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 (3.0m 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 lugs are thick and even, possibly lightly polished in the past (or just worn from use), with original bevels visible. The dial is beautiful, almost flawless, with some light tool marks only visible under a loupe near the base of the hands. The original lume is present in both the hands and dial markers, having aged to a vibrant yellow color. The watch comes equipped on a Rolex C&I Rivet bracelet, dated to 1973, with 11 full links and no stretch.