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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1984
    Reference No: 16550
    Movement No: 1’063’268
    Case No: 8’470’345, inside caseback stamped 16550
    Model Name: Explorer II
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3085, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped “78360”, endlinks stamped “501”, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “J8”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex guarantee stamped Showa Tokei Yokohama dated 12th June 1985, instruction manual, product literature, 1984-1985 calendar card, hang tags, green card holder, Rolex Japan service invoice, outer packaging and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced by Rolex during the mid-1980s, the Explorer II ref. 16550 succeeded the first Explorer II ref. 1655 “Freccione”. Regarded as a transitional reference, the newly introduced model featured certain distinctive upgrades such as a sapphire crystal and a newly implemented cal. 3085 with independent adjustment of the 24-Hour hand. Only in production for a mere four years before being replaced by the ref. 16570, the ref. 16550 has become a highly sought after vintage Rolex sports model, especially examples with a “cream” dial.

    Introduced with two variants, a white and a black dial, some examples fitted with white dials have witnessed a colour changing defect turning the originally white dial to “cream” over time. These examples are certainly rare demanding premiums over its regular white and black counterparts. Extremely attractive with a heightened vintage aura, the present example Rolex Explorer II ref. 16550 with a “cream” rail dial with an 8.3 million serial from circa 1984 is perhaps one of the earliest examples of the reference featuring the rare trait. Offered in excellent overall condition and accompanied by the full set of accessories, this present timepiece is a fantastic opportunity for vintage Rolex collectors to add a beautiful specimen of the rare reference to their collection.

  • 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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979

Ref. 16550
A very fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, date, “cream” rail dial, 24-hour indication, bracelet, guarantee and presentation box

Circa 1984
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$120,000 - 200,000 
€12,600-21,000
$15,400-25,600

Sold for HK$302,400

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2031
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021