Rolex Explorer II 1655 'Mk 2 / Frog Foot'

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We acquired the perfect watch right in time for your upcoming polar expedition!

If you plan on visiting the far North in the coming months you’ll be battling darkness as the Sun doesn’t rise there for months on end. The Rolex Explorer II was made to address this very problem. The Explorer II features an extra 24-hour hand and an engraved 24-hour scale bezel so that the wearer can easily distinguish between day and night. 

This ref. 1655 dates back to 1973 and features a second series dial matte black dial with painted tritium indexes. A characteristic feature of these Mk 2 dials is the pronounced Rolex coronet with its splayed figure and more heavier dots on the tips, earning it the moniker ‘Frog’s Foot’ among collectors. To assist with the watch’s 24-hour display, the dial features 12-hour as well as 24-hour markings. Small rectangles outside the minute track correspond with the 24-hour hand. To further legibility, the 1655 features a funky triangle-shaped orange 24-hour hand, which collectors refer to as ‘Freccione’ or ‘big arrow’.

One of the most enamoring aspects of the ref. 1655 is that it sports a mid-sized case, measuring in at a diameter of 38 mm. As a result, the watch wears very well, even on the smaller-wristed among us.

This ref. 1655 is in excellent condition as we acquired it from its very first owner, a Dutchman who bought the watch in Saudi Arabia in 1976. The owner had his last name as well as his blood type engraved on the caseback; a cool detail if you ask us. That very name can be found on the original papers that accompany the watch together with the original box.

Introduction

Rolex Explorer IIA new chapter in the storied history of the Rolex Explorer opened with the release of the Explorer II in 1971. Just like its older sibling, the Explorer I, the Explorer II was a sturdy steel toolwatch but bigger and more outspoken. While its smaller brother sat on the wrists of mountaineers, the Explorer II was designed for the men and women that ventured into the deepest caves and across the far poles. As it is difficult to distinguish between day and night in these places, the watch features an extra hour hand and a fixed 24-hour bezel so that you can always read the correct time. But don’t worry, even if you spend most of your time in the inhabited world this awesome watch is the perfect wrist companion!Ref. 1655The very first Explorer II model was the ref. 1655 released in 1971. This early reference was fitted with the calibers 1570 and 1575, the same movements as the GMT-Masters of that era, and featured a funky design typical for the early 1970s.This reference is best known by its nickname ‘Freccione,’ which means arrow in Italian after the watch’s characteristic orange arrow-shaped 24-hour hand. Curiously, the 1655 is often associated with the ever so cool Steve McQueen. So much so that many refer to it as the “the Steve McQueen,” even though not a single picture can be found of him actually wearing the watch!

Specifications

Shipping

Packages are generally dispatched within 2 days after receipt of payment and are shipped within the Netherlands by Registered Mail through the Dutch carrier PostNL and for other countries by Fedex. Consult us if you prefer another method of shipping. For most destinations tracking is available.