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    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 104

    Rolex. A fine and very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with “lollipop” sweep centre seconds, bracelet and box


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. A fine and very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with “lollipop” sweep centre seconds, bracelet and box
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 200m=660ft, Submariner, ref. 6538, case no. 158’381, circa 1956
    MOVEMENT: automatic, cal. 1030, 25 jewels
    DIAL: black gloss, luminous dot, baton and dagger numerals, luminous hands, sweep centre seconds, outer minute divisions
    CASE: stainless steel, tonneau-shaped, bidirectional revolving bezel with black insert graduated for 60 units, screw back stamped “III.56” to the inside, large screw down "Brevet" crown, 37 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: case, dial and movement
    BRACELET/CLASP: stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster expandable bracelet, deployant clasp stamped “2.56”, overall length approximately 180 mm.
    ACCOMPANIED BY: Rolex period presentation box

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    Reference 6538 was in production from 1955 to around 1959. It is the successor of the Submariner reference 6200. Both models are Submariner references targeted to a more professional audience than their contemporary peers. Some design details betray this destination, such as the thicker case design and, especially, the legendary 8 mm. crown: the so-called “Coroncione” (Italian for “big Crown”) which is now the nickname for the models in Italy. Among the most recognizable Submariner models, reference 6538 is also known as “James Bond”, as it was present on the wrist of the most elegant spy in the world in two different features: “Dr. No” (on a leather strap) and “Goldfinger” (on a Nato nylon strap).

    Reference 6538 is characterized by a gloss dial with gilt designations, 8 mm. Brevet crown, and a slighter thinner case design than its forefather ref. 6200, thanks to the new thinner calibre 1030. Early models, such as the present watch, are distinguished by a closed minute ring, lollipop seconds hand (with big luminous dot), and bezel with red triangle. It is interesting to note that a military reference of this model, reference 6538A, was made by Rolex in 1957.

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