An exceptional and incredibly rare stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, no crown guards, "exclamation mark" and  bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 5508 inside case back stamped II.62
    Movement No: 84'104
    Case No: 762'976
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 4.60
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex fitted box

  • 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 unpolished condition, it is truly a marvel to behold. The contrasting polished and brushed finishes are undoubtedly original, and display how reference 5508s originally left the factory. Furthermore, there is a crisp Portuguese import mark stamped on the upper left lug. It would have disappeared if the watch had been repolished in any way. 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. The inside case back and movement are in pristine condition; it is possible that this is the first time the watch has been opened in fifty six years.

  • Maker Bio

    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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Rolex

Ref. 5508 inside case back stamped II.62
An exceptional and incredibly rare stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, no crown guards, "exclamation mark" and bracelet

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

Estimate
CHF100,000 - 200,000 
€88,000-176,000
$102,000-205,000

sold for CHF125,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018