*Unpolished* 1987 Rolex Explorer II (Ref. 16550) Polar Dial

It seems as though every reference and iteration of the Rolex Explorer II has details that set them drastically apart from one another, making it the Rolex reference that has seen the most drastic evolution through its tenure. From the first and original "orange hand" matte dial ref. 1655, to the modern 42mm produced today and everything in between.

The Rolex Explorer II ref. 16550 is a truly transitional reference, produced from 1984-1989, the 16550 was the experimental stepping stone reference from the 1655 to the 16570 Explorer II models. Featuring the vastly upgraded Rolex cal. 3085 jumping hour movement, the same movement as the GMT-Master II "Fat Lady", a key upgrade in the functionality of the watch And though this reference was only in production for a short period of time, it saw many dial variations and changes, each of which is celebrated in its own right.

Stock # RLXEXP216550-3
Brand Rolex
Style Explorer II
Model 16550
Serial R3XXXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial While "Polar"
Millimeters 40
Bracelet Rolex Oyster 93150 bracelet W/ 501 End Pieces



The exceptionally crisp and well-preserved case appears to remain in unpolished condition, boasting crisp factory chamfers and finishing throughout with only gentle signs of use present. The original stainless steel "fat font" 24-hour bezel is in remarkable condition as well, exhibiting no signs of previous polishing while retaining its factory black enamel with minimal signs of use present. The case back retains its original factory green Rolex sticker. The Rolex 93150 Oyster bracelet retains the original and very rare 501 end pieces and has 11 links that show no stretch and will fit up to a 7 1/4-inch wrist.


The original white dial is in near-perfect condition, showing no apparent damage or age. The tritium lume plots have achieved a deep golden-orange patina and display no degradation under UV light inspection. The original tritium hands have aged a few shades lighter than the dial, which is common in this era, and feature a creamy patina that coordinates with the overall aesthetic of the watch nicely. Under UV light inspection the 24-hour hand shows minor cracking that is only visible under magnification and remains stable, the rest of the hands exhibit no degradation. The white date wheel is original with open 6's and 9's. 


None. The watch is keeping time perfectly, backed by a 1-year warranty on accurate timekeeping.