167 Rolex Remarkable and Very Special, Submariner Big Crown, Automatic Wristwatch in Steel, Reference 6538, Published in the Osvaldo Patrizzi’s Book “Rolex, Collecting Wristwatches”

Estimate: €50,000 –⁠ 100,000

Sold €65,000

Model: Submariner
Reference: 6538
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Bracelet Material: Leather Strap
Year: 1959
Movement: Automatic
Caliber: 1030
Case N°: 448909
Dimensions: 38 mm
Signed: Dial, Movement and Case
Literature: This specific watch is published in the Osvaldo Patrizzi’s Book “Rolex, Collecting Wristwatches” at page 353. Coming from “The Mondani Collection of Rolex Wristwatches” Auction, 13 May 2006

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 amongst 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. This reference came to international fame in 1962 when it was worn by James Bond, Agent 007 in the movie “Dr. No”. The watch offered here is an esteemed example of the particularly rare version of the celebrated reference 6538 featuring a black lacquer dial in very good conditions. There is a delicate patina due to aging that does not alter the beauty of the dial but rather intensifies its charm, combined with the ocher-colored radium indexes. The case still has the rather pronounced edges despite its 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 this watch is still crisp with the crown logo and the Brevet signature still extremely clear and legible. A true piece of art for its simplicity and perfection, this watch has been sold in the famous “The Mondani Collection of Rolex Wristwatches / Important Collectors’ Wristwatches, Pocket Watches & Clocks” Auction of 13 May 2006 as lot 283.