• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1348

    Important Pocket Watches and Wristwatches

    12 November 2007, Geneva

  • Lot 107

    Rolex. An extremely rare stainless steel self-winding water-resistant wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and bracelet


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. An extremely rare stainless steel self-winding water-resistant wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and bracelet
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, Submariner, ref. 6200, movement no. case no. 32129, manufactured in 1954
    Cal. A.296 10 1/2''' nickel-finished lever movement, 18 jewels, the black dial with luminous baton and Arabic numerals, luminous mercedes hands and sweep centre seconds, in tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case with revolving black bezel calibrated for 60 units, screw back and large screw down crown, stainless steel Rolex USA link bracelet, case, dial and movement signed
    37 mm. diam.

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    Accompanied by Rolex green leather presentation box.

    In 1953, Rolex set the base of an unequalled success story with the launch of the first Submariner model, officially introduced at the 1954 Basle Fair. Originally promoted as "the diver's friend", the Submariner became soon the world's most legendary tool watch and, generations later, is still enjoying wide popularity in its actual version.

    The present reference 6200 is one of the rarest and most sought after Submariner models ever produced and believed to be the very first model of this celebrated series. Launched in 1954 and made in very few examples only, it was depth-rated to 200 meters, fitted with the "bubble back" calibre A296 movement, a bezel without any minute graduations and a large "Brevet" winding crown.

    The dials used for this reference were the same type as those of the 1953 Explorer models ref. 6298 and 6150: the triangle at the 12 o'clock position of these dials is equilateral, hence of different shape than those on ref. 6204 and 6205. Reference 6200 was furthermore the first Submariner model with "mercedes" hands as opposed to the straight "pencil" hands of its peers. The very first versions of this reference did not feature the "Submariner" designation on the dial as this model name had not been invented yet.

    The rarity of the present watch is further enhanced by its original condition, still retaining the bezel without the minute markers, the "mercedes" hands, large "Brevet" crown, and a beautifully aged, original dial.

    In the movies Dr. No and Goldfinger, Sean Connery alias James Bond is wearing a Rolex Submariner. Since then, the early Submariner models without crown guard such as the present reference 6200 as well as references 5508 (lot 105 in this auction), 6204 (lot 186 in this auction) and others are also known as the "James Bond" models.

    Special Notice

    Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.