Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, Jun 28, 2020

LOT 250

ROLEX, REF. 16550, EXPLORER II, BLACK PROTOTYPE NIPPLE DIAL, STAINLESS STEEL

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

Brand Rolex

Model Explorer II

Reference 16550

Year Circa 1984

Case No. 8584610

Bracelet Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet (78360/501b) with deployant clasp, approx. overall length 175 mm

Caliber 3085

Dimensions 40 mm.

Signature Dial, Case and Movement

Accessories Rolex service fitted box

CHF 30,000 - 50,000

HKD 240,000 - 400,000 / USD 30,000 - 50,000

Sold: CHF 55,000


Grading System
Grade:
Case: 2-8

Very good

Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-01

Very good

HANDS Original


Notes

Presented in 1985, as the successor of the so called "Steve McQueen" reference 1665 Explorer, it became the first Explorer II to be made in a 40 mm.case and equipped with a sapphire crystal. Made for only four years, most collectors focused their interest on the cream coloured rail dials. The regular production indexes were made of white gold surrounds and hands, it seems that due to the defects from the white dials turning ivory, they switched to black surrounds and hands in the later production run. This example dating from 1984 is probably one of the first examples made and features a prototype dial with "nipple" style indexes similar to the GMT's and a dial signed T Swiss T rather than the Swiss T25. Kept in excellent condition with a perfectly matching patina to the indexes and hands, it is the chance to buy one of the earliest examples known of the explorer II with a prototype dial. In fact to the best of our knowledge there has only even been one other example at auction, see Christies, May 122008, Geneva, lot 217.