ROLEX PRE-EXPLORER 6350 IV 53
Here is an extremely rare historical Rolex Oyster Precision Pre-Explorer Perpetual Chronometer . This watch has the same ref # 6350 IV 53 18 that Tenzing Norgay wore for the everest expedition with Edmund Hillary. The watch was fitted with cal A296 semi bubble-back automatic movement, serial nb: 12544 H98572. The original unrestored white 3 - 6 - 9 honeycomb dial is in great condition for it's age, with the fine silver hour batons and perfect ‘dagger’ hands with original blue steel second hand. The solid stainless steel case has ref # 6350 with serial nb: BREVET 955xxx, the screwed case-back has the ref # 6350 IV 53. Original screwed Rolex oyster crown. I have added for this iconic watch a vintage signed leather strap. The watch is fully signed with original condition and runs keeping time. Size: 35 x 34 mm excluding crown or 44 mm lug to lug.
Historical background : From late 1952, prototypes of the first Explorers were given to mountaineering and other expeditions for field trials. At this early stage, the Explorer name was not displayed on the dial, and the watches were simply bubble-backs with white dials, on which the three, six and nine were marked with steel or brass. Several members of Sir John Hunt’s May 1953 Everest expedition were issued with these watches, and it has long been assumed that Tenzing Norgay wore one for the successful summiting of Everest on 29 May.
The Rolex often engraved the watch's production date on the inner side of the case back, Tenzing Norgay's Ref. 6350 was IV 53, which meant it was manufactured in April 1953, it could be seen that before the climbing Everest summit of Hillary and Norgay, Rolex didn't officially name Ref. 6350 for Explorer, although Rolex registered "Explorer" trademark in Geneva on January 26, 1953, it was the time after Hillary and Norgay's climbing Everest summit expedition that Explorer's name was formally established, that was, Ref. 6350, which was produced after this expedition in 1953, was just added the name – Explorer. After a period of groping, Rolex developed Explorer I to be a fixed style and classic masterpiece.
The Ref. 6350 was indeed specially made for Explorers by Rolex: it has a highly readable dial design, and its case is also specially strengthened and uses special lubricant making this watch usable between -20° C and +40° C.