Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XII Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1953
    Reference No: 6204
    Movement No: 63'796
    Case No: 21'485
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A260, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex launched the Submariner model in 1953, and over the last 63 years it has become one of the brand's most iconic timepieces ever produced. Most scholars agree that reference 6204 is the earliest Rolex reference ever sold publicly. It immediately displayed all of the characteristics of the Submariner we know today, with its graduated bezel, luminous plots, thick bevels on the case and Oyster bracelet. The model most notably displays pencil hands - it would only be later that Rolex would introduce Mercedes hands.

    This very early, extremely attractive and incredibly rare reference 6204, dating from 1953, was produced the very first year of the model's introduction and one of the very first Submariners ever made. The dial is absolutely spectacular - it displays only minimal signs of wear and the luminous dots have aged with warm, even patina. Most stunningly, the dial has not been altered throughout its life. The case itself is an even more impressive sight to behold. Displaying crisp bevels, sharp edges and bold proportions, it almost seems as if the watch had just left the factory just recently. Even the numbers between the lugs are crisp and deep - attesting to the little, if any intervention the watch has seen throughout its lifetime. Rarely do such gems appear on the market, not less in such impressive and pristine condition.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 6204
An attractive, impressive and extremely well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial and bracelet

Circa 1953
37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for CHF163,800

Contact Specialist

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

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020