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-   -   Explorer II Steve McQueen 1655 reading (https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=700755)

JasonBetts 1 October 2019 05:03 PM

Explorer II Steve McQueen 1655 reading
 
Help needed from all Steve McQueen aficionados out here.

I'm by far not an expert in vintage Rolexes as I only have a transitional 16750 matte dial bought from a friend.

I was offered this 1655 full set available locally. What's known / claimed:

- Serial 3.4 million
- all original untouched dial, hands, date wheel
- unpolished case, bezel and bracelet

Any inputs on the conditions ie: period correctness, Franken, touched up, etc?

Price offered is really attractive for a full set at below usd30k as I did my homework at chrono24 and found the cheapest full set on offer is at usd40k.

Should I be cautious or should I jump at it?

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...15abb3d139.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...76522b5594.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...99d7a0b1c2.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...ffc917bd5c.jpg





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JasonBetts 1 October 2019 05:20 PM

I managed to get a zoom on the dialhttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...908a50bd02.jpg


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Dan S 1 October 2019 11:46 PM

If you want informed advice, it would be a good idea for you to post better photos at high resolution. Try to take photos where the hands aren't blocking important parts of the dial. And photos that really show the condition of the case. Various angles, etc.

Regarding price, I'd do some research beyond C24. For example, EWC recently had a full set (MkII, if I recall correctly) listed for $27.5k, and it took a long time to sell. It's all about condition. Prices on C24 are all over the place, and without knowing the specific seller, the price doesn't mean much to me. Watches can sit unsold on C24 for years.

JasonBetts 2 October 2019 12:27 AM

I havenít gotten the chance to see the example in person. The photos were provided by the seller but i agree the resolution is bad.

Good point on the value. Iíll take into consideration.

Iím planning to check it out this weekend. Will try to take better photos myself


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Tavli3 2 October 2019 12:49 AM

Looks like an MK1 dial with MK1 bezel but like others have said better photos are needed.


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mineral 2 October 2019 12:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JasonBetts (Post 10020997)
I managed to get a zoom on the dialhttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...908a50bd02.jpg


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Also take a chance to get the photos of the box and paper to Ensure that it is correct full set.


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swish77 2 October 2019 04:19 AM

1 Attachment(s)
As stated, much better photos are needed, especially of the dial/hands.

What I will say is that the case does indeed look very nice, and possibly unpolished. Those crown guards look untouched. See how long they are? That's very distinctive to this reference. (See my MK2's crown guards below for comparison; I believe my watch was lightly polished at some point.)

However, that minute hand looks shot and would definitely bug me. Not sure if it's just dirt or corrosion, but something's going on. The tritium also looks a little funky on the 24-hour hand, but hard to tell for sure in the photos.

And what exactly is the "full set?" It can mean different things to different sellers. Is the Rolex guarantee paper punched?

Assuming everything checks out, it could be a fair deal for an MKI full set, but the jury's still out.

CF999 2 October 2019 06:54 AM

I’m seeing two different photos here...one straight hand and one with later dot thingie...
Confused ��

Kingface66 2 October 2019 07:06 AM

The photo above your post is Aaron's (Swish77) watch, as stated in his post

JasonBetts 2 October 2019 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mineral (Post 10021656)
Also take a chance to get the photos of the box and paper to Ensure that it is correct full set.


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https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...444be56af2.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...3a2c74ae55.jpg



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JasonBetts 2 October 2019 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swish77 (Post 10022138)
As stated, much better photos are needed, especially of the dial/hands.

What I will say is that the case does indeed look very nice, and possibly unpolished. Those crown guards look untouched. See how long they are? That's very distinctive to this reference. (See my MK2's crown guards below for comparison; I believe my watch was lightly polished at some point.)

However, that minute hand looks shot and would definitely bug me. Not sure if it's just dirt or corrosion, but something's going on. The tritium also looks a little funky on the 24-hour hand, but hard to tell for sure in the photos.

And what exactly is the "full set?" It can mean different things to different sellers. Is the Rolex guarantee paper punched?

Assuming everything checks out, it could be a fair deal for an MKI full set, but the jury's still out.



That's a really nice example you have there swish. As questioned, 1655 have variations on the second hand? I noticed yours have this 'lollipop' hand. Which one came first and does it determine some sort of value?


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sechsgang 2 October 2019 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JasonBetts (Post 10023068)
That's a really nice example you have there swish. As questioned, 1655 have variations on the second hand? I noticed yours have this 'lollipop' hand. Which one came first and does it determine some sort of value?


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The straight seconds is of the earlier, mark 1 versions.

