The present example of reference 6538 is a spectacular specimen from 1959, featuring the correct dial, bezel, winding crown and period bracelet. The most notable detail to scholars is however the superb "4-liner" chronometer dial. In fact, whereas most of the earlier examples featured "200m = 660ft" and "SUBMARINER", the present watch furthermore mentions also "OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED CHRONOMETERS", on two further lines. Close examination reveals that the four lines are not plainly printed in the same style, using the same font and color, but are of three different types. The depth rating is printed in strong silver-white, while the model name is gilt (as well as the coronet, "ROLEX" and "OYSTER PERPETUAL" and the outer track with minute markings). This is however not printed in the disk surface, but in "negative" from the dial plaque underneath. The last two lines are again printed on the dial, however in a more greyish-white and with thinner letters.
Most notably, the dial is in formidable original condition, still retaining its beautifully aged luminous hour markers. The "icing on the cake" is however the extraordinary ageing to the dial surface. Originally finished in galvanic black lacquer, this dial has perfectly aged over the last 50 years and turned into a work of art and taken on a captivating brown tone. One can only try to describe the colour which changes, pending the light, from warm chocolate to striking camel-tobacco.
Hardly ever has a "tropical" Submariner dial survived in such excellent condition since most of the colour changes go, regrettably, also hand in hand with considerable surface wear and abrasion.
To many Submariner collectors, the true James Bond reference 6538 is the one to have. To those who are already lucky to call a "coroncione" (Italian for "large crown") their own, this example here is the one to have.