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Vintage Rolex Explorer 5500 with the rare expandable band

Vintage Rolex watches have become so popular in recent years, and here is a magnificent vintage Rolex Explorer reference 5500 that has not only the totally original and sought after dial, but the extremely rare expandable Rolex band.

Dating from 1969, this Rolex Explorer has just been completely serviced and keeps perfect time thanks to the highly reliable and venerable twenty six jewelled automatic Rolex calibre 1520.

Fitted in the stainless steel watch case that looks so sleek thanks to the smooth bezel, the dial displays the iconic 3, 6 and 9 as well as those beautiful as well as all original Mercedes-style hands. Whereas many of these early Explorer 5500's have the dials changed, this one is the original "Swiss T<25" dial that along with the hands, has achieved the most wonderful patina.

And then there is the band that unlike other Rolex Oyster bands, actually has springs inside the links allowing it to fit so comfortably on the wrist.

This is such a wonderful and highly collectable watch that will no doubt always be admired and appreciated by any watch connoisseur who sees it on your wrist.


Stock# W1922

Maker: Rolex

Model: Rolex Explorer I reference 5500

Circa: 1969




Out of stock


Vintage Rolex Explorer 5500 with the rare expandable band

When did the first Rolex Explorer come out?

A brief history of the Rolex Explorer 1500

Towards the end of the 1950s, Rolex made a version of the Air-King ref. 5500 with an Explorer dial. Like the Air-King with the same reference number of 5500, the Explorer 5500 was also fitted in the 34mm case, which was made in the Air-King for pilots.

The dial of this Rolex Explorer has a black gilt dial, the 3, 6, and 9 numerals, and index markers as well as the inverted triangle at the 12 o’clock position. Fitted with the iconic Explorer Mercedes-style hands, and lollipop-style seconds hand with a luminous circle on it, the earlier models used tritium for luminescence.

The Rolex Explorer 5500 was fitted with Rolex calibers 1520 or 1530 which is a twenty six jewelled movement. The Rolex Explorer has become a highly sought after vintage Rolex watch for collectors in recent years, thanks in part to its comfortable and easy to wear case size (34mm) and with no date window, this gives the watch a smooth, sleek look to it that makes it the perfect watch to dress up or down depending on the occasion.

Where can I service my Rolex watch in Australia?

When we expanded and renovated our store in late 2022, we put in not only a full watchmaking and polishing workshop, but a watchmaker who used to work for Rolex for nearly seven years. This allows us to be able to service your Rolex to Rolex standards, as well as other watch brands such as Omega, Cartier and Patek Philippe to name a few.

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