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Rolex Explorer 5500 Gilt Dial, 1966

Rolex Explorer 5500 Gilt Dial, 1966

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Regular price £12,995.00
Sale price £12,995.00
Sale Sold out Save 7%

Traditional Dealer Price

Regular price £14,000.00
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A fine and rare example of the Rolex Explorer, reference 5500, from 1966. This stunning example was purchased from a single-family owner and represents a rare unspoiled example, with its original gilt dial and Mercedes hands showing a beautiful patina.

The Rolex Explorer reference 5500 is considered one of the most unique and collectable Explorers to have been produced. Sharing the same 34mm case as the Air-King, the reference 5500 featured a stunning gilt-inscribed dial with tritium luminescent paint. This particular example is one of the best we've seen and is sure to be a great future investment.

The history behind the Rolex Explorer

Rolex began producing watches for explorers in 1933 (as an original backer of the Himalayan expedition), with a highly visible dial and unique lubricants that allowed functionality between -20° C and +40° C. Rolex introduced the name, 'Explorer' to these watches after the first Everest summit was completed in 1953, to capitalise on the achievement, as Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was wearing one when he reached the summit.

For an in-depth look into the history and origins of the Rolex Explorer, we highly recommend that you check out the article written by Blowers Jewellers on the 'History of the Rolex Explorer: The Ultimate Tool Watch'

Technical & Condition: 

Presented in overall excellent vintage condition. The case, whilst polished in the past, retains its shape nicely and is free from significant dings. The dial has aged beautifully with matching lume colour on both the hands and dial, both of which remain in excellent shape for their age. The bracelet is in great shape with almost no stretch. The movement is in good condition and just back from a service.  

  • Case size (exc. crown): 34mm
  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Strap/bracelet: Oyster ref. 7835. Will fit wrists up to approximately 17cm
  • Box and papers: Original Rolex box and various papers

Make this Rolex Explorer 5500 yours today!

Examples like this are few and far between these days. Whether you're buying it for its beauty or its investment potential, don't hang around. We're unlikely to be able to source another like it for some time to come, and certainly not for this price point! 

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Key Information

Rolex Explorer 5500 Gilt Dial, 1966

Technical Information

Key Information:

  • Brand: Rolex
  • Model: Explorer
  • Ref.: 5500
  • Year: 1966
  • SKU: 1746


  • Movement Calibre: 1520
  • Movement Type: Automatic
  • Case Size: 34mm

Box and Papers:

  • Original Box

Condition Report

Shipping & Returns


For orders placed before 2pm orders will be shipped the same day.

Your watch will be carefully packaged and shipped fully insured with leading global courier companies.

Delivery Prices:

Delivery within the UK is Free. Delivery within Europe is £60. Delivery for the Rest of the World is £80.


Don't like it or change your mind? Return it for a full refund with our 14 day, no hassle returns on all sales. See the full conditions here.

1 Year Warranty

All Our Watches are Covered by Our World-Class, 1 Year International Warranty.

Should your watch run into mechanical issues we'll repair it. For full details see our terms and conditions here.


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