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The Best Vintage Rolex Explorer II 16550 Replica Watches

Like the other tool replica watches in the Rolex catalog, the Explorer II was born out of necessity and has since become a coveted collector’s item among enthusiasts from all walks of life. Rolex released the Explorer II in 1971, a few decades after its cousin, the Explorer, came to market. While the Explorer features a time-only dial, smooth bezel, and was inspired by mountaineering and other rugged terrain adventurers, the Explorer II’s niche market is spelunking.

Vintage Rolex Explorer II 16550 Cream Dial Patina

Rolex Explorer II 16550 Key Details
Case: 40mm, stainless steel.
Bracelet: Flat link Oyster, Oysterclasp.
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire.
Bezel: Fixed, 24-hour.
Movement: Automatic caliber 3085, Date, Hacking Seconds, Quickset.

How Does the Rolex Explorer II Work?

Each tool watch in the Rolex professional Best Replica Watches series caters to a different market. The Submariner was developed for divers, the GMT Master for pilots, and the Explorer for mountain climbers. The Explorer II was created for Spelunking and focuses primarily on keeping time in the dark.

Vintage Rolex Explorer II 16550 Cream Dial Stainless Steel

Aside from having luminous hour markers and hands, the Explorer II also features a fixed 24-hour bezel and a dedicated arrow hand. The idea is that the wearer can read the arrow hand against the bezel to distinguish between day and night hours.

Rolex Explorer II Movement

Caliber 3085 replaced the 1500 series movement ticking away inside the ref. 1655. It operates at a higher frequency of 28,800bph and boasts a 48-hour power reserve. Since the movement was developed in the 1980s, the caliber 3085 also enjoys many modern conveniences, such as hacking seconds, a Quickset function for the date, and, more importantly, an independent arrow hand.

Vintage Rolex Explorer II 16550 Cream Dial Tritium Lume

With this upgrade, the Rolex Explorer II 1:1 Replica Watches also acts as a GMT watch because the wearer can adjust the arrow hand independently of the other centrally mounted hands to read another time zone, a luxury not afforded to ref. 1655, which simply displays AM and PM hours on the bezel.

Cream Dial & Overall Condition

Ref. 16550 was the first Explorer II to sport a white dial. The white dial on our example has aged to a creamy white hue over time due to a rare defect in the paint. Rolex grade 1 Replica Watches fixed the flaw towards the end of ref. 16550’s production, during which the white gold surrounds were replaced with black-trimmed hour markers and hands.

For a vintage watch, the ref. 16550 showcased in this edition of Vintage of the Week is in excellent condition with nice, crisp edges on the bezel, one of the original green factory stickers still present on the case back, and serial and reference numbers still clearly visible. Of course, the Swiss Replica Watches also features some typical signs of wear that one would expect from a decades-old tool watch. Overall, it’s a nice example of the cream-dial Rolex Explorer II.

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