Rolex Precision Pre-Explorer | 6150 | steel

Regular price £20,000 Enquire

This vintage, steel Rolex Precision Pre-Explorer ref. 6150 watch from the early 1950's is a beautiful example of a now iconic tool watch. It has its original, gilt chapter-ring black dial with subtle patina on the Radium hour markers. It also has its original, gilt handset.

The Rolex Explorer was first introduced in 1953. Beginning as a prototype designed specifically for professional use. Typically thought of as the most rugged of the oyster family, the Rolex Explorer has always been closely-associated with the rigours of international adventure and exploration. Famously tested during the Himalayan expeditions, there aren’t many mechanical timepieces more deserving of the reputation. The Rolex reference 6150 arguably represents the Explorer in its purest form. This particular case dates to 1953 (serial 944 XXX); a very early example of a rare watch.


Launched in the early 1950's, the reference 6150 is one of the rarest and earliest examples of the “Explorer” model; the earliest of which, do not carry the “Explorer” name (only reading “Precision”). The designation was later added to the dial of the reference 6150. Many refer to the reference as a “Pre-Explorer” since the first Rolex reference to carry the “Explorer” designation was the model 6350, which was only manufactured in 1953. The designation was a tribute to adventurers such as Sir Edmund Hillary and Norgay, who would go on to reach the summit of Mount Everest the same year, whilst pioneering the modern concepts of sports/celebrity marketing. The reference 6150 “prototype” is one of only a handful of references rigorously tested during the earliest period of its production, for suitability to withstand the harshest of conditions. The Rolex Precision 6150 was arguably the influential benchmark used throughout the design process of later examples of the ‘Explorer’, emphasising legibility, waterproofness, and enhanced reliability.


The case of this Rolex is in excellent condition. The brushing on top of the lugs is consistent, while the spring-bar spaces show little sign of elongation. The flat bezel is sharp and gives the watch an appropriate utilitarian feel. The company’s revolutionary two-piece, hermetically sealed case was adapted in Rolex’s earliest self-winding references, designed to accommodate increased height of the automatic mechanism. This Rolex Precision Pre-Explorer 6150 features this early “bubble-back” style case-back.


Inside the watch, it houses Rolex’s early A296 movement. Noticeably different from today’s; the mechanism is almost entirely concealed, along with the engraving ‘ROLEX PERPETUAL’ and ‘PATENTED’ featured.

As with many great watches, there are celebrated characteristics that make it special. The 3-6-9 dial configuration is beloved by collectors for its distinguishable style and functional purpose; the Rolex Precision ‘Pre-Explorer’ being one of the very first to have incorporated the iconic black dial with ‘3-6-9’ hour markers.


This Rolex Explorer 6150 comes on a brown suede strap and generic steel, tang Rolex buckle.

Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.

Brand: Rolex
Model: Precision Pre-Explorer Ref. 6150
Movement: automatic precision grade A296 movement
Functions: hours, minutes, central-seconds
Features: fantastic patina to the dial and lumes
Case: 36 mm steel
Crystal: plexiglass
Bracelet: brown suede with generic Rolex tang buckle
Year: 1953
Box & papers: N/A
This vintage  steel Rolex Precision Pre-Explorer ref. 6150 has been fully serviced. It is guaranteed for authenticity and comes with a two-year warranty from A Collected Man. The case is in good vintage condition, with minor bumps/grazes (consistent with use). An appropriate service Rolex glass and crown has been fitted. The radium dial is in excellent condition. The patina on the hour markers is intact and shows consistent patina, matching the handset ageing. The minute hand displays slight discolouration in-line with the positioning of the lollipop centre seconds, due to touching/resting in this position for many years. The machined key cut-outs in the case-back are excellently preserved.

All of our pre-owned watches have undergone thorough mechanical inspections, including being ultrasonically cleaned, serviced and resealed if appropriate and tested for at least four days, to ensure they meet our highest timekeeping standards. Our pre-owned and vintage watches are covered by a full, or a limited twenty-four month warranty. For example, due to their age, some vintage watches should not be subjected to the same conditions as when they were new. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information. 

All of our new watches are covered by the warranty from the original manufacturer. Please contact us for further information.

We offer worldwide delivery on all of our watches.

If ordering from the UK or Europe before 1 PM, your watch will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the watch, with all watches delivered the next working day.

If ordering from outside Europe, delivery will depend on choice of courier and destination. 

You can cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the watch has been delivered to you.