Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1954
    Reference No: 6205
    Movement No: 63'339
    Case No: 21’480
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A260, 19 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is always very exciting when a rare 70 year old Rolex surfaces in preserved condition and coming from the family of the original owner.

    The present reference 6205 Submariner was bought by the grandfather of the consignor in the 1950s as a gift to himself and worn sparingly. He then offered it to his grandson around 20 years ago but the latter left the watch in a safe unworn all this time!

    Reference 6205 is part of the very early Submariner models produced. Launched in 1954 and in production for a short two year period, the reference 6205 is one of the first watches to bear the Submariner signature on the dial. Furthermore, it’s fitted with extremely rare and highly sought-after pencil-style hands, which would later be replaced by one of the most distinguishing features on Rolex’s sports model – the Mercedes-style hour hand.

    Fresh to the market and from the family of the original owner, the present reference 6205 is very well preserved. The definition of the case is superb, with fully preserved and crisp lug bevels, and sharp angles to the lug tips. The luminous hour markers are original and perfectly intact, along with the original luminous hands – all correctly matching in hue and tone. The early bezel lacks any minute sub-divisions from the 0 to the 15 minute marker as would be found on future Submariner references.

    A coveted gem in the world of collectors’ watches, the reference 6205 is a historically relevant watch and this example presents a rare opportunity for the discerning collector of exceptional sports watches.

  • 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. 6205
A historically important, extremely rare, well-preserved, and early stainless steel diver’s wristwatch

Circa 1954
37mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF90,000 - 180,000 

Sold for CHF94,500

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021