A very fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, black lacquer dial, big crown and original bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1958
    Reference No: 6538
    Movement No: N807846
    Case No: 426'441
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1030, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, 180 mm. maximum length, end link stamped 80
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37.5 mm. maximum length
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a reference 6538, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pages 206 to 209.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Submariner is today a very famous watch. It was first worn by James Bond in the movies Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Gold finger and Thunderball, which is how the Big Crown Submariner has become known as the James Bond. The present example of reference 6538 is a spectacular example from 1958, featuring the correct dial, bezel, winding crown and original bracelet. The dial is an earlier 6538 dial, which features the '200m=660ft' and 'Submariner'. This depth rating is printed in strong silver-white, whereas the 'Submariner' and Rolex signature is printed in gilt underneath the original black lacquer. The dial is in formidable original condition, still retaining the beautifully aged hour markers, which have aged consistently with the luminous in the seconds hand. The case still retains its original beveled edges and the numbers between the lugs are crisp and easily readable. A completely original and outstanding example, the present watch is exceptional.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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Rolex

Ref. 6538
A very fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, black lacquer dial, big crown and original bracelet

勞力士,非常精細及罕有,不銹鋼自動上弦鏈帶腕錶,配中心秒針、黑色漆錶盤、特大錶冠及原裝鏈帶,“Submariner”,型號6538,約1958年製

Circa 1958
37.5 mm. maximum length
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$620,000 - 900,000 

sold for HK$750,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Two

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2016