Rolex Pre-Explorer 1953 Military Issue HS10 Ref.6150 MOD
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This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Precision 1953 ‘Pre-Explorer’ has inherited a beautiful vintage character and makes for a stunning timepiece with a fascinating history behind it.
Rare ‘Pre-Explorer’ 1953 Ref.6150 Rolex
HS10 CD (Clearance Diver) marked military issue watch
Beautifully patinated lume on the hands and hour batons
Though the Rolex Explorer we know and love today has evolved somewhat since its conception, its roots can be seen clearly in this beautifully preserved Rolex ‘Pre-Explorer’ Ref.6150; a 1953 stainless steel Military watch which was issued to Clearance Divers. Rolex’s rigorous design brief is here seen in a rare, early example of the Explorer before the iconic model name was ever etched into the dial itself, hence it could be said that this watch represents Rolex’s earliest steps towards the renowned watch now associated with the extremes of adventure and exploration. Instead of ‘Explorer’, the dial bears the word ‘Precision’ in a warm caramel patina tone in line with the rest of the patinated character of the dial. Arguably the most interesting feature, however, is the military markings on the rear of the case denoting its use as a Divers’ watch - HS standing for Hydrographic Services and CD for Clearance diver; it is more than likely that this watch was used during the clearing of explosive mines during active service. Not only is this watch rare in the sense that it precedes the commonly seen Explorer, it is also one of few to bear these military markings, making it all in all a highly sought after watch and an impressive piece for any avid collector with an interest in ‘3-6-9’ Dial explorers and/or military watches.
The case is in excellent condition and has been lightly polished, though it remains true to the spirit of this scarcely found timepiece showing signs of light wear around the lugs and sides with a small dent on the side of the case back too, though it must be noted that considering this watch’s age (64 years) it remains in remarkable condition. The crown bears the Brevet Rolex symbol with a cross below it. The case back bears the Military insignia ‘HS10 CD’, the iconic military issue arrow marker and the watch’s Ministry of Defense issue number (944xxx).
The Plexiglass in this watch is original and consequently bears a few scratches from use and wear over the years, this is mainly manifested in a shallow and longer scratch from the the 8 O’Clock marker to the 10 which is only visible upon closer inspection and doesn’t detract from the condition of the watch massively.
The Mercedes hands are complete with the same original gilt seen all over the dial, from the minute tracker and hour batons to the second hand, and both still bear their well-preserved fluorescent lume. The Rolex crown, ‘Rolex’ and ‘Oyster Perpetual’ appear across three lines and also bear this same gilded detail, along with ‘Precision’ which appears just above the 6 baton. The dial is otherwise black, showing little signs of fading or other wear and still provides a sharp contrast between itself and the gold elements of the dial.
It goes without saying that this watch is unique in its condition and provenance, and is a beautifully preserved example of one of Rolex’s earliest and rarest explorers. From the ‘3-6-9’ gilded black dial to the military insignia to the Brevet logo crown, this watch is truly a gem amongst stones for any serious watch collector.
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