Rolex 16550 Explorer II with RARE Transitional Cream Rail Dial SS FULL SET (28420)

28420 Rolex 16550 Explorer II Transitional Cream Rail Dial. The cream-colored dial is the result of a defective batch of white paint used by Rolex for a short period of time, stainless steel case is sharp with thick lugs, stainless steel 78360 oyster bracelet and clasp with 593 endlinks, automatic Rolex caliber 3085 movement, beautifully aged original luminous tritium hands and hour markers, original wide-font fixed bezel is in fantastic condition, date at 3 o'clock, GMT and center sweep seconds hands, 2 time zones, COSC, water resistant, sapphire crystal, diameter: 40mm, thickness: 12.5mm, 972XXXX (circa 1987), excellent condition with original Rolex box, punch papers dated July of 1987, hang-tags, booklets, Rolex service papers from 2003, and commemorative Rolex spoon.

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More about Rolex 16550 Explorer II with RARE Transitional Cream Rail Dial SS FULL SET

This is a c. 1987 Rolex Explorer II with rare transitional cream rail dial 16550. It has an integral stainless steel "Flush Fit" Oyster bracelet, and a scratch resistant sapphire crystal with a Cyclops magnifying lens over the date aperture at the three o'clock position. The 40mm diameter solid three-body case, screwed-down solid case back and twin-lock crown, fixed graduated 24-hour second time zone bezel and integral bracelet are polished/brushed. The watch is in original, unpolished condition. The dial was originally white, but due to the defective paint used by Rolex at this time, has patinated to a rich cream color, with tritium Rolex skeleton hands, a centered sweep second hand, and a red second time zone hand with a tritium arrow tip. There are applied tritium and steel round, baton, and triangular hour markers, as well as an outer minute track. It is water resistant to 100 meters/333 feet, and the 12.5mm thick case, dial, and movement are all signed.

This Rolex Explorer II with rare transitional cream rail dial 16550 has a mechanical automatic self-winding Rolex caliber 3085 movement that's rhodium-plated, with a shock absorber mechanism. It's constructed with 27 jewels, a straight-line lever escapement, and a Glucydur monometallic balance that's adjusted to temperatures and 5 positions. It includes a self-compensating free-sprung Breguet balance spring, Microstella regulating screws, and a hacking seconds mechanism.

The 16550 was a transitional model produced between the Ref. 1655 "Steve McQueen" and its successor, the reference 16570. It was only produced for about five years, from 1984 to 1989. It was the first Explorer II that had an independently adjustable GMT hand which could be set without stopping the movement. It included a new thicker case and thicker crown guards, with a unique square font on the bezel. This particular watch has serial number 972xxxx, produced circa 1987.