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Old 15 August 2019, 06:00 AM   #1
DRB1973
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1655 Exp II

I own a 1973 mk1 straight second hand 1655 that my father bought new in 1975 in Hong Kong. I have had it verified authentic. Per Rolex NY it has never been serviced by Rolex in the US. It has been serviced in the US by a Rolex authorized service shop however I do not know when or who it was. My question revolves around a very unique feature of the watch that has me puzzled - the 24 hour hand is not the standard wide, orange hand with the tapered tip that was standard issued for the watch. Instead it appears to be from a GMT Master of the same era. Can anyone recommend how I can determine if Rolex made the watch this way or if at some point this hand was replaced by a service shop?
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Old 15 August 2019, 06:43 AM   #2
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it's pretty unlikely that Rolex put GMT hands on an Exp II during that era. They did use the same movements though, so the parts are interchangeable.
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Old 15 August 2019, 06:53 AM   #3
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I'd think that if it were serviced by a Rolex authorized/qualified independent shop, the most likely explanation is that the original hand was damaged and they didn't have the correct hand to replace it, so they just used a standard GMT 24 hour hand (either with or without your father's blessing).
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Old 15 August 2019, 08:17 AM   #4
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When you say "no record", how did you get that question answered by Rolex?

As for the question you asked, it would seem your Dad had it serviced more than once since buying it - and that may have been when this happened.
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Old 15 August 2019, 11:01 AM   #5
1665fan
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No way Rolex is letting a 1655 leave a gmt hand...
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Old 15 August 2019, 12:55 PM   #6
tkc324
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Pictures?
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Old 16 August 2019, 12:10 AM   #7
DRB1973
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I called Rolex NY and they said they have no record of this watch (via serial #) being serviced in the US by Rolex.
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Old 16 August 2019, 12:42 AM   #8
DRB1973
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1655 pic

picture
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_5126.JPG (171.7 KB, 144 views)
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Old 16 August 2019, 12:48 AM   #9
dhknola
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Interesting.
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Old 16 August 2019, 01:28 AM   #10
1665fan
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At least it’s an all red hand...that’s worth a nice chunk
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Old 16 August 2019, 01:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRB1973 View Post
I called Rolex NY and they said they have no record of this watch (via serial #) being serviced in the US by Rolex.
I own a GMT Master that was serviced multiple times by a Rolex Authorized Repair, that was independently operated, in Los Angeles prior to the opening of the RSC in Beverly Hills. The RSC in 2014 had no record of the watch being serviced by Rolex. I have all the paper on the watch since I purchased it in 1982.
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Old 16 August 2019, 02:59 AM   #12
DRB1973
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Originally Posted by GrandCanyon View Post
I own a GMT Master that was serviced multiple times by a Rolex Authorized Repair, that was independently operated, in Los Angeles prior to the opening of the RSC in Beverly Hills. The RSC in 2014 had no record of the watch being serviced by Rolex. I have all the paper on the watch since I purchased it in 1982.
Thanks. I have heard from several other more informed than I that service records kept by Rolex often don't include authorized 3rd party repair providers at all and, in addition, may not be completely accurate with respect to work do at an RSC.
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Old 16 August 2019, 03:02 AM   #13
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Does anyone think it is worth sending to Rolex and paying them to assess the watch to determine if it is possible that the hand is original or added by a service provider? I have been told this could be expensive ($1000 to $3500 US).
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Old 16 August 2019, 03:34 AM   #14
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did someone do a little switcheroo? maybe the lume fell out and who ever repaired it had another gmt hand
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Old 16 August 2019, 03:48 AM   #15
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Regardless of who did it and why/when, that hand was switched at some point and should not be on a 1655, of course. (It's also interesting that it's an all-red GMT hand.)

Assuming that the rest of the watch is legit, I'd try to track down a correct orange 1655 hand and have it switched back. You might want to pick up a Rolex bracelet too.
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Old 16 August 2019, 04:28 AM   #16
DRB1973
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Regardless of who did it and why/when, that hand was switched at some point and should not be on a 1655, of course. (It's also interesting that it's an all-red GMT hand.)

Assuming that the rest of the watch is legit, I'd try to track down a correct orange 1655 hand and have it switched back. You might want to pick up a Rolex bracelet too.
I have considered that option, particularly if that would increase the value substantially. I have the original bracelet (it is engraved with my father's name and date of purchase) but switched it out with an Everest so it doesn't stretch anymore and also just due to personal preference as I wear it daily.
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Old 16 August 2019, 05:01 AM   #17
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I would definitely source the proper orange hand, but I think it's odd-ball-awesome right now, certainly unique.
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Old 16 August 2019, 05:22 AM   #18
1675-David
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looks like the GMT hand has left a nasty drag mark across the 6, 9 and 12 plots..
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Old 16 August 2019, 05:30 AM   #19
Cooper33
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Originally Posted by DRB1973 View Post
Does anyone think it is worth sending to Rolex and paying them to assess the watch to determine if it is possible that the hand is original or added by a service provider? I have been told this could be expensive ($1000 to $3500 US).
1 - there would be no way to verify with certainty if the hand was included later or not. Unless the watchmaker screwed this one up, there are no seals that are broken or anything of the sorts. It was replaced during service by someone who didn't want to bother ordering a correct replacement.

2- the hand is clearly not original to the watch. It should be a huge feat that during manufacturing there was such a mistake, and QC would obviously catch it

3 - Doesn't your father remember if he had a watch with an orange hand as opposed to red?
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Old 16 August 2019, 05:48 AM   #20
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I have considered that option, particularly if that would increase the value substantially. . . .
It is not going to increase the value any more than what it would cost anybody else to source a proper hand.

Sourcing an era-proper hand set may be pricey, around 1 to 2000 bucks, but they are available.

Without knowing why, or knowing if it has the original movement, are other questions that this brings up.
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Old 16 August 2019, 02:59 PM   #21
scooba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swish77 View Post
Regardless of who did it and why/when, that hand was switched at some point and should not be on a 1655, of course. (It's also interesting that it's an all-red GMT hand.)

Assuming that the rest of the watch is legit, I'd try to track down a correct orange 1655 hand and have it switched back. You might want to pick up a Rolex bracelet too.
Yes ! exactly as above
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Old 16 August 2019, 03:01 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 1675-David View Post
looks like the GMT hand has left a nasty drag mark across the 6, 9 and 12 plots..
Maybe it was the previous orange hand that was damaging the lume ? . is it possibly why the hand was swapped ?
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Old 16 August 2019, 11:48 PM   #23
DRB1973
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Originally Posted by 1675-David View Post
looks like the GMT hand has left a nasty drag mark across the 6, 9 and 12 plots..
Nice spot! It is obvious now but I didn't notice this previously. Could have been done by the original hand...
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Old 16 August 2019, 11:49 PM   #24
DRB1973
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. I am hoping to be able to track down the paper files with the service history soon, if they still exist.
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