Rolex - Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS Hong Kong Sunday, May 26, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 5508, repeated on the inner caseback with II.62
    Movement No: 57’518
    Case No: 762’896
    Model Name: Submariner, “Small Crown”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, endlinks stamped 64, max length 195 mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 4.60
    Dimensions: 38 mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1953, the Submariner line is one of — if not the single most important diver’s wristwatch configurations in the brand’s history. The ref. 5508 is affectionately dubbed by collectors as the “small crown” model. In its constant pursuit of improving water resistance of its Submariner series, the ref. 5508 was the last Submariner to carry the "100m=330ft" depth rating, as subsequent models carry the improved depth rating.

    Dated from circa 1962, the present example is a lovely and well-preserved wristwatch. The watch is a highly desirable and charismatic example, fitted with a correct black lacquer “Swiss” dial, with the “Submariner” model name in gilt, with the depth rating printed in white on the surface of the dial. The luminous materials on the hands and indexes have aged to a warm sandy brown color. The correct bezel with the 15-minute calibration was an upgrade from its predecessor, has retained the original pearl atop the triangular marker.

    The most noteworthy feature however is the “Exclamation” dial. These dials stated to appear in 1962, the very year the current watch was manufactured. Impressive and imposing, the present example will for sure impress any collector of Rolex sport watches.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Ref. 5508, repeated on the inner caseback with II.62
An extremely attractive and rare stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, no crown guards, "exclamation mark" black glossy dial and bracelet

Circa 1962
38 mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

HK$620,000 - 1,200,000 

Sold for HK$2,687,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS

Hong Kong Auction 27 May 2019