1/19
Winning Bid

$26,500

44 bids

No reserve
Auction Ended
07/20/21
At Jul 20, 4:00 PM UTC
Lot #1018

Rolex Explorer II Cream Dial 16550

This auction is subject to a 10% buyer’s premium on top of final bid amount (hammer price).

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Introduction

The genesis of the cream colored 16550 are a bit of a mystery. A mistake in the mixing of the laquer perhaps? By design? No matter what you think the origin story is, the cream dial 16550 has become highly sought after. The 16550 was the first sapphire crystal version of the Explorer II, as well as the first Explorer II to become available in an array of dial colors.

Debuting in 1971, the Rolex Explorer II was released to satiate the demand for a relatively niche timepiece for a particular type of explorer, Spelunkers, or cave explorers as we may call them. Made only of steel, the Explorer II's construction ensures that none of its parts might crack or break off against a rock in cramped conditions, such as a bezel insert. With this use in mind, the Explorer II originally featured its iconic arrow-shaped 24-hour hand to differentiate between AP and PM for spelunkers that might lose track of the day and night cycle while they were in caves for days at a time. The modern Explorer II models have had this function exchanged for a fully operational GMT-hand. Featuring its signature fixed stainless-steel bezel, arrow-shaped 2nd hour hand, and robust design, the Explorer II makes for an incredible jack-of-all-trades timepiece as it comprises of just about everything your modern exploring needs might demand. Whether you're 500m under a mountain, 30m underwater, or 10,000m in the air on a trans-Atlantic flight, the Explorer II has you covered.


Loupe This Scorecard

Grade

V 9

Status

Vetted & Approved

Included

Box, Guarantee Paper, Manuals, and Calendar

Est. value range

$15,000 – $25,000

The Details

Brand

Rolex

Dimensions

40mm

Model

Explorer II

Movement

Self-Winding Caliber 3085

Reference

16550

Bracelet

Stainless Steel

Year

1986

Condition

Excellent

Material

Stainless Steel

Included

Box, Papers, Manuals

Dial Color

Cream Dial

THE DIAL

This Explorer II features a beautiful, medium cream-colored dial that is uniform throughout. Note the 'Rail' configuration of the words 'Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified'.

THE BEZEL

The font used on the bezel of the 16550 is quite different from the later Ref. 16570 (which was produced for a much longer period of time). Often overpolished and wearied, this example comparatively has a sharp bezel with clear definition in the engraved numbers and triangles. The original finish still visible.

TIMING MACHINE READOUT

This reading was taken (crown down) with a ONEOF Accuracy Boutique Edition timing machine at time of cataloging. It is provided as a courtesy only, and shall not be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please refer to our terms and conditions of sale for more information.

Condition

The watch is in excellent condition. Case is full and thick, with only minimal surface wear and scratches. Bezel is sharp, and the numbers are still black and clearly visible. Dial surface is glossy and shows no signs of erosion. Original tritium indexes are a light off-white color. There are a few small noticeable areas of discoloration on some of the indexes. The original 78360 bracelet has very little stretch and comes with 12 links.

Our Perspective

Featured here, is what would be considered as the textbook configuration- thick font bezel, rail dial, white gold indexes and nine million serial number, with original box and papers. This fine and complete example of a 16550 Cream Dial would be a trophy for any vintage Rolex collector.

Eric Ku

Co-founder

Thumbnail for Rolex Explorer II Cream Dial 16550
Lot # 1018

Rolex Explorer II Cream Dial 16550

Sold

$26,500

Ended
07/20/21