1977 Rolex Explorer II (Ref. 1655) "Mk. II"

The Rolex Explorer II was first introduced in 1971 as the ref. 1655, and was a professional's tool watch with a very niche application. The Explorer II ref. 1655 and its famous orange 24hr hand works in conjunction with the fixed 24hr bezel to be used as a day/night indicator. This was an extremely necessary application for professionals working in extremely low light environments or environments without consecutive 24hrs of sunlight, where distinguishing the difference between AM/PM would be impossible without the use of an external tool. 

Sometimes the Rolex Explorer ref. 1655 is referred to as the Steve McQueen Explorer. But the truth is that this a total myth as Steve never wore one and or owned one. Steve personally owned a Rolex 5512 which he wore on his right wrist as well as a Heuer Monaco but never did he wear the Explorer ref 1655. Interestingly though, Jean-Claude Killy, a former Rolex Ambassador, and gold medalist skier was often seen sporting a Rolex ref. 1655 Explorer II. Jean-Claude Killy is also more notably known for wearing a Rolex ref. 6036 Dato-Compax.

Brand Rolex
Style Explorer II
Model 1655
Serial 54XXXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Matte Black "Mk II"
Millimeters 40
Bracelet Rolex 78360 Oyster Bracelet W/ 580 End Pieces



The strong case has been lightly polished in the past and retains full symmetrical lugs that feature slight chamfers and light signs of honest use. The original Mk. II stainless steel 24hr bezel is in excellent condition as well and retains some of its original black enamel. The case back features a faint engraving that reads "R.B.R." The later Rolex 78360 Oyster bracelet with 580 end pieces retains 12 links that exhibit only minimal stretch from use.


The matte black Mk. II "frog foot" dial is in flawless original condition, showing no blemishes or signs of age. The tritium lume plots have achieved a beautiful creamy patina and display no degradation when inspected under U.V. light. The original tritium hands match the dial perfectly and exhibit no degradation under U.V. light inspection. The metallic date wheel is era correct with open 6's and 9's.


None. The watch was recently serviced and is running at COSC spec, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.