Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII Hong Kong Saturday, June 5, 2021 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 5508
    Movement No: 30’014
    Case No: 764’449, inside caseback stamped III.1958
    Model Name: Submariner “Small Crown”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex expanding Oyster bracelet stamped “7206”, endlinks stamped “80”, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 37mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    First introduced to the world in 1953, the Rolex Submariner is perhaps the most important diver’s wristwatch ever produced. Throughout its early days, Rolex continued to refine and develop the professional tool watch, hence resulting in an array of references in a rather short span of time. With the first reference 6204 launched in 1953, the other references that followed after in chronological order are as such, 6205, 6536/6538, 6536 and 6536-1. These were also competed via the references dubbed as the “Big Crown” 6200, 6538 and 5510. In 1957, Rolex released the ref. 5508 being the last reference to feature a “100m=330ft” depth rating and also the last to feature a case without crown guards. Dubbed by collectors as the “Small Crown”, the ref. 5508 certainly marked the end of an era for the Rolex Submariner.

    The present Rolex Submariner ref. 5508 “Small Crown” features a rare and desirable “underline” glossy black dial. Bearing a seven hundred thousand serial from circa 1962, this is one of the last examples produced before the reference was discontinued explaining the existence of the “underline” on the dial indicating a transition from radium to tritium used as the luminous material on the dial. Adored by esteemed collectors, many believe that the ref. 5508 is the perfect combination between vintage and contemporary. Paired with an attractive and period correct first generation expandable riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 7206, the present example is certainly an attractive example worthy for collectors to add to their collection of fine vintage timepieces.

  • 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. 5508
A very fine, well-preserved and rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with center seconds, small crown, chapter ring, glossy black “underline” dial and bracelet

Circa 1962
37mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$260,000 - 360,000 

Sold for HK$441,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021