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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1959
    Reference No: 5508
    Movement No: 94'440
    Case No: 490'335
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster, reference 7206, end links stamped 80, max length 205mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, stamped 2.67
    Dimensions: 37mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The reference 5508 launched in 1957, referred to as the “small crown” or “small James Bond”, was the last version of Rolex’s iconic Submariner to offer a 100 meter depth rating and feature a case with no crown guards. Fitted with the Rolex caliber 1530, it offered improved reliability compared with its predecessor model – the reference 6536.

    The standout feature of the present example is its original, glossy, gilt dial with minute chapter ring that remains in superb overall condition. The particularity found on this example resides in the fact that both the depth rating "100m=330ft" and the model name "Submariner" are printed on the lacquered surface whereas normally only the depth rating on this model is printed. The lacquered dial simply radiates under all lighting conditions – a characteristic that makes early Submariners so highly coveted. The bezel has beautifully aged to an even greyish/blue color, providing for a stunning contrast with the dial and the luminous markers. The present extraordinary example will for sure impress any collector of Rolex sport watches.

  • Artist Biography

    Rolex

    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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185

Ref. 5508
A very rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer "double silver" dial and bracelet

1959
37mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 30,000 
€18,400-27,500
$20,600-30,900

Sold for CHF30,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016