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The Rolex Explorer II debuted in 1971, given the Reference 1655, and was an extension of Rolex’s Explorer line, creating a rugged sports watch, also featuring a GMT function. This GMT function is delineated by the addition of the “Freccione” or orange hand. This watch was popularized for its use by the famous actor, Steve McQueen. The present example is an MK1 (first execution) Explorer II, produced circa 1972 (3.1m serial), nicknamed also the “straight hand”, as it used a straight/stick seconds hand for the first iteration of this model, later changed to a lumed seconds hand.
This Rolex Explorer II in great vintage condition. The case has been polished in the past, but the lugs are thick and even, and have nicely beveled edges. The dial is beautiful, with no visible flaws. The original lume is present in both the hands and dial markers, having aged to a nice yellow color. The watch comes equipped on a Rolex Swiss folded-link 7836 bracelet with 280 endlinks, dated to the 3rd quarter of 1970, and has 12 full links and in excellent condition with no stretch.
Date, GMT, Time
Rolex Explorer II, Ref. 1655