facebook pixel
Free 1-Day Shipping close
  • Watch Certification Services of America100% Certified Authentic


    The Trusted Name in Authenticated Luxury Timepieces

    Every watch on our site is 100% certified authentic. Certificates are issued by WatchCSA, the industry's leading independent authority on watch authentication.

Low Price Guarantee
Low Price Guarantee

Bob's Watches is dedicated to always offering the best value to our customers. We will match the price, at the time of purchase, on a Low Price Guarantee product if you find the same item at a lower price at a Designated Major Online Retailer.

Here's how:

  • If you find a qualifying lower price online, call 1-800-494-3708 and direct a customer service agent to the web site with the lower price.
  • On qualifying products, Bob's Watches will then verify the current price to complete the price match.

Purchase price shown is the cash wire price, and any payment method fees such as credit card fees, PayPal fees, Amazon fees, etc, will be added to the transaction total. Prices may be higher if other payment methods are selected. Some exclusions apply. See the list of Designated Major Online Retailers and full details.

Free Overnight Delivery
Free Shipping Guarantee

Free priority overnight shipping on all orders applies to U.S. orders only.

Unlike many other websites that have special rules and lots of fine print , Bobswatches.com offers free shipping on all domestic orders placed on our website, with no minimum order size or special exceptions. Just because shipping is free doesn’t mean it should take a long time. Bobswatches.com understands that getting your item quickly is important to you, so we make every effort to process your order as quickly as possible.


A rare and "fresh-to-market" Rolex Explorer 1655 in stainless steel
Auction Ended
26 Bids
Reserve Met
Auction Ended On
June 15, 2020
Lot 7
Starting Bid: $15,000
Estimate: $15,000 to $25,000
Manufacturer: Rolex
Year: Circa 1978
Model Name:
Reference: 1655
Case Serial Number:
Condition: Excellent condition. 
Material: Stainless Steel
Bracelet: Stainless steel fold over oyster bracelet. 
Item Number: 131147
Movement:        Cal. 1570, manual-winding, 26 jewels.
Signed Case, dial, movement, and bracelet.

Rolex Explorer 1655 "Steve Mcqueen" Stainless Steel

Bob's does NOT charge a buyer's premium – what you bid is what you pay.

Condition Report


Excellent original and clean matte black tritium "Rail Dial" with creamy markers and matching hands.


Excellent original stainless steel case that has previously been polished in the past with light wear from use. Serial and reference numbers are crisp and well defined. Inner caseback is stamped 1655. 


Excellent original stainless steel bezel with light wear from use. 


Excellent original 9315 stainless steel fold over oyster link bracelet with 10 links and 380 end links. Bracelet has moderate stretch rom use. Clasp is stamped with a "B" date code. 

Box and Papers

Bob's presentation box, Certificate of Authenticity, and warranty card. 

Catalog Essay:

While the original Rolex Explorer collection was first introduced in 1953, it was a time-only watch and did not possess any specific features or complications that would make it suited for any one type of sport or environment. In 1971, Rolex launched the Explorer II, which was to be offered alongside the classic Explorer, as a complimentary watch model aimed specifically at cave explorers.

The very first Rolex Explorer II was the reference 1655, and the watch represented a significant departure from the original Explorer watch. Fitted with a fixed stainless steel bezel that was marked with a 24-hour scale, and an additional bright orange, arrow-shaped 24-hour hand, the original Rolex Explorer II 1655 was intended to serve as an AM and PM reference for cave explorers operating for extended periods of total darkness. To aid in this task, the ref. 1655 Explorer II was fitted with a unique dial that could be used to read both 12-hour and 24-hour times. Nicknamed the 'Steve McQueen' (even though the famous Hollywood actor never actually wore one in real life), the reference 1655 represents the oldest and most desirable model among all Rolex Explorer II references.

Production of the Rolex Explorer II 1655 lasted until the mid 1980s, meaning that all examples of this reference will be fitted with matte dials. With that in mind, some variation exists among ref. 1655 dials, and this particular example from 1978 is fitted the rare ‘rail dial’ style, which can only be found on Explorer II and Sea-Dweller models from the late 1970s, and that features different spacing for its chronometer-certification text, than both older and later-era reference 1655 Explorer II dials.

By 1985, Rolex had discontinued the ref. 1655 Explorer II and replaced it with a model that more closely resembled its GMT-Master collection, making the reference 1655 entirely unique. The ref. 1655 is the only Rolex Explorer II to feature an acrylic crystal, the only model to feature a matte dial, the only one with a case diameter under 40mm, and the only Explorer II without an independently adjustable 24-hour hand. Truly unique and unlike any other Rolex watch, the reference 1655 represents Rolex’s original vision for its Explorer II collection.


MOVEMENT: Movement is functioning. Watch comes with a Bob's Watches one year warranty. 

Auction Terms & Conditions | Bob's Watches | (800) 494-3708 | Bond # 72BSBHE9842

* The money you spend bidding on items you receive at auction is not tax deductible. Please consult your accountant for all tax related questions or deduction qualifications and bid accordingly.


"The most trusted place to buy or sell a used luxury timepiece" – WSJ

  • AWCI
  • Jewelers Board of Trade
  • IWJG
  • TrustLock
  • Spirit of Enterprise
  • PayPal Verified
  • Inc 500
  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • The Hartford
Are you on the list? Subscribe for the latest Rolex news

Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Scroll to Top