Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE Geneva Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1958
    Reference No: 5510 inside case back stamped I.1958
    Case No: 361'946
    Model Name: Submariner "Big Crown"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster "Big Logo" bracelet, reference 7206, end links stamped 65, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 4.59
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Produced for a short period of time only in the late 1950s, reference 5510 notably features a big crown with no crown guards. Some examples were chronometer certified, while others displayed "Submariner" along with the depth rating - these variants are known as "Two Liners". In production for a few years only, reference 5510 is instantly recognizable and characterized by its black lacquer ‘Swiss’ dial, lack of crown guards and 8 millimeter Brevet ‘big’ crown. Research suggests that reference 5510 was made in an exceedingly small series of less than 300 examples.

    The Big Crown Submariner has a special place in the hearts of Rolex collectors, having been immortalized in multiple James Bond films. Bond’s gadget is famously disguised as a ‘Big Crown’ Submariner, which is equipped with different spying abilities.

    This particular example features crisp, sharp bevels which are incredibly wide in their proportions. Furthermore, it still retains its original crown. The luminous material on the hands and numerals have aged with warm patina. As an added feature, this watch is fitted with an original Rolex "Big Logo" bracelet that is incredibly collectible today. It is stamped for the fourth quarter of 1959.

  • 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. 5510 inside case back stamped I.1958
A rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial, "big crown" and "big logo" bracelet

Circa 1958
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF75,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE

Geneva Auction 11-12 May 2019