Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, large crown and four line gilt printing
Prospective buyers should be aware that the import… Read more
Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, large crown and four line gilt printing


Rolex. A very fine and rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, large crown and four line gilt printing
Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 200m=660ft, Submariner, Officially Certified Chronometer, ref. 6538, case no. 307'231, manufactured in 1957
Cal. 1030 nickel-finished lever movement, 25 jewels, black dial, luminous dot, baton and dagger numerals, luminous mercedes hands, sweep centre seconds, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, screw back, large screw down crown, revolving black bezel calibrated for 60 units, case, dial and movement signed
38 mm. diam.
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.

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Lot Essay

The present watch is a fine example of the particularly rare version of the celebrated reference 6538 model featuring a black lacquer dial with the designation 200m=600ft, Submariner, Officially Certified, Chronometer printed in gilt on four lines. One of the most sought after Submariner models, this rare version is also known as the "Big Crown 4 Lines" amongst aficionados.

Exhaustive research amongst scholars and international collectors of Rolex sports watches has resulted in the identification of only a handful of examples of the sought-after "OCC" reference 6538 Submariner. It is understood that only in 1956 and 1957, the year of manufacture of the present watch, Rolex added the "Officially Certified Chronometer" designation to this model.

The case, never exposed to careless polishing, impresses any beholder with its full body and sharp angles to the facets of the lugs. Its homogenically bleached bezel now displays a rich grey tone, enhancing the appealing look of this rare timepiece.

Two further examples of reference 6538 with four line printing "Officially Certified Chronometer" are described and illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 185, 206 & 207.

Reference 6538
Reference 6538, the upgraded version of reference 6200, was introduced to the market in 1955. It was depth rated to 200 meters (660 ft), featured an 8 mm. crown with no crown guards. The dial with gilt printing, with or without depth rating but with the gilt printed designation "Submariner" and "Mercedes" hands, the bezel with red triangle and divisions for the first 15 minutes. Between 1956 and 1958, a special issue of the model was made for the British Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Reference 6538 has come to international fame when prominently worn by 007 Agent James Bond during his stint in "Dr. No". Its first and best remembered appearance was when Bond enters a bar and while lighting a cigarette checks the precise time on his reliable tool watch. As a professional agent would expect, the explosive device previously planted by him blows up on the dot as indicated by his Submariner. Consequently, Bond and his reference 6538 are the only two "guests" to maintain their composure...

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 8 mm. crown without crown guards, lending it an unmistakable look.

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