VINTAGE WATCHES AND JEWELRY.

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Rare Rolex Explorer II Transitional ref. 16570 "Tuminova" Dial circa 1998

SOLD

An ultra rare transitional Rolex Explorer II ref. 16750 with a T<25 marked dial, but with Luminova indexes and hands! With a late U serial number dating it to 1998, this watch sits directly in the sweet spot of a massive shift within Rolex and the watch community at large. This Explorer II marks the earliest transition from Rolex’s use of radioactive compounds to light powered phosphorescents in their watch luminescents. While many watch enthusiasts are aware of the rare “Swiss Only” dial, the roughly two year variant denoting the use of Luminova instead of tritium or the later Super Luminova, hardly any are privy to the existence of the earliest “Tuminova Dial”

It’s 1998 and Rolex, along with many other Swiss watch brands, is beginning the conversion to Luminova. The tritium dials they have been using for decades are marked so at the 6 o’clock position with the label “Swiss-T<25”, and Rolex has a few unfinished, no luminescence yet added dials left over. So, like any dollar conscious manufacturer they decide that wasting them makes little to no sense, and they finish those few (very few) dials with the very first use of Luminova. Marked T for the expected use of Tritium, but completed with the new and technologically superior Luminova, the “Tuminova Dial” was born. Then, after what at the absolute most could have been a few months, it was killed off as quickly as it arrived, making it a blip on the vintage Rolex map, and in our opinion, a future classic.

Identical in every other way to a regular 16570, this 1998 rare bird features a 39mm diameter stainless steel case, 24 hour fixed bezel, sapphire crystal, and screw down crown and caseback. What sits just under the exceptional dial in impression would in any other scenario be the star of the listing, its condition. The watch is completely unpolished, retaining its original thick bevels and a bracelet with very little stretch. It is powered by automatic caliber 3185 movement with quick set date.

Recently fully serviced by one of our veteran watchmakers and offered with our 1 year warranty of accurate timekeeping and operation. Also accompanying your purchase is one of our beautiful handmade Italian leather watch travel pouches, a $45 value. A wonderful and still relatively unknown piece of Rolex history that would add depth to even the most expansive collection.

Additional information

Maker

Model Name/Type

Man's / Lady's

Model/Case Ref#

Case Serial #

Circa

Case mm

Case Metal

Bezel

Crystal

Crown-Pushers

Dial & Hands

, ,

Movement Type

Movement Caliber

Date Function

Strap / Bracelet

Strap / Bracelet Size

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Box / Papers

Box / Papers (TAG)

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Rolex Serial Numbers and Clasp Codes

Rolex Serial Numbers

Rolex Production Year Serial Number
2010 G
2009 V
2008 M OR V
2007 M OR Z
2006 D OR Z
2005 D
2005 F
2004 F
2003 F
2002 Y
2001 K OR Y
2000 K,000,001
2000 P,000,001
1999 A,000,001
1998 U,932,144
1997 U,000,001
1996 T,000,001
1995 W,000,001
1994 S,860,880
1993 S,000,001
1992 C,000,001
1991 N,000,001
1991 X,000,001
1990 E,000,001
1989 L,980,000
1988 R,598,200
1987 R,000,001
1987 9,400,000
1986 8,900,000
1985 8,614,000
1984 8,070,022
1983 7,400,000
1982 7,100,000
1981 6,520,870
1980 6,434,000
1979 5,737,030
1978 5,000,000
1977 5,008,000
1976 4,115,299
1975 3,862,196
1974 3,567,927
1973 3,200,268
1972 2,890,459
1971 2,589,295
1970 2,241,882
1969 1,900,000
1968 1,752,000
1967 1,538,435
1966 1,200,000
1965 1,100,000
1964 1,008,889
1963 824,000
1962 744,000
1961 643,153
1960 516,000
1959 399,453
1958 328,000
1957 224,000
1956 133,061
1955 97,000
1954 23,000
1953 855,726
1952 726,639
1951 709,249
1950
1949
1948 628,840
1947 529,163
1946 367,946
1945 302,459
1944 269,561
1943 230,878
1942 143,509
1941 106,047
1940 99,775
1939 71,224
1938 43,739
1937 40,920
1936 36,856
1935 34,336
1934 30,823
1933 29,562
1932 29,132
1931
1930 23,186
1929
1928 23,969
1927 20,190
1926 00,001
 

Rolex Clasp Codes

Bracelet CodeYear
A or VA1976
B or VB1977
C or VC1978
D or VD1979
E or VE1980
F or VF1981
G1982
H1983
I1984
J1985
K1986
L1987
M1988
N1989
O1990
P1991
Q1992
R1993
S1994
T or W1995
V1996
Z1997
U1998
X1999
AB2000
DE2001
DT2002
AD2003
CL2004
MA2005
OP2006
EO2007
PJ2008
LT2009
RS2010
RANDOM201+