Rolex - Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS Hong Kong Sunday, May 26, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1970
    Reference No: 5500, caseback stamped 1002 & III.71
    Case No: 2’797’436
    Model Name: Explorer
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 7835 & 19, endlinks stamped 357, max length 180 mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 34 mm diameter
    Signed: Dial, case, movement, bracelet signed
    Accessories: With original Rolex guarantee dated 1973, Rolex green fitted presentation box, original invoice stamped by Tom Evans in 1973 and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Explorer is one of the most popular sports watch models, and its popularity has never ceased to increase after Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953 with a Rolex timepiece on his wrist. The reference 5500 was debuted in late 1950s. Traditionally, the 5500 reference number has corresponded to Rolex’s Air-King line of watches. For more than a decade, however, Rolex fitted reference 5500 watches with Explorer dials.

    These reference 5500 Explorer wristwatches also housed the smaller Rolex’s classic “Mercedes” hands. The dial is original, unrestored and in beautiful condition - the original bracelet to the watch, being an Oyster of unfolded construction, is in excellent firm condition which is an added plus. Retailed by a Jeweler in Swansea, Wales, the watch is accompanied by a guarantee, Rolex green box, and an invoice dated 1973.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Ref. 5500, caseback stamped 1002 & III.71
A fine stainless steel wristwatch with sweep center seconds, bracelet, guarantee and presentation box

Circa 1970
34 mm diameter
Dial, case, movement, bracelet signed

HK$40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for HK$87,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS

Hong Kong Auction 27 May 2019