Il Freccione è arrivato!

WISdom its different things to different people, but I generally try to plough my own furrow, thinking hard about what I want and waiting (often for quite some time) to find the best example that I can, at a price I consider to be realistic. Ive gone from new and primarily Rolex; to all-vintage and a variety of manufacturers; and now to a mix of old and new, and with a reasonably eclectic approach albeit what makes up my collection. So, to the latest incoming – which despite the normally measured approach described above came as something of an unplanned surprise, and followed an irresistible impulse that had me raiding the bank account.

A while back, a friend on TZ-UK posted about his new love, the Orange Hand, Freccione or McQueen Explorer 1655. Im not sure that the McQueen reference is actually valid (in that he is said to have worn this watch in private whilst wearing something completely different in his movies, although this seems to have been no more than an advertising ploy) but theres no question that this slightly quirky watch has become one of the more collectible of the vintage Rolex models. Ive been admiring it for ages whilst not really having had any intention of buying one, but the opportunity to grab an example with the fullest set youll ever find including the original sales receipt (indeed, a member of the Vintage Rolex Forum actually met the original owner, who had received the watch as a gift from his wife); and with provenance from the venerable Mike Wood to boot; meant that another classic vintage has now joined the two 1960’s vintage Rolex stunners that I already had.

Its a remarkable and historic watch, with a genuine wrist presence and a completely unique look that sets it apart from the much more generic styling of the rest of the Rolex sports range. Although Ive bought this one (a Mark 5 dial with Mark 4 bezel) as a longish-term investment as well as to wear (well, its a lot nicer to look at than a bank statement) its such an amazing watch that I suspect it may well become close to a daily companion.

Some photos..

Oh, and a full set that includes both boxes, the punched Rolex Certificate of Authenticity, two service certificates, the two books (the one relating to the 1655 itself is actually quite rare), the original sales receipt for £560 (!) from F A Buck of Stoke-On-Trent, a later receipt from The Old Watch Shop, the chronometer seal, calendar, translation booklet and wallet 🙂

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