They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but with this 1655 Freccione (Italian for arrow, or orange-hand today), I’m beginning to think beauty is better defined by the eye of the market. In the last five years 1655 values have been steadily trending upward at an increasing rate . . .and for good reason. Now that we’re nearing the pandemic finale, there’s no better GMT companion when the gates are fully open.
The 1655 was created for some of the most extreme explorers, spelunkers. The 24-hour hand & GMT hand could not be confused since the bezel does not rotate. A non-rotating bezel means no accidental knocks over long periods of time measurement. The sole purpose of these changes was to differentiate between day and night in places where there is a lack of natural day and night lighting. Strangely enough, Rolex seemed to this was a large market. Spelunkers proved to not be massive Rolex enthusiasts and initial sales were slow. In the time since, it’s caught on in a big way for its smaller-cased, GMT-enabled simplicity.
This particular example shows an honest ageing. The dial and hands are original and matched. No serious flaws are visible on the dial. Its orange arrow hand has a light mark on the tritium, a possible lume crack or small strike. But importantly, the case and bracelet appear very original and unpolished. It has been serviced recently. This would be a tasteful addition to any Rolex travel roll.
Find this 1655 Mk5 here from Watchworks Haarlem for 24500 EUR.