Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1962
    Reference No: 5508
    Movement No: D65119
    Case No: 764'524
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1560, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 6636, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 4.64
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Submariner is one of Rolex's most iconic models. Still in production today, it has gone through multiple incarnations throughout its 65 year history. While early generation examples notably had either a "small" or "big" crown, Rolex gradually introduced crown guards to make the model more robust and durable.

    The history of the "no crown guards" Submariner is marked by several milestones. Launched in 1953, the very first serially produced Submariner wristwatch carried the designated reference 6204. Displaying pencil hands and luminous numerals, it was an incredibly important aid for dives. Rolex eventually developed other "small crown" models, such as reference 6205, 6536/6538, 6536 and 6536/1, while reference 6538 and 5510 were fitted with a "large" crown. Reference 5508 was the last Submariner to carry the "100m=330ft" depth rating.

    The Submariner model is further immortalized on film, having accompanied James Bond on multiple secret missions in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball. Bond’s gadget is disguised as a wristwatch, which is equipped with different spying abilities.

    This reference 5508 is a superlative example. Offered in extraordinary condition, it is truly a marvel to behold. The contrasting polished and brushed finishes are crisp and visible. Additionally, the dial is in excellent and incredibly glossy condition with an incredible mirror-like finish. It barely displays any sign of aging. The "exclamation" mark corresponds with the serial number. Even the bracelet is incredibly rigid and crisp, leading us to believe the watch was worn very rarely throughout its lifetime.

  • 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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160

Ref. 5508
An exceptionally well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, black lacquer "exclamation mark" dial and bracelet

1962
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF60,000 - 120,000 
€58,900-118,000
$63,700-127,000

Sold for CHF132,300

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81
[email protected]

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022