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Rolex Explorer II Ref. 1655 - 'MK4' Unpolished

Sale price$23,350.00 USD

When is a Rolex GMT not a GMT-Master?

The Rolex Explorer’s core has always been in rugged expedition. While it was originally born out of the Everest celebratory Explorer I - the Explorer II was designed for cave diving. Officially known as spelunking!

The 1655 Explorers were known as ‘Steve McQueen’s' for an alleged relationship with the actor and racer (spoiler: there is no evidence of a connection or that he ever wore one, but the nickname stuck!) and enjoyed a relatively short production run of roughly 13 years. As with nearly all Rolex models during this time, there were numerous changes throughout the production run.

The example that we have here is from circa 1978 and has what we call a 'Mk4' dial. The main difference between a Mk1 and Mk4 is the addition of a lollipop seconds hand, which we feel makes this a little more like ‘Rolex-like’ than the bare, straight seconds hand of the Mk1. The matte black dial is in fantastic overall condition, seemingly free of wear or damage and shows a light, even patina across the Tritium elements. The handset matches perfectly and exhibits very faint fractures in the seconds and 24hr hand — which retains its vibrant orange color. The case is unpolished with thick, symmetrical lugs and visible factory finishing and shows honest wear throughout with one impression on the tip of the top left lug. This example comes fitted to a correct solid-link Oyster bracelet with a blade clasp. 

A strong, well-rounded example of the Reference!

Stainless Steel 1978 Unpolished Automatic 40mm

"As collectors themselves, Oliver and Clarke are on a mission to make buying vintage watches as painless as possible."

"The company focuses on good prices for its pieces, elite customer service and full transparency."

"The appointment-only space is inviting, with comfortable seating areas and exposed brick walls."

From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.

Oliver & Clarke

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