Exclusive Timepieces 22 –⁠ 23 April 2023 | Monaco

Auction Details

The Monaco Legend Group team has put together an astonishing selection of rarities in the horological field. From the Unique Piece Rolex Yachtmaster, former property of the late President of Rolex Patrick Heiniger, to an outstanding example of the Patek Philippe 2523-1. Not to mention the great selection of rarities destined for Middle Eastern market, such as a Rolex Submariner and Daytona from the Sultanate of Oman and a steel Daytona with UAE emblem on the dial.
Many thanks to Auro Montanari, alias John Goldberger, Roberto Randazzo and George Pakkos for their significant help in supervising the catalogue and to Eric Tortella for his assistance in searching for some of our rarest Patek Philippe watches in his database and releasing his passport of authenticity for them.


Session I: Saturday 22 April, 2:30 PM – lots 1 to 100
Session II: Sunday 23 April, 10:30 AM – lots 101 to 164
Session III: Sunday 23 April, 2:30 PM – lots 165 to 261

149 Rolex Extremely Well Preserved and Very special, Submariner Big Crown, Wristwatch in Steel, With “Tropical” Dial, reference 6538

Estimate: € 80,000 –⁠ 160,000

Sold € 188,500

Model: Submariner
Reference: 6538
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Bracelet Material: Stainless Steel
Year: 1958
Movement: Automatic
Caliber: 1030
Case N°: 426093
Dimensions: 37 mm
Signed: Dial, Case and Movement

Reference 6538, the upgraded version of reference 6200, was introduced to the market in 1955. It was depth rated to 200 meters (660 ft) and featured an 8 mm. crown with no crown guards. The dial is gilt with the printing designation “Submariner”, the depth and “Mercedes” hands while the bezel has a triangle at 12 o’clock and divisions for the first 15 minutes for the decompression times. It is therefore no surprise that among thoroughbred Rolex aficionados, reference 6538 enjoys the most authentic status as the “James Bond” model, defined by its masculine case proportions and the large crown without guards, lending it an unmistakable look. For many Rolex collectors, the true James Bond Submariner reference 6538 is a must-have. This reference came to international fame in 1962 when it was worn by James Bond, Agent 007 in the movie Dr. No. The present watch offered here is an esteemed example of the particularly rare version of the celebrated reference 6538 featuring a black lacquer dial Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 200m=660ft, Submariner in very good conditions. There is a delicate patina color brown called “Tropical” due to aging that does not alter the beauty of the dial but rather intensifies its beauty, combined with the ocher-colored radium indexes. The case still has the rather pronounced edges despite its over 60 years of age, but one of the most prominent and recognizable features of the Submariner 6538 is its oversized crown and lack of crown guards. This “big crown” certainly distinguishes this reference from others in the Submariner family and is a feature collectors look for, the one of these watches here offered is the original one and is still crisp with the crown logo and the Brevet signature still extremely clear and legible.