Rolex Explorer 5500 (1962)
The late '50s saw Rolex produce the Explorer 5500, modeled in-line with the Air-King. At 34mm, this Explorer's is slightly smaller compared to the traditional 36mm size of the Explorer Ref. 6610 and Ref. 1016. It's more compact style make this version a more comfortable, understated watch and is revered by the Rolex faithful for its unique flare.
The face of the Explorer Ref. 5500 retains its iconic black dial, the 3, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals, as well as stick indexes and the inverted triangle. The “EXPLORER” name is displayed clearly beneath the Rolex logo. Notably, this 5500 reference incorporates the Mercedes-style hands that the Explorer collection made famous- alongside the 'lollipop' seconds hand. Below six o'clock reads the T<25 marking to indicate the presence of tritium in the dial for luminescence.
Its serial number of 771xxx, indicating this Explorer was made in 1962. This example comes alongside service papers dating from 2010. Certainly an unusual yet interesting slice of Rolex history, this watch represents the beginning of what would be an important decade for the world-famous brand.
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