Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The rare first version 1655 orange straight hand Explorer II

The rare first version 1655 orange straight hand Explorer II is an interesting watch. A few elements make the first 1655 version a difficult watch to find in correct configuration. Dial, bezel, early case back, and straight second hand make it quit a coup to find an intact early 1655

The first generation dial is unique to the 1970-72 year model.
The coronate or crown on the first version dial print has a different shape to it. One can notice a small opining at the bottom side and is more centered over the letter "L" , but still resembles the frog foot design.

The bezel numbers are with smaller thick fonts on the first 1655 version, and are situated more towards the crystal area rather then being closer to the center of the bezel.

The sweep second hand is also unique to the early 1655 versions. Upon a closer look, one will notice that these hands are not just a white painted Datejust sweep second hand. The 1655 second is square tipped non tapered design with a specific length to it.

The case backs featured on the early 1655 models have a punched and dated numbers on them.

The second version of the 1655 orange luminous dot hand Explorer II from the year 1973-74

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A 1675 with the very rare and sought after all blue and all copper insert.

The insert numbers are a real silver and not faded to a light gold color as most early inserts become. Compare the all blue 1675 GMT insert numbers to the all copper GMT insert.

The early all gold inserts had fat number fonts..Compare the number "8" for example on the all gold faded 1675 with the copper insert.
Now as far as the silver color, the early fonts in the picture are more of a light gold cream from fade. But copper is a real no fade silver and is an entirely a different insert when one looks closer. The serifs are different as well on the two inserts, as one can see for example in the number "4".

The all copper insert has the number fonts in silver not gold..BIG differance..same as the all blue bezel. These 1675 GMT inserts I believe were used in the late 1960's and 1970's on the two tone model 1675 gold bezel and SS cases. But maybe also found on just an all SS 1675 GMT.

The all blue GMT insert from my research was issued on military 1675's at first..

But with surplus the leftover all blue bezels were given to Rolex service centers and made available as an option to service customers in the 1970's till the stock ran out. I was also told by Rolex NYC that the service center watchmaker years ago when I submitted my 1675 for service, that an in-house parts book had the all blue Tudor Sub and Rolex GMT bezel pictured. One interesting note, was that Tudor had an all blue bezel on the 1970 Tudor Sub and Monte Carlo chrono model.


One can also find GMT inserts in purple

Monday, March 22, 2010

The look at unique Milgauss 1019

The Milgauss 1019 Rolex is a very unique watch.
Used by professionals working in highly magnetic atmospheres such as in nuclear industries which yielded a strong magnetic fields. A need came about to have a watch movement be able to handle these extreme conditions. Rolex was up to the challenge and created a iron cage to house and shield the caliber from any magnetic harm.
A simple synopses of this model revels to us that only two dials were ever issued for this reference. A silver and black dial was the only chosen options a buyer had on this model.

The early models had the 1/5 hash markers on the dial, while later dials were changed over to a 1/2 hash markers. This dial is the rail dial version..Very rare to find a 1019 rail dial.

1/2 hash markers

1/2 hash markers

A picture of a rail and non rail 1019 dail.

rail dials

The 1019 featured two types of minute and hour hands. The early 1019 hands featured a gloss polished hour and minute hand built out of an antimagnetic material. The later hands had an aluminum matte textured hour and minute hand. Oddly enough the 1019 straight second hand with a red arrow tip and apparently been used on the early and later 1019 model run.

Three odd items which intrigued me were, the fact that the reference 1019 used a small 5.3 mm rather then the bigger crown. As well as the large tropic # 32 crystal. One of the largest plastic Rolex diameter crystal in the Rolex family. I believe this case design housed the movement top iron plate and resulted in a bigger crystal to cover the extra case size. The last odd fact about the 1019 transpired in the "M" letter being stamped on the caliber plate, only found on the 1019 caliber.

The 1019 rotor bridge had a specific 1580 stamp instead of the ubiquitous 1570 numbers.

One other notion regarding the 1019 dial variations, a rail 1019 dial does exist and is correct. See the comparison of a rail 1665 and 16550 to the 1019 rail dial in the picture below. Same font alignment and layout. No disputing this fact that the 1019 rail dial exists.

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