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Rolex. A Very Rare and Fine Stainless Steel Automatic Wristwatch with Gilt Four-Line Dial and Center Seconds
Rolex. A Very Rare and Fine Stainless Steel Automatic Wristwatch with Gilt Four-Line Dial and Center Seconds

SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, 200M=660FT, SUBMARINER, REF. 6538, CASE NO. 307'137, MANUFACTURED IN 1957

Details
Rolex. A Very Rare and Fine Stainless Steel Automatic Wristwatch with Gilt Four-Line Dial and Center Seconds
Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 200m=660ft, Submariner, Ref. 6538, Case No. 307'137, Manufactured in 1957
Cal. 1030 automatic lever movement, 25 jewels, black gloss dial, luminous dot, baton and dagger numerals, luminous Mercedes style hands, center seconds, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, revolving black bezel calibrated for 60 units, screw down crown, screw back, stainless steel expandable Rolex Oyster bracelet, overall approximate length 8 inches, case, dial and movement signed
37mm diam.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

Reference 6538

Introduced into the market in 1955 as an upgraded version of the reference 6200, the present watch is an exceptional example of the true James Bond Submariner reference 6538. This reference shot to international fame when it was worn by James Bond, Agent 007 in the celebrated movie Dr. No. Bearing an 8mm coroncione (Italian for large crown) without crown guards, this model is undoubtedly favored amongst true Rolex collectors and holds an unmistakable masculine aesthetic.

This particular model features the highly sought after gilt four-line dial meaning there are four lines of text above the 6 o'clock position. Most examples of this treasured timepiece feature only two lines signed 200m = 660ft and Submariner, however this watch has the added two extra lines of signature reading Officially Certified Chronometer. Adding to its charm, 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 a silver-white color 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 grey-white and with thinner letters.

Notably the dial is in remarkable original condition, still retaining its beautifully aged luminous hour markers. Interestingly, the color of the luminous material at 6 o'clock is a different color to the other numerals which is a true mark of originality. Furthermore the dial has captured a charismatic brown tone through its aging over the last 58 years. One can only try to describe the color which changes pending the light from a warm chocolate tone to a lighter camel-tobacco tone that will continue change over time.

Two examples of the reference 6538 with four-line signature are described and illustrated in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, p. 185, 206 & 207.






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