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    At Bob's Watches, your trust is very important to us. We believe that buying a pre-owned Rolex watch online should be simple, honest, and straightforward. To that end, we guarantee that every Rolex watch on our site is 100% authentic, comprised entirely of Rolex parts. Our mission is to be the leading trusted online source for selling and buying authentic pre-owned Rolex watches. We stand behind this authenticity guarantee with a full money back refund on any watch not found to be completely genuine.

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100% Certified Authentic

Bob's Watches
100% Certified Authentic

At Bob's Watches, your trust is very important to us. We believe that buying a pre-owned Rolex watch online should be simple, honest, and straightforward. To that end, we guarantee that every Rolex watch on our site is 100% authentic, comprised entirely of Rolex parts. Our mission is to be the leading trusted online source for selling and buying authentic pre-owned Rolex watches. We stand behind this authenticity guarantee with a full money back refund on any watch not found to be completely genuine.

BOB’S WATCHES

ROLEX BLOG

The King of Cool, the Color Orange and a Frog’s Foot

November 19, 2015

BY Paul Altieri

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A voyage into the history the Explorer II 1655

Originally released in 1971, the Rolex Explorer II was the brand’s follow-up to their first Explorer collection. Often referred to as the “Freccione”, Italian for arrow, because of its extra hour-hand with an arrow shaped tip, the vintage Rolex ref. 1655 was the first reference in the Explorer II family. It is also often called the “Steve McQueen” Explorer because it was said that the famous actor sported one, however this point is heavily disputed among the Rolex collector community with most claiming it as urban legend.

Steve McQueen's Explorer

The King of Cool was the ambassador for the Rolex Explorer II 1655.

Another point that is often debated is the color of the hour-hand. When the Explorer was first released, its color was orange and some point along the way, Rolex modified it to red. The dates on when the orange was permanently replaced is a point of contention with some claiming mid 70s, while others maintain that the orange hand was still available in the 1980s. Complicating matters is the fading of the color, where red actually fades into orange over the years.

Rolex Explorer II 1655

Rolex Explorer II 1655 kep track of a 24-hour day allowing the users to know what time of day it was without having to see the sun.

 

Regardless of the color, the distinct extra hour-hand was created with certain adrenaline junkies in mind – those that spend plenty of time in grottos, underground, around the poles, and other areas where looking to the sky to distinguish between daylight and nighttime hours is impossible. Instead, the hour-hand points to a 24-hour scale on the bezel fixed onto the 40mm stainless steel case, helping the wearer to differentiate between day and night.

Steve McQueen's Explorer

Rolex Explorer II 1655 comes with an “orange” hand that was once red.

 

The Explorer II 1655 was in production for just under 15 years, from 1971 until 1985. In the earlier editions of the Explorer 1655 the second hand was a straight needle and Rolex updated this with a second hand equipped with a luminescent dot in their later models for increased legibility in the dark. There were also different dial and bezel configurations created throughout the ref. 1655 history.

Two very interesting factors that appeared on the dial over the years included the “Frog Foot” coronet and the “Rail Dial”. The “Frog Foot” coronet refers to a particular shape of the Rolex logo crown where lines thinner, resembling a frog’s foot. The “Rail Dial” is one where the letter “C” in “Chronometer” and “Certified” align perfectly across the two lines of white text, as is the case in this particular Explorer II 1655. On this Rolex 1655 there is also the “T Swiss T” label under the 6 o’clock position to indicate the use of tritium as the luminescent on the watch, which was later changed to “T Swiss <25 T”.

Rolex Explorer II 1655

Rolex Explorer II 1655 have a few small details like the “T SWISS T” that catches attention.

 

During its time, the Explorer II 1655 was not as popular as other Rolex watches. Today, however, it’s a totally different story. The combination of a solid and attractive sports watch, historical ambiguity, urban legend, and interesting design variations has led the ref. 1655 to become a particularity interesting and collectible piece.

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    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.