Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1954
    Reference No: 6200
    Case No: 32'248
    Model Name: Submariner "Big Crown" "Coroncione"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. A296, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster folded links bracelet stamped "380" and "9315" to the endlinks, max length 210mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster extendable deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by additional Rolex bezel.

  • 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.

    The reference 6200 ticks all the boxes for the passionate collector, a large 37.5mm case and the highly desirable “Explorer” 3-6-9 dial devoid of depth rating and Submariner signature found in later models. The reference 6200, along with the 6205, were the first models to use the now well-known “Mercedes” style hands - in this instance in their first iteration, with the hour hand sporting a markedly longer design than later versions.

    Production numbers were extremely limited and their serial numbers range from 31.9xx to around 32.2xx.

    Appearing on the auction market for only the second time, the present watch was originally bought by a Scandinavian sailor, captain on different vessels including in the Suez Canal right in the midst of the crisis in 1956. After his passing away the watch laid in a drawer for close to two decades. After its rediscovery, it was sold at Phillips Geneva in 2018 - making this a two-owners-since-new timepiece with fully traceable provenance.

    The condition of the watch is simply stellar. According to the family when it was first sold at auction, the original owner was a dandy and an aesthete who took care of his watch even though it was worn on a daily basis. As a result the case retains its strong proportions, with factory original bevels and crisp lines. The gilt glossy dial contrasts strongly with large Arabic numerals that have turned a superb cream colour, further underlining the sporty appeal of the watch.

    The watch was serviced once - on which occasion it received the additional service bezel, while retaining at the same time its original one.

    The iconic reference 6200 is one of the most desirable and collectible of all vintage sport watches. A two-owners example in such incredible condition represents a trophy not to be missed by any serious Rolex collector.

  • 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. 6200
An extremely elusive and collectible stainless steel wristwatch with glossy "Explorer" dial, big crown, bracelet and additional later bezel

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

CHF250,000 - 500,000 

Sold for CHF279,400

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023