My rolex explorer II is a very special watch. It was the ugly duckling of the rolex family for many years. Only lately have it become a highly valued model.
My watch is from 1971 – with the original MkI dial and MkII bezel. Also the bracelet is the original from 1972 (based on stamps). And it is so sharp it looks like new.
It was created in 1970/71 as a cave exploring (Speleology) watch, where it was possible to tell the time over a period of 24 hours vs 12 hours on a normal watch. This was in theory a Rolex GMT without the rotating bezel.
But the change on this Rolex Explorer II was much more than that. It included – a much different dial, special hands only seen on this model. And this dial and hands have not been seen before or after on any Rolex tool watch.
The Rolex Explorer II 1655 – was a extremely specialist watch. It had NO other function that to tell the time in 24 hours. It was not possible to use this as a two-time zone watch (as the following 16550, 16570 watches).
We have the first Deep Sea Dweller – the (present) father of the Deep Sea dweller.
Then came Deep Sea Dweller with blue dial (aka the james cameron deep sea).
And last the dweller that is a modern clone of the old Rolex dweller.
I think that within 2-3 years the deep sea dweller will not be avaliable anymore. And only the dweller will exist.
The cost of making the deep sea, and the number being sold makes this watch more and more expensive to maintain.