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 (3.3m 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 is unpolished, with thick and even lugs, and original 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 380 endlinks, dated to 1972, and has 12 full links with light stretch; the buckle has an engraving that reads “Dr. Victor Moser. Linz 79-4-62”.
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