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

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1954
    Reference No: 6200
    Movement No: 37'410
    Case No: 32'180
    Model Name: Submariner ‘Big Crown’
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, A296, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Oyster bracelet, endlinks stamped 80 max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp stamped 2.62
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Literature: This very watch is prominently illustrated in Franca & Guido Mondani / Lele Ravagnani ROLEX SUBMARINER STORY on page 215.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced at the 1954 Basel Fair, the Submariner was released in three different references. The references 6204 and 6205 were water resistant to a depth of 100 meters and the more robust reference 6200, like the present model, was designed for professional divers, offering water resistance to a depth of 200 meters. These models are nicknamed the “Big Crown”, due to their oversized, 8-millimeter “Brevet” crowns that enabled the model’s cutting edge water resistance.

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

    This reference 6200 ticks all the boxes for the passionate collector. Boasting a large 37.5mm case, It features the extremely rare and coveted “Explorer” 3-6-9 dial that epitomizes this very first generation model, lacking both the Submariner signature and depth rating. Rolex used the 3-6-9 dial configuration, inspired from their earlier Explorer reference 6298 and 6150 models, giving the watch a distinctive look.
    However, the most impressive aspect of the watch is its incredible metallic caramel tropical dial, that has aged harmoniously. Displaying thick bevels and incredible proportions, this Submariner displays a very impressive case and retains its original Brevet crown. . Furthermore, the dial features half seconds marks adding an extra element of rarity and desirability to the watch.

    The watch has a masculine sporty appeal, and its well-proportioned case is enhanced by its early “bubbleback”-style case fitted with the Rolex caliber A296. These early Submariners feature a rotating bezel without minute markers, and the reference 6200, along with the 6205, were the first models to use the now well-known “Mercedes” style hands.

    The iconic reference 6200 is one of the most desirable and collectible of all vintage sport watches and finding one fresh to the market make the present model a trophy not to be missed.

  • 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 highly rare, important and well-preserved stainless steel diver's wristwatch with caramel tropical "Explorer" dial and bracelet

37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF350,000 - 700,000 

Sold for CHF478,800

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