Rolex Explorer II Ref 1655 - Steve McQueen Big Orange Hand, Serial 6,347,xxx (from early 1980's)
So called Steve McQueen 'Big Orange' (Hand) for its rumored history of being the Rolex watch Steve McQueen wore when he wasn't being paid to wear a heuer (or other) watch. The Big Orange Hand refers to the comically oversized Orange luminous triangular hand that indicates 24 hour military zulu time using the 24 hour scale on the bezel.
6,347xxx Serial number identifies this watch as being manufactured circa 1979 according to Rolex production data.
Funny enough, Steve McQueen was never seen wearing a Rolex 1655 but that hasnt prevented the Steve McQueen King of Cool moniker from sticking for the past 30+ years.
The Explorer II was created for Cave explorers, also known as Spelunkers. Cave Explorers would notoriously spend countless of hours in the dark and lose all sense of time while exploring dark caves. Thus the big luminous orange hand would boldly indicate whether it was 4:00am (orange hand pointing to 4 on bezel) or 4:00pm (orange hand pointing to 16 on bezel). Even at a quick glance, this watch was designed to be super legible and easy to read, especially in the dark!
Serviced by Rolex Beverly Hills Circa 2005
This is my personal watch. I sent this watch in to the Rolex Beverly Hills Service Center for a complete service circa 2005. (Rolex stopped servicing Vintage watches shortly therafter when they ran out of replacement parts.) Included in the service was a new dial, hand set, bezel and bracelet. As a result, this watch looks nearly New Old Stock and everything matches perfectly, most notably the luminous material on the hands and indexes is super clean and super crisp with only a slight vintage patina starting to develop.
If you are looking for a vintage-looking 1655, this is probably not the watch for you, but if you are looking for a super clean and crisp example that you can watch patina over the next 20 or 50 years, this is the ideal specimen!
This watch comes with an original Rolex Service Pouch and box set. Unfortunatley, i misplaced the original Rolex Service Receipt some time ago. This watch is keeping outstanding time and has been on my wrist less than a handful of times since being serviced circa 2005.