A fine and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black glossy dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1965
    Reference No: 5500 stamped 1002 and IV.65 inside the caseback
    Case No: 1'354'190
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted Oyster bracelet, end links stamped 57 and 357, max length 200mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp stamped 1.65
    Dimensions: 33mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Research suggests that 14 Rolex reference models, both vintage and modern, were assigned to the “Explorer” line. Of this group, the reference 5500 may be the most unusual since it is a hybrid watch. Rolex, like most brands, built upon early successes and often made subtle changes to a timepiece, gracefully evolving predecessor models. The reference 5500 is a crossover watch composed of an “Air King” case, but fitted with the classic 3-6-9 Explorer dial. Rolex produced two variations of the 5500: the “Precision” with the caliber 1520 and the “Super Precision” with the chronometer-certified caliber 1530.

    Manufactured from 1958 until 1967, the present example with a caliber 1520 and correct “Precision” signature dates to 1965. The present lot is an interesting and uncommon example of the Explorer, offering great value for fans of vintage Rolex sports models.

  • Maker Bio

    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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Rolex

Ref. 5500 stamped 1002 and IV.65 inside the caseback
A fine and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black glossy dial and bracelet

1965
33mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF3,500 - 4,000 
€3,200-3,700
$3,600-4,100

sold for CHF6,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016