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Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088]

15-months Warranty.
Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088] Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979) [ID15088]
360º

Price on request

  • Product ID:
    15088
  • Brand:
    Rolex
  • Model:
    Explorer II
  • Reference:
    1655
  • Year:
    1979
  • Movement:
    Cal. 1570
  • Case material:
    Steel
  • Bracelet:
    78360/ 580/ 13 links
  • Bezel:
    Steel
  • Diameter:
    40mm
  • Glass:
    Plexiglass
  • Dial:
    Black
  • Box:
    No
  • Papers:
    No
  • Serial Number:
    5,61...
  • Clasp Code:
    F
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Product details:

Rolex Explorer II 1655 MK5 “Freccione”/“Steve McQueen” (1979)

*Watch Only*


Pre-owned Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655 with a 40mm stainless steel case, original MK3 fixed graduated 24-hour steel bezel, original black matte MK5 “Freccione” (“Steve McQueen”) dial with Luminova hour, minute, “lollipop” seconds hand and indices, orange GMT hour hand with arrowhead, date indicator at 3 o’clock. Plexiglass crystal. Automatic movement calibre 1570. Oystersteel bracelet with Oysterlock safety deployant clasp.

The very first Explorer II model was the Ref. 1655 released in 1971 and Rolex kept it in production until 1984-1985. In 1984, Rolex introduced its successor: the reference 16550. In this production period of roughly 13/14 years, Rolex only amended small developments. Collectors categorized each of these slight changes into different “Mark/ MK” series. There are about seven different dials and a handful of different bezels. Five dials were produced by Stern, plus two service replacement dials manufactured by Beyeler. It’s important to remember that Rolex was not always the fully in-house manufacturer that is today and that production of components was outsourced to other companies. Therefore, we see variations in the batches of dials and bezels that were supplied. The 5 dials produced by Stern are referred to as the MK 1 to 5. The dials had a large triangle at 12 o’clock and rectangular hour markers at 6 and 9 o’clock. The remaining hour markers sit within the minute track and are essentially extra-bold minute markers. The dial color becomes slightly opaque on its outer edge where intermittent 24-hour markers sit, which are offset from the regular hour markers. It’s a very distinctive look and led some collectors to refer to this dial as the Disco dial due to its resemblance to a 1970’s disco dance floor with flashing square light panels. The different marks are distinguished by the printed text on the dials. This Rolex Explorer II 1655 has the original MK5 dial: the last of the production dials for the 1655. The MK5 had the “T Swiss < 25 T” at the bottom edge of the dial but without serifs on the font. Also, the coronet is narrower with a bigger opening in the oval at the bottom of said coronet (which was reminiscent of the coronets on the Maxi-dial Submariner Ref. 5513). "Lollipop" seconds hand  - because of the luminous filled bubble.

There were also differences in the bezels over the production run. This example has an MK3 bezel: the fonts are thin and centrally positioned on the bezel.

The 1655 Explorer II has 2 nicknames – Freccione (big arrow) and Steve McQueen. “Freccione” means “arrow” in Italian, after the watch’s characteristic large orange arrow-shaped 24-hour hand. Curiously, the 1655 is often associated with “The King of Cool” Steve McQueen. So much so that many refer to it as “The Steve McQueen”, even though not a single picture can be found of him actually wearing the watch! The truth is, that this is probably just rumors as there is no hard evidence that Steve McQueen ever wore or owned any Rolex Explorer II 1655. Steve personally owned a Rolex Submariner Ref. 5512 which he wore on his right wrist.

In a very good condition, with very few signs of use. Watch only (without original box and papers).


Read more about this watch...

A new chapter of the storied history of the Rolex Explorer opened with the release of the Explorer II in 1971. Just like its older sibling (the Explorer "I"), the Explorer II was a professional steel tool watch but bigger and with a very niche application. While its smaller brother sat on the wrists of mountaineers, the Explorer II was designed for the men and women that ventured into the deepest caves and across the far poles. As it is difficult to distinguish between day and night in these places, the watch features an extra hour hand and a fixed 24-hour bezel so that you can always read the correct time.

The Rolex Explorer II 1655 were fitted with the calibres 1570 and 1575, the same movement as the GMT-Master Ref. 1675 of that era that featured the 24-hour hand that indicates AM/PM. This Rolex Explorer II 1655 has the calibre 1570. Whereas the GMT-Master had a rotating bezel, the Explorer II reference 1655 used a fixed 24-hour scale indicator. The Explorer II Ref. 1655 and its famous orange 24-hour hand works in conjunction with the fixed 24-hour bezel to be used as a day/ night indicator.

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