To the best of our knowledge the present watch has never before been offered in public.
The Explorer II was launched in 1971 with reference 1655 as an alternative to the Explorer. It is marketed toward professionals, and the 24 hour hand was originally not meant to indicate a second time zone, but rather truly the nocturnal/diurnal cycle, a function useful for professionals such as speleologists, who could spend days underground, oblivious to the sun presence in the sky. In 1985 reference 16550 was launched – with completely updated looks and movement (now allowing for independent regulation of the hour hand, thus allowing it to be used as a dual time wristwatch), and in 1988 reference 15570.
Soon, it became apparent that some dial variations are rarer than others, and as a matter of fact this lot represents a compendium of the rare traits one can find on an Explorer II, making this the hardest-to-find dial variation for the entire Explorer II line. It features three rare details:
Rail dial: characterized by the vertical alignment of the two spaces in the lines of the COSC certification
Black rimmed numerals: this finish can be found only on the earliest versions of 16570
Cream dial: a kind of tropicalization. Certain batches of the paint used for the white finish turned out to be defective and shift toward a warm cream/ivory hue
A rail dial with black rimmed indexes is already considered by Rolex purists a highly rare wristwatch – so far only a handful are known, with serial numbers ranging from R to N - but finding such a combination with the addition of the cream color is truly momentous.
Considered that, on top of the impossibly rare dial variation, the present watch comes with the original Guarantee and in extremely well preserved condition, it can without a doubt be counted among the most attractive and collectible 16570s to ever appear on the market.