JasonBetts 2 October 2019 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sechsgang (Post 10023091)
The straight seconds is of the earlier, mark 1 versions.



I see. I've seen other 1655s have light yellow or even red arrow hands. Is this something that rolex changed during different iterations or it's aging/patina thingy?


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swish77 3 October 2019 05:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JasonBetts (Post 10023068)
That's a really nice example you have there swish. As questioned, 1655 have variations on the second hand? I noticed yours have this 'lollipop' hand. Which one came first and does it determine some sort of value?


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Thanks! The MKIs, first version with the straight seconds hand, usually command a premium, but condition is a lot more important overall. But if there was an MKI and, say, an MK2 in exactly the same condition, the MKI theoretically would be priced a little higher.

I would humbly, politely and respectfully suggest that you research the reference for at least several weeks (maybe months) before plunging into the deep end with the purchase of a $30,000 full set. There's a ton of information online and you will learn a lot. It could also save you a lot of money and headaches.

Good luck.

JasonBetts 3 October 2019 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swish77 (Post 10024871)
Thanks! The MKIs, first version with the straight seconds hand, usually command a premium, but condition is a lot more important overall. But if there was an MKI and, say, an MK2 in exactly the same condition, the MKI theoretically would be priced a little higher.

I would humbly, politely and respectfully suggest that you research the reference for at least several weeks (maybe months) before plunging into the deep end with the purchase of a $30,000 full set. There's a ton of information online and you will learn a lot. It could also save you a lot of money and headaches.

Good luck.



Thanks Swish for the advice. I have started reading about this reference and surprisingly I read that there's no hard photography evidence that McQueen the King of Cool actually wore 1655????

Don't worry about the price tag, it's actually in the high 20k, not 30k yet. [emoji23]


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Kingface66 3 October 2019 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JasonBetts (Post 10025587)
I have started reading about this reference and surprisingly I read that there's no hard photography evidence that McQueen the King of Cool actually wore 1655???

Youíll find no evidence. Itís a misnomer.

JasonBetts 3 October 2019 06:09 PM

Here are some more pictures. Hopefully the resolution is a bit better. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...fedd6da97c.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...567aaab190.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...9a7077e957.jpg


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JasonBetts 3 October 2019 06:22 PM

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...591e47268a.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...8f3a813a47.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...591e47268a.jpg


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JasonBetts 3 October 2019 06:40 PM

Is the case what's identified as 'thin case'?


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JasonBetts 3 October 2019 08:02 PM

After some research, I'm a bit worried about the crown guards. They look huge, flat and out of proportion. What do you guys think?

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...9faa694f2e.jpg


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1William 3 October 2019 09:02 PM

I think vintage watches are a minefield and I would prefer to not walk into it. So many variations and issues that impact value in a significant way. By not being an expert you are at the mercy of the seller and the internet. I admire these watches from afar but a buying experience I do not want to have.

iliketime 3 October 2019 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1William (Post 10026374)
I think vintage watches are a minefield and I would prefer to not walk into it. So many variations and issues that impact value in a significant way. By not being an expert you are at the mercy of the seller and the internet. I admire these watches from afar but a buying experience I do not want to have.

:cheers: i agree, even after all the research done, id tread softly and at that id walk away more often than not just because its so risky.

Dan S 4 October 2019 12:14 AM

Like Aaron, I am sensing from the OP's questions that he hasn't quite reached the level of knowledge to feel comfortable buying a watch like this from a local seller. In the absence of first-hand expertise, the only way he should be buying the watch from a stranger is if he gets a fantastic price, and even that would carry risk. If the OP is going to pay a "dealer price", he should be buying from a well-established and respected high-end dealer.

swish77 4 October 2019 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JasonBetts (Post 10026279)
After some research, I'm a bit worried about the crown guards. They look huge, flat and out of proportion. What do you guys think?

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...9faa694f2e.jpg

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It could very well be an unpolished case with those long crown guards, and also the angle of the photo. However, you're right to be cautious, and I'd look online to see if you can find photos of an unpolished MKI 1655 with similar crown guards.

Also, keep in mind that cases/crown guards from different versions of the same reference, and even watch to watch, can vary a little. These cases were hand-finished at the Rolex factory back in the day. Even unpolished cases can look slightly funky/uneven at times.

Clear photos of the serial and reference numbers between the lugs could help confirm the authenticity of the case.

JasonBetts 4 October 2019 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan S (Post 10026785)
Like Aaron, I am sensing from the OP's questions that he hasn't quite reached the level of knowledge to feel comfortable buying a watch like this from a local seller. In the absence of first-hand expertise, the only way he should be buying the watch from a stranger is if he gets a fantastic price, and even that would carry risk. If the OP is going to pay a "dealer price", he should be buying from a well-established and respected high-end dealer.



