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Rolex. A very fine stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and bracelet
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more ExplorerThe Rolex ExplorerThe model now known as the “Explorer I” is instantly recognizable by the distinctive and relatively minimalistic “3,6,9” dial introduced in 1953, the Explorer name itself was coined after the Hillary–Tenzing Everest expedition of the same year. Reference 6610 was introduced in 1955 (lot 246). In 1963 the reference 1016 became the standard Explorer model, it remained in production for 26 years. The Explorer II reference 1655 (lots 248) is very different to its predecessor. Launched in 1971 and sometimes called the “Steve McQueen” it features a second time zone with orange hand, a true tool watch made to withstand the most extreme conditions. Reference 16570 (lot 249) was launched in 1989 and was the last of the “five digit” sports watch references.
Rolex. A very fine stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and bracelet

SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, EXPLORER, REF. 6610, CASE NO. 168’684, CIRCA 1956

Details
Rolex. A very fine stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and bracelet
Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, Explorer, ref. 6610, case no. 168’684, circa 1956
Movement: automatic, cal. 1030, 25 jewels
Dial: black, gloss turned matte, baton Arabic and dagger luminous numerals, luminous hands, “lollipop” sweep centre seconds
Case: screw back stamped II.56
Signed: case, dial and movement
Dimensions: 35 mm. diameter, overall length approx. 200 mm.
With: stainless steel Rolex Oyster extendable bracelet, deployant Rolex U.S.A. clasp
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

Reference 6610 is launched in 1955 as an update of the previous Explorer models. The main novelty is the introduction of the new calibre 1030. This movement is much thinner than the previous calibre A.296, and thus the case back loses the “bubble back” domed looks and becomes flatter. The dial as well presents a new construction method, even though this appears to be an aesthetic modification unrelated to the new movement: the numerals are carved into the dial plate and then filled with radium.

The present examples not only impresses the beholder with its stunning condition, the dial especially well preserved and aged with a lovely matte finish, but it furthermore is distinguished by being an early example of this reference. In fact, the case back indicates it was manufactured in the third trimester of 1956: only a few months after the introduction of the reference to the market.

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