Rolex - Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches Hong Kong Thursday, May 25, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1958
    Reference No: 6536/1
    Movement No: N777’134
    Case No: 398’835, inside caseback stamped “I.59”
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1030, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet, endinks stamped “64”, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped “4-56”
    Dimensions: 37mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Debuted in 1955, the Rolex Submariner ref. 6536/1 succeeded the ref. 6536 and remained in production until 1959. Today, this model is one of the most in-demand vintage Submariner references thanks to its modern aesthetics and divine proportions. Framed in a robust stainless steel 37mm Oyster case, the ref. 6536/1 is distinguished by its small crown that measures only 6mm, comparatively more petite against the ref. 6538’s “Big Crown” that is 8mm in diameter.

    Bearing a 398 thousand serial, the present example is from circa 1958 and is offered in excellent overall condition, boasting a beautifully preserved case with crisp and desirable bevels, not to mention strong and profound lugs.

    Beautifully preserved, the black lacquered dial is complemented by prominent gilt print and fetches a high radium reading under a Geiger counter. The luminous material on the dial has aged beautifully, exhibiting a distinct "speckled" glow when exposed to UV light, which further enhances the vintage appeal of this timepiece. Notably, the lumed marker at 6 o'clock is much brighter than the other luminous plots, showing off yet another desirable trait collectors seek on Submariner dials from this era.

  • 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. 6536/1
An impressive, attractive and rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with center seconds, black lacquered dial and bracelet

Circa 1958
37mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$240,000 - 480,000 

Sold for HK$508,000

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Head of Mid-Season Sales
+852 2318 2014

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Disruptors: Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Design and Watches

Hong Kong Auction 25 May 2023