1954 Rolex Pre-Explorer (Ref. 6352) "Ovettone"

The Rolex Explorer didn’t actually start its life as an Explorer, but as a dial variant of other Rolex dress watch references, commonly referred to as the “big bubble backs” or “Ovettone”. The Explorer was created in commemoration of Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay making the first summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. During their summit, Sir Edmund Hillary wore a Rolex “Ovettone” reference 6352, a reference that is now deemed a Pre-Explorer, with a very unique dial variant that didn’t have the iconic 3-6-9 dial that is so synonymous with the Explorer I today. The dial on Sir Edmund Hillary’s ref. 6352 featured a closed minute track, classic triangle markers, and a very unique extra lume plot above the 12 o’clock marker. 

We are proud to offer this Rolex Pre-Explorer ref. 6352 “Ovettone” that features a very similar dial variant to the watch Sir Edmund Hillary worn himself during the first summit of Mt. Everest. Though this watch does show some age, it is presented in beautiful original condition and offers some serious collectibility. Perfect for the enthusiast of the amazing history of the Rolex brand and the accomplishments of the great humans that wore Rolex watches.

Stock # RLXEXP6352
Brand Rolex
Style Pre-Explorer
Model 6352
Serial 38XXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial White "Aged"
Millimeters 36
Bracelet 2pc Handmade Leather Strap



The wonderful 36mm oyster case is exceptionally well preserved and retains very thick lugs that are symmetrical in presence. The smooth stainless steel bezel is also very well preserved and shows no major signs of wear. The case retains its original Brevet (+) screw-down crown. The case back is adorned with the engraving "Vanderlito M. Figueiró". The watch will come supplied on a 2pc handmade leather strap. 


 The original "OCC" matte white dial features a closed minute track, triangle markers, and an applied Rolex logo, the dial does show some aging towards its center due to the radium lume on the hands. The original radium lume plots all remain intact, including the extra plot above the 12 o'clock marker, and has aged consistently to a handsome creamy coloration, under U.V. light inspection there is some light degradation throughout which is to be expected. The original radium lume alpha hands match the dial nicely, under U.V. light inspection the minute hand shows some light lume loss and remains stable, the hour hand remains fully intact.


None. The watch is keeping time perfectly, previous service history is unknown.