ROLEX Explorer Ref. 6150 Gilt Chapter Ring Swiss only Lollipop Dial (1953)

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PRICE - £37,000

It was the year 1953 - 

Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary were on their way to the summit of Everest, accompanying the intrepid climbers was a Rolex Chronometer, now considered a "Pre Explorer", temporarily gifted to the literal explorer(s) to wear during the ascent (Hillary dutifully returned it upon return and it now resides in Zurich's Beyer Museum). Concurrent to the expedition, Rolex had already released the present watch, the 6150 - which already featured the 3 6 9 configuration now instantly recognisable as an "Explorer" layout (in this case with the word "Precision"). It is thought that following the successful summit, Rolex fully embraced their newly famed ambassador, and adorned the subsequent watches with the word "Explorer" - an icon was born

So to say this is a historic watch is an understatement - it is the first iteration of one of the most important and long lasting references Rolex have ever made (and continue to make to this day). What followed later that year was the reference 6350 which was produced for 3 active years, the 6610 in 1955 until 1959, and the 1016 from 1960.

A brief anecdote from the previous owner:

"The watch was owned by my great uncle Richard Precious (Dick). He was a very keen cyclist in his younger years, and a life-long member of the Godiva Cycling Club in Coventry. I remember he acquired it during National Service in the late 1950s. He told me he swapped watches with another soldier as he preferred Dick's watch.
I never saw my great uncle wear it and know it sat in his writing desk for most of its life. I remember him showing me it one day and I spotted that is was a Rolex. This meant nothing to Dick and he had no idea of the fact it may have some value. My great uncle died and I inherited the Rolex and two others. 
I wore it for about a year and it kept perfect time. I stopped wearing after the watch set off the radiation alarm at Heathrow"
Here then is a watch produced from just 1952 until 1953, in original and superbly preserved condition - with only a handful known and even less available on the open market, ladies and gents this is an opportunity not to be missed


For sale here at Mann About Time Vintage Watches, London - a Rolex Explorer Ref. 6160:

Manufacturer - Rolex

Year - 1953

Reference - 6150

Movement - A296 Automatic

Case Serial - 944806

Material -  Stainless Steel - 36 mm not including crown

Case, movement, and dial signed

C&I Rivet Bracelet stamped 60 in outstanding condition

All original dial and hands, reading high on the geiger confirming untouched radium

Long hour hand, syringe minute hand and acutely rare big lollipop seconds hand

Comes fully serviced with NOS Rolex crystal fitted, and is mechanically guaranteed for 1 year (February 2024)