Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1985
    Reference No: 16550
    Movement No: 1’490’427
    Case No: 8’881’758
    Model Name: Explorer II, “Rail Dial”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 3085, 27 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 78360, endlinks stamped 501B, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped H
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp
    Accessories: Further accompanied by Rolex fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1985, the Rolex Explorer II ref. 16550 was the successor to the ref. 1655 “Freccione” and was only produced for a few years. One of the main characteristics of the reference with white dial variants are the change in hue of the dial to an “ivory” color over time, giving the watch an exemplified vintage appeal.

    With the most sought after examples fitted with a “rail” dial, the term refers to the near perfect alignment of the vertical gap between the two lines of text below. With aligned text, the “Superlative” and “Officially” positioned on the left where “Chronometer” and “Certified” are positioned on the right leaving a near perfect gap in between. The present example bearing an 8’881’XXX serial belongs to the very first production run for the reference in 1985.

    Furthermore, the present reference features white gold applied luminous hour markers and a glossy lacquered dial. The elements were updated to applied black luminous hour makers and no longer in white gold in the latter reference.

  • 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. 16550
A fine and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with “ivory” rail dial, 24-Hour indicator, sweep center seconds, bracelet and presentation box.

Circa 1985
40mm Diameter
Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp

HK$62,000 - 94,000 

Sold for HK$118,750

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019