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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi WUS...

Well I finally decided to look at the watch that was left to me by my dad that's been in safe keeping all these years and found out it was a Rolex Explorer II - 1655 (Orange Hand / Steve Mcqueen)!!!

I remember my dad wearing a Rolex as a kid, but of course didn't know exactly what it was (except what many considered the finest watches in the world)...now that I'm older and starting my own collection, I thought I was finally at a time in my life to appreciate it and find out the details. I wasn't prepared to find out that all this time it was the Orange Hand Explorer II - MY JAW DROPPED :p

I'm definitely going to keep it and want to make sure I keep it in as excellent quality as my family did. My question to all of you is if there are any Trustworthy Rolex Service Centers you'd recommend in the Bay Area, CA for me to bring it into and have it serviced? Also from a collecting standpoint, what are your thoughts of having it polished, etc.?

Thanks in advance for any help - I'm still in shock of the rare piece that's right in front of me!

P.S. Thanks Dad (Miss You) :thanks
 

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NICE!!!

There is a Rolex service center in San Francisco on Post street.

210 Post St # 705
San Francisco, CA 94108-5109
(415) 982-9830

They do good work and the turnaround time was about 2 mos.
 

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I second the motion for the SFO Rolex place on Post St. They are independent of corporate Rolex, & are fantastic & unlike corp. Rolex serv. ctrs. will work on older Rolexes..........they renovated & serviced my 1655's, one was my dad's...................did a marvelous job on both.


 

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Discussion Starter #4
I second the motion for the SFO Rolex place on Post St. They are independent of corporate Rolex, & are fantastic & unlike corp. Rolex serv. ctrs. will work on older Rolexes..........they renovated & serviced my 1655's, one was my dad's...................did a marvelous job on both.


Thanks for the quick responses and info! I'll check into this - is it a Rolex SC or a Rolex Dealer?

Dr. Robert - those look stunning! Did you have them replace everything on them? How much did it set you back cost-wise? Any tips or advice?

The condition of mine is great considering its age and that it was actually used daily. However there are surface scratches and slight wear. I'm wondering if polishing it and replacing any parts devalues the watch and its collectibility at all...
 

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Changing the watch from its original state will adversely effect price...

Dials and hands should not be changed, nor should the bezel. There were two different bezels for the 1655, an early one and later one that Rolex now uses when servicing all 1655's, and collectors notice the difference. As for polishing, most serious collectors would prefer if the case were not polished as well. But this one is the biggy-- changing from the originals to a set of service dial and hands alone could mean thousands of dollars lost if you ever decide to sell the watch.

The way to best preserve the watch, and its value, is to have Rolex do a simple movement overhaul and nothing else. You must be very clear on this point, and get your work order in writing before service begins. Originality is key to protect the watches value.

My views are from the standpoint of both a purist and a collector. Others here will have varying opinions on how to service the watch, but in order to best preserve the watches value one must be very conservative in servicing these though Rolex.
 

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Re: Changing the watch from its original state will adversely effect price...

Would not polish it up IMO. Nice that you are in a place to enjoy something your Dad enjoyed for many years. Very cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Changing the watch from its original state will adversely effect price...

Dials and hands should not be changed, nor should the bezel. There were two different bezels for the 1655, an early one and later one that Rolex now uses when servicing all 1655's, and collectors notice the difference. As for polishing, most serious collectors would prefer if the case were not polished as well. But this one is the biggy-- changing from the originals to a set of service dial and hands alone could mean thousands of dollars lost if you ever decide to sell the watch.

The way to best preserve the watch, and its value, is to have Rolex do a simple movement overhaul and nothing else. You must be very clear on this point, and get your work order in writing before service begins. Originality is key to protect the watches value.

My views are from the standpoint of both a purist and a collector. Others here will have varying opinions on how to service the watch, but in order to best preserve the watches value one must be very conservative in servicing these though Rolex.
Terrific info Strela - I greatly appreciate the insight from a collector's perspective. The Dial, Hands, and Bezel are in great condition given the watch's age and use. I also recognize that the patina is valued by others and not by some. However, the glass does have some fine scratches that I'm wondering whether replacing it would be a bad decision in the long run or if there are repair options that the service center would use to reduce the scratches.
 

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Get in touch with Dalton Toledo at ABC Watchwerks in downtown LA. They are absolutely the best when it comes to vintage classics. I wouldn't even let RSC touch it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Really appreciate all the great advice and opinions everyone! :)
 

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giovanni at the sf rolex service center will be able to help you out. great guy. shreve and co also has their in-house watchmaker on the same floor. both are reputable watchmakers in my opinion.
 

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I will second the vote for Giovanni @ SFO Rolex Service Ctr. on Post St. They did the work on my 2 1655's I posted here. They do excellent work.
 

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Lovely watch :-!....Steve McQueen NEVER wore one...it is an urban myth!
For God's sake don't let Rolex service it and change the dial or bezel.
Mine got sent to them (London) and it came back with a new bezel and crown...I did not ask for this, nor was I asked if I wanted it.
When I challegened them, the reply was was simple; that they do it as a mater of course and, no the old bits are not availible to be returned. They claim to destroy them.o|

Funnily enough lots of these parts appear on the VRF (Vintage Rolex Forum) at very high prices! Needless to say your watch will have been devalued.

Be careful and very explicit in your instructions.

Best of luck with it.
 
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