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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1986
    Reference No: 16550
    Movement No: 1’063’321
    Case No: 9’197’601, 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 “K5”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex guarantee dated 29th September 1986 stamped Gioielleria Rizzo, instruction manual, product literature, green passport holder, hang tag, outer packaging and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Explorer ref. 16550 was initially released to the market in 1985, succeeding the ref. 1655 “Freccione”. Fitted with a 24-hour metallic bezel, the reference was most notorious for its white examples where the dial would develop a creamy “ivory” hue at random. One of the most notable upgrades of the ref. 16550 was the introduction of the sapphire crystal replacing the old plexiglas crystal. Early examples of the reference featured applied white gold luminous indexes while later examples featured blackened applied indexes (like the ref. 16570) which changed its appearance completely.

    The present example from circa 1986 with a "cream" rail dial belongs to an early example of the reference featuring applied white gold luminous indexes. Furthermore, the dial has aged and developed a desirable creamy hue enhancing its vintage appeal dramatically. Accompanied by the original certificate and presented in unpolished condition, this present example is a great acquisition to start your vintage Rolex 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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993

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

Circa 1986
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$252,000

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