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Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16570 - 'Chicchi Di Mais' - Box & Papers


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!

While the initial run of Explorer II, the Reference 1655, or 'McQueen' (spoiler: there is no evidence of a connection or that he ever wore one, but the nickname stuck!) had black dials with orange accents, while later iterations like the Ref. 16570 added a white dial to the mix. These are commonly referred to as ‘Polar’ dials and they are among the most striking Rolex dials of the last 40 years or so, due to their monochromatic scheme with gloss white dials and black outer lume rings.

So What is Chicchi di Mais?

In Spanish, this means ‘Corn Kernel’ which describes the extremely attractive way a small run of these early 'Polar' Explorer II watches aged in the early 1990s — where the lume plots resemble bright yellow corn kernels!

Dial aside, this example dating to circa 1991 features an excellent case, bezel, and matching Oyster bracelet. The Ref. 16570 may just be the last truly great value in sport-Rolex, offering both an iconic sports model with proper pedigree, a 'full-size' case, and a GMT-function for right around what a new model costs. And we all know which looks better....

As if this watch alone wouldn't be enough to enjoy, this piece comes with its boxes, booklets, and papers dating to 1992. 


*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting.

Stainless Steel 1991 Automatic Sport

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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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