Rolex Explorer II "Steve McQueen" Circa 1980
Rolex 1655 Explorer II Orange Hand "Steve McQueen", Automatic, Stainless Steel on a Stainless Steel Oyster Bracelet (78360) with (558) End links, Original Dial with Matching Hands, Date, Orange Hand Serves as AM / PM Indicator, Acrylic Crystal, Screw Down Crown, Serial Number 647XXX, Size 40MM, Excellent Condition with Box.
More about Explorer II "Steve McQueen" Circa 1980
This is a vintage stainless steel Rolex Steve McQueen Explorer II Orange Hand "Freccione", reference 1655. It has an integral stainless steel Oyster bracelet (93150), an acrylic crystal, and a solid screw-down case back and winding crown. The 39mm diameter solid three-body case, integral lugs, and steel bezel with engraved graduated 24-hour Arabic numerals are polished/brushed. It has the original Mark I black dial with skeleton tritium-coated baton hands and applied baton hour markers, and the original Mark I straight second hand with no dot —a characteristic that is only present on reference 1655 watches produced between 1971 and 1974. The large arrow-shaped orange 24-hour hand serves as an AM/PM indicator. There is a date aperture window at the 3 o'clock position underneath a cylcops magnifying bubble. The 13.5mm thick case, dial, and movement are all signed. The mechanical automatic self-winding Rolex caliber 1570 movement is rhodium plated, with a shock absorber mechanism. It's constructed with 26 jewels, a straight-line lever escapement, a monometallic balance, and a self-compensating Breguet balance spring. The Rolex Explorer II ref. 1655 debuted in 1971, and was quickly nicknamed the Steve McQueen, or 'Freccione' by the Italian collectors for the bright orange arrow-shaped 24-hour hand ("Freccione" from the Italian word "Freccia" meaning "arrow"). It was only produced from 1971 through 1984, designed originally for spelunkers and cavern explorers who couldn't tell if it was day or night outside. Rolex easily solved this with the 24-hour orange arrow-shaped hand along with the 24-hour military time bezel.
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