Actually this watch is being offered by my regular reputable brick and mortar watch dealer.

However I'm not comfortable with their level of expertise too as vintage rolexes are not regularly traded here. I'm just worried my dealer too get a wrong evaluation of the example. I asked them which mark is the 1655 and they don't have a clue.

From where I come from, Rolexes are still considered status watches hence the best selling models are the latest trendy and blingy rolexes. Very few people here are willing to scoop 20-30k for a 'beaten up' vintage while with similar amount of money they can get the latest Daytona, etc.


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JasonBetts 4 October 2019 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swish77 (Post 10026820)
It could very well be an unpolished case with those long crown guards, and also the angle of the photo. However, you're right to be cautious, and I'd look online to see if you can find photos of an unpolished MKI 1655 with similar crown guards.

Also, keep in mind that cases/crown guards from different versions of the same reference, and even watch to watch, can vary a little. These cases were hand-finished at the Rolex factory back in the day. Even unpolished cases can look slightly funky/uneven at times.

Clear photos of the serial and reference numbers between the lugs could help confirm the authenticity of the case.



Thanks swish. I'm planning to see the example in person this Saturday. I'll try to get some photos of the fonts in between lugs


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Dan S 4 October 2019 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JasonBetts (Post 10026822)
Actually this watch is being offered by my regular reputable brick and mortar watch dealer.

However I'm not comfortable with their level of expertise too as vintage rolexes are not regularly traded here. I'm just worried my dealer too get a wrong evaluation of the example. I asked them which mark is the 1655 and they don't have a clue.

From where I come from, Rolexes are still considered status watches hence the best selling models are the latest trendy and blingy rolexes. Very few people here are willing to scoop 20-30k for a 'beaten up' vintage while with similar amount of money they can get the latest Daytona, etc.


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Thank you for clarifying, I misunderstood who was selling the watch. It's good that the seller has an established history, but I agree that vintage Rolex requires special knowledge, and a generic watch/jewelry retailer doesn't typically have that expertise. Perhaps they can give you some information about the history of the watch.

Also, if a high-priced vintage watch will be a hard sell where you live, you might consider making an offer at a significantly lower level. That way you will be protected if you find that the condition is not quite as expected. I would suspect that the seller purchased it at a low price or gave a low trade value for it. In my experience, watch/jewelry stores typically give terrible prices when they buy watches. My local Rolex AD will typically offer less than half of fair market value, and they generally flip it quickly to a broker.

JasonBetts 4 October 2019 02:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan S (Post 10026948)
Thank you for clarifying, I misunderstood who was selling the watch. It's good that the seller has an established history, but I agree that vintage Rolex requires special knowledge, and a generic watch/jewelry retailer doesn't typically have that expertise. Perhaps they can give you some information about the history of the watch.



Also, if a high-priced vintage watch will be a hard sell where you live, you might consider making an offer at a significantly lower level. That way you will be protected if you find that the condition is not quite as expected. I would suspect that the seller purchased it at a low price or gave a low trade value for it. In my experience, watch/jewelry stores typically give terrible prices when they buy watches. My local Rolex AD will typically offer less than half of fair market value, and they generally flip it quickly to a broker.



Spot on Dan. They called me just now that some broker reserved the watch until they see and inspect it tomorrow. As i canít make time tomorrow and if itís sold, i guess itís not supposed to be mine. If itís not sold, i guess the broker doesnít like what theyíre seeing


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Dan S 4 October 2019 03:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JasonBetts (Post 10027110)
Spot on Dan. They called me just now that some broker reserved the watch until they see and inspect it tomorrow. As i canít make time tomorrow and if itís sold, i guess itís not supposed to be mine. If itís not sold, i guess the broker doesnít like what theyíre seeing


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They won't turn much of a profit with the broker, but they free up the money they invested in it, and they know the sale is final, and they won't have any problems from the broker afterwards.

JasonBetts 5 October 2019 04:38 PM

Update: it's now back available.

I saw the example in person andy impression it has all the matched patina from dial, case and bezel. Bracelets is also matched 78360 and 580.

As swish indicated above, the case does look unpolished with uniformed lug thickness. Lug holes seemed balanced too. Bevels are still consistently cut. They don't look new with many micro scratches.

One thing still bothers me is the shape of the crown guards especially the vertical line from the case up to the crown. They look super thick and far of about 1-2mm width. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...12d60ddfa2.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...9ee3e3c338.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...ffd2656e88.jpg

Am I getting truly unpolished pristine case that or a case of sophisticated fabrication of high tech laser welding.


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