Steel Oyster Case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1655. Rolex Calibre 1570 Automatic Movement.
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition overall with strong chamfers and the slightest signs of use and wear. Bezel is in likewise excellent condition with minor signs of wear. Dial is in excellent condition with signs of age to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Signed crown. Case back has some signs of wear but is in otherwise very good condition.
Include one 20mm 78360/580 Oyster bracelet.
Also includes inner and outer boxes, punched papers dated 11/10/80, and instruction manual.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options