Up for sale is an Explorer II with a lovely “Polar” dial, a red GMT hand for a second time zone, and the Rolex 3185 automatic movement. The Explorer II was originally released in 1971 under the now famous reference 1655. It was unlike any Rolex at the time, with a busier and more “tool-ish” dial that was designed for cave-dwelling speleologists and potholers. The 24-hour hand and fixed bezel allowed wearers to track the time of day as they spent long periods exploring underground worlds void of any daylight. Perhaps in an effort to appeal to a wider audience, Rolex simplified the design of the watch in the 1980s with the introduction of the references 16550 and 16570. The dial now resembled that of a Submariner with an additional white “Polar” colorway that was quite notable given how few white dial sport watches Rolex had produced over the years. While the Explorer II continued to be a dark horse in the Rolex lineup, the “Polar” dial became a fan-favorite and is now generally the more sought after version.
Rolex 78790A stainless steel bracelet with 801 end links and DE7 clasp code
Max Wrist Size:
7.5in (13 links)
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The case shows minimal signs of wear with a few small scratches and light nicks present, the most notable of which is on the case side at 2 o'clock. The lugs are thick and sharp with well-defined chamfers. The case back is squeaky clean and practically flawless with excellent contrast between brushed and polished surfaces. The bezel retains its brushed finishing and shows little wear outside of some scratching at the 12 and 24 hour markers. All number engravings are crisp and fully filled in black.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The dial is perfect with no signs of aging and fully functioning Super-LumiNova. The original painted finish of the hands remains intact with no imperfections. There is a very small nick to the edge of the crystal at 1 o’clock, but otherwise it’s scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The Rolex 78790A stainless steel bracelet shows very little stretch and wear. The brushed finishing remains intact. Two of the links on the 12 o’clock side show a little more scratching than the rest. The clasp is clean and scratch-free. The clasp code DE7 matches the year of the case number, and the 801 solid end links are correct for this reference.
Functions: All functions including the crown-winding, time-setting, date-changing, and jumping hour hand are working as expected.
Service History: Unknown.