The Top Quality Rolex Explorer II Replica Watch was aimed at speleologists or cave explorers, who could lose sense of time during their work. Where the Type II came with the additional (24) hour hand, 24 hour scale bezel and, let’s not forget about that, a date. Both were chronometer rated watches and water resistant to 100 meters. Explorers, no matter the version, were rugged watches that up to the task of those who liked to explore. When you are not exposed to daylight, it’s feasible to lose track of time and whether you are finding yourself working during the day or night. I really can’t imagine this, but then again, I’ve never found myself in that situation.
In 1984, Rolex introduced its successor, the reference 16550. In this production period of roughly 13/14 years, Rolex only amended small changes. Collectors categorized each of them in different ‘Mark’ series. The Rolex Explorer II Replica Watch . This watch was not a successor of the Explorer 1016, but an additional timepiece with an additional function.
There are about 7 different dials and a handful of different bezels. Italian collector Stefano Mazzariol did a nice comparison article, so go knock yourself out.
Last week Michael Stockton wrote quite a ‘love letter’ (as one of our readers wrote in the comments) on the Rolex Explorer 1016. While the reference 1016 Explorer was being produced already in 1963 and kept in production for 26 years, Rolex introduced another Explorer in 1971. Whereas the GMT-Master had a rotating bezel, the Explorer II reference 1655 used a fixed 24 hour scale indicator. Cave explorers only need to know, for example, whether it is 7:00 or 19:00 and the large orange hand indicates this for them.
You have to know that of all Rolex watches, the Explorer collection is among my favorites (as well as the GMT-Master) and the Explorer II 1655 has always rated as high on my wish list to try and test. One of the first things I noticed was that the dial is kinda strange. Specifically, I knew that the hour and minute markers were a bit odd, but I didn’t realize the effect of this during normal wear.
When I got the chance to play around with this Rolex Replica Watch for a while (well, I had it on loan for about a year!) I was quite excited. The Explorer II had the same movement as the GMT-Master reference 1675 at that time, caliber 1575. This movement featured the 24-hour hand that indicates AM/PM. The Explorer watches were indicated in their generic manual as Type I and Type II. Rolex kept the Explorer II reference 1655 in production until around 1984/1985.