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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1986
    Reference No: 16550
    Movement No: 1'489'820
    Case No: 9'197'423
    Model Name: Explorer II "Panna"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3085, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 93150, end links stamped 501, max length 185mm. to 220mm. with diver extension
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp with diver extension
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex punched guarantee confirming the sale of the present watch on January 19, 1987 and instructions manual

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex’s Explorer models were watches designed and intended for adventurers. While the Explorer I was marketed to climbers, the Explorer II with its 24-hour graduated bezel and its large luminescent arrow, was intended for those spending extended time in dark environments, such as spelunkers (cave explorers).

    Launched in 1985, the Rolex Explorer II reference 16550 was only in production for less than five years. The reference, especially those fitted with white dials, has become a favorite amongst collectors of Rolex sport watches. Due to a flaw used in the paint used, watches with originally white dials are often seen with pleasing tones that have aged to different shades of ivory, cream, or even a pale beige color, like on the present example. In addition, the dials were made with a glossy, lacquered finish, giving them a porcelain-like look. These have been given the charming nickname of “Panna dial” by Italian collectors, and also feature the desirable “rail”-oriented printing at 6 o’clock. In overall excellent condition with a case that likely has never been refurbished.

  • Artist Biography

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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179

Ref. 16550
A rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with cream "rail" dial, dual time, bracelet and original guarantee

1986
39mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF8,000 - 12,000 
€7,300-11,000
$8,200-12,400

Sold for CHF16,250

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016