Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jan 18, 2022

LOT 109

Ref. 1655, Explorer II So Called Steve Mcqueen Stainless-steel

EUR 12,000 - 15,000

USD 13,600 - 17,000 / HKD 106,000 - 134,000 / CHF 12,500 - 15,600

Sold: EUR 22,100

Fine and rare stainless steel self-winding wristwatch with black dial, 24h indicator and date.

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original

Brand Rolex, Geneva

Model Explorer II

Reference 1655

Year 1979

Movement No. D899041

Case No. 6347811

Bracelet Oyster stainless steel ref. 93150, endlink 580 - length 180 mm.

Diameter 40 mm.

Caliber 1570

Signature Case, dial and movement


Hans Wilsdorf loves exploits, as evidenced by the Rolex watches that have equipped many adventurers. He designed and manufactured the Explorer I for Sir Edmund Hillary who decided to climb Mount Everest, "the roof of the world", at an altitude of 8,848 m. Designed to withstand all kinds of challenges, it is robust, reliable, readable and precise. It raises the brand to the rank of iconic myth-maker: a true legend is born, and the manufacturer strikes hard with this historic model.

Then Rolex launched production of the Explorer II in 1971 with the reference 1655. Instead of presenting an improved version of the Explorer I, a brand new model was introduced. A 24-hour steel bezel with a 24-hour scale allows the explorer working underground, mainly speleologists, to distinguish between day and night. For better legibility, there is a central orange 24h indicator hand which Italian dealers call "freccione", from Freccia meaning arrow, and which is most probably a legacy of the taste for extravagant colours of the 1970s. Typical of the 1655 reference, the steel bezel is engraved and enamelled 24 hours with " thin " Arabic numerals.