Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1954
    Reference No: 6200
    Movement No: 12'512
    Case No: 32'021
    Model Name: Submariner "Big Crown"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A296, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 7206, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex clasp stamped 1.51
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced at the 1954 Basel Fair, the Submariner was Rolex's version of a water-resistant dive watch. While references 6204 and 6205 were water resistant to a depth of 100 meters, the more robust reference 6200 offered water resistance up to a depth of 200 meters. This model was nicknamed the “Big Crown” due to its oversized 8-millimeter “Brevet” crown that enabled cutting-edge water resistance. Of all reference 6200s, the most iconic variant is without a doubt one with an "Explorer" 3-6-9 dial like the present watch.

    Production numbers of the "Explorer Submariner" were extremely limited and their serial numbers range from 31.9xx to around 32.2xx.

    The dial of this particular example is remarkable and possibly unique due its configuration. The "Officially Certified Chronometer" text is rendered in three lines, rather than the usual "Submariner" only text. It would be later with the reference 6538 that the dial would display four lines of text with these models known as "Four Liners". From and aesthetic point of view, these additional 3 lines bring balance and further points of interest on the dial.

    Displaying thick bevels and incredible proportions, this Submariner displays a very impressive case. It retains its original Brevet crown. Furthermore, the dial is preserved in extremely attractive condition with barely any losses to the luminous material, which has aged evenly to a beautiful warm hue. The dial has not been altered throughout its life (which is a marvel in itself as many existing examples today have been "touched up" at least once during its lifespan), and the gilt graphics shine through beautifully.

  • 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. 6200
A possibly unique, important and well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer "explorer" dial and bracelet

Circa 1954
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF250,000 - 500,000 

Sold for CHF403,200

Contact Specialist

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

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022