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.