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Rolex Explorer 1 & 2

There is an Explorer 1 and there is an Explorer II. Completely different watches. The 1 is fairly small (midsize) launched in 1954 with plexi glas. Iconized by sir Edmund Hillary who climbed the Mount Everest as the first person with his Explorer on.  Very nice watches, specially with the gilt dials in de 50-s and 60-s. Some references were 6610, 6650 and the 1016 which has been the made from 1963-1989.  Longest Rolex reference ever? In 1989 the sapphire 14270 was introduced, the first couple of 1000 with the later sought after "black out" dials.. In 2010 the 214270 became a big watch Explorer 1. 

The Explorer II was launched in 1969 as the 1655 and this watch came with an orange 24 hour hand, developed for cave-explorers (?) with a bezel that showed if it was 4 in the morning or in the evening. because you cannot see this when you are in a cave a couple of weeks. This Orange Hand (aka Steve McQueen or Freccione) was unsellable because people did not like it very much. That is why it is now a pretty rare watch, not many were procuced. Later came the unavoidable sapphire glass and it became the 16550 (cream or black dial) and in the 90s it became the 16570. Available with white or black dial. Not a real sought after watch (yet!). Around 2010 came the 216570 - large and big - black or white.  

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