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The Ultimate Sports Rolex – The Explorer II Reference 1655

The Ultimate Sports Rolex – The Explorer II Reference 1655

The extreme toolwatch – the Rolex Explorer II, focused on speleologists and cavern explorers.

Some time back, Michael Stockton composed very much a ‘love letter’ (as one of our perusers wrote in the comments) on the Rolex Explorer 1016 . While the reference 1016 Explorer was being created effectively in 1963 and kept underway for a very long time, Rolex presented another Explorer in 1971. The Explorer II. This watch plant was not a replacement of the Explorer 1016, but rather an extra watch with an extra capacity. The Explorer II was focused on speleologists or cavern adventurers, who could lose the feeling of time during their work. At the point when you are not presented to sunshine, it’s attainable to forget about time and whether you are winding up working during the day or night. I truly can’t envision this, however on the other hand, I’ve never ended up in that situation.

Rolex Explorer

The Explorer watch processing plant were shown in their conventional manual as Type I and Type II. Where Type II accompanied the extra (24) hour hand, 24-hour scale bezel and, let’s not disregard that, a date. Both were chronometer appraised watch processing plant and water impervious to 100 meters.  Explorers, regardless of the form, were tough watch production line that capable of the individuals who got a kick out of the chance to explore.

Explorer II Reference 1655

Rolex kept the Explorer II reference 1655 underway until around 1984/1985. In 1984, Rolex presented its replacement, the reference 16550. In this creation time of approximately 13/14 years, Rolex just corrected little changes. Authorities ordered every one of them in various ‘Mark’ arrangement. There are around 7 unique dials and a modest bunch of various bezels. Italian gatherer Stefano Mazzariol did a , so go thump yourself out.

1655 and 1675

The Explorer II had a similar development as the GMT-Master reference 1675 around then, type 1575. This development included the 24-hour hand that shows AM/PM. Though the GMT-Master had a turning bezel, the Explorer II reference 1655 utilized a fixed 24-hour scale pointer. Cavern pilgrims just need to know, for instance, regardless of whether it is 7:00 or 19:00 and the huge orange hand demonstrates this for them.

Funky Dial

When I found the opportunity to mess with this Rolex Explorer II reference 1655 for some time (indeed, I had it borrowed for about a year!) I was very energized. You need to realize that of all Rolex watch factorys the Explorer assortment is among my top picks (just as the GMT-Master) and the Explorer II 1655 has consistently appraised as high on my list of things to get to attempt to test. One of the principal things I saw was that the dial is kinda odd. In particular, I realized that the hour and moment markers were somewhat odd, however I didn’t understand the impact of this during typical wear.

As you can see, the hour and moment markers are very OK. At regular intervals there is a fat hour marker and on the 12, 6 and 9 there is some additional punch to them. Notwithstanding, the 24-hour scale has been lined up with an additional arrangement of hour markers (or you can consider them to be half-hour markers), to which the enormous orange hand focuses. I discover this to be very diverting and it was hard for me to become acclimated to this dial and I don’t know I really did.

Fat Case

The Rolex Explorer reference 1655 has an intriguing case. Where I locate my own Rolex GMT-Master 1675 to wear very ‘thin’, this Explorer II wears in an unexpected way. It’s even one of a kind versus the Sea-Dweller and Submariner watch plant I recently claimed. Likewise, the watch manufacturing plant estimates 39mm in distance across, which is a slight bit more modest than the others I referenced. It’s very thick, so the measurements summarize to what exactly wants to wear an extremely compact and strong treated steel watch production line which it is obviously. Much the same as the out of control dial, this required some an ideal opportunity to get utilized to.

Explorer II Collector’s Market

The watch industrial facility simply shouts ‘1970’s’ and I love that. The huge orange hand, the strange moment and hour tracks and the burdensome case. Everything adds up. They say that the Rolex Explorer II reference 1655 wasn’t a well known watch production line while it was delivered. That is presumably evident, however I likewise read that the watch plant wasn’t showcased very well on a worldwide level. I can’t confirm this, however what I can be sure of is, that you just needed to open a National Geographic Magazine of the 1970’s and you’d see an Explorer II promotion inside.

Whether it was the 1970’s plan or individuals being new to this Rolex Explorer II reference 1655, it wasn’t a major merchant. You don’t see them available to be purchased regularly and the ones offered on Chrono24, for instance, bring high prices.


As consistently, the condition is everything with vintage Rolex. Costs on the used market fluctuate a considerable amount. On the lower end, you will discover generally those Explorer II reference 1655 models that have been essentially exhausted). Features are gone on the carries more often than not and those watches simply investigate cleaned. A fine model that actually has those huge aspects on the hauls and a lovely dial fetch very nice costs these days.

The new Explorer II

In 1984, when Rolex presented the Explorer II reference 16550, the watch industrial facility got a serious make-over. With this adaptation, it had a superior fit with the other Rolex sports models like the Submariner, GMT-Master and Sea-Dweller. The case measurements were equivalent, the dial configuration was in accordance with the others and it got another development, the Rolex type 3085. This development highlighted a twofold extension and the additional hour hand could be set freely, similar to the Rolex GMT-Master II. Additionally, Rolex chose to make this model accessible with either a dark or a white dial similar as we are utilized to from the Daytona. The hands likewise changed to the renowned ‘Mercedes’ plan. Albeit this model and its later replacement (16570) were most likely preferred venders over the reference 1655, they don’t have a similar faction status as the original Explorer II reference 1655.

In 2011, 40 years after the underlying Rolex Explorer II reference 1655, the new Explorer II was presented during BaselWorld. It showed up in a 42mm case (recall that most other Rolex sports models actually have 40mm cases) and the enormous orange hand was back on the dial! Rolex made a point to get all advancements installed this new Explorer II 216570, for example, the new Oyster wristband with Easylink framework, Paraflex safeguard, 904L steel and the most recent type 3187 movement.  once more, it was made accessible with either a white or dark dial. 5 years after its presentation, it is protected to say that it still isn’t a business entertainer like the Submariner or GMT-Master II, however you do see them in the substance occasionally.

Some Thoughts

Although I offered a few remarks about the thickness of the watch production line and the particular looking blend of (2) hour and moment markers, the Explorer II reference 1655 didn’t baffle. It is still pretty much as otherworldly as I suspected it would be and it’s truly just an issue of having the correct degree of assets for one. As referenced, anybody, yet a decent one, as I accept the fun in these pieces is in possessing one that has the pleasant slants on the hauls and a respectable looking dial. The new Rolex Explorer II 216570 can be viewed as a substitute, yet I don’t think it is. It is an extraordinary current watch industrial facility and I am struggling settling on adding either the Explorer II or the new Explorer 39mm to my own assortment eventually. The impacts from the Explorer II reference 1655 make it an alluring watch manufacturing plant in fact. Another choice, that additionally turned into a top choice of mine, is the Rolex Explorer II 16570 with a white dial. Ideally with tritium markers and hands, somewhat turned yellow for a decent difference with the white dial. I’m stunned that these can in any case be found for generally ‘normal’ costs, compared to any remaining current games Rolex watch factorys Something to think about.

More data through the  website.

*This article was distributed first in August 2016, yet we refreshed the pictures and a few pieces of the content for today’s distribution (April 24th 2019).

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