Reference 6204, the first Submariner generation, was presented at the Basle Fair in 1954.
This model already features many of the now celebrated Submariner characteristics such as the black dial with its typical luminous numerals, the revolving black bezel calibrated to 60 minutes and its legendary shape. It is however lacking several design elements of later Submariner generations, most obviously the straight hour hand whereas the later models were fitted with the so-called mercedes hands and without the depth indication on the dial, again a feature which can still be found on the models of the actual production. Reference 6204 was available with two bezel versions, either without the minute graduation for the first quarter or with the graduation for the first 15 minutes, such as the present lot. The minute graduation became a standard feature on the model's successors.
Reference 6204 is illustrated and described in Vintage Rolex Sports Models by Martin Skeet & Nick Urul, pp. 27 & 28 and in Rolex Submariner by Guido Mondani - Lele Ravagnani, pp. 22 & 23 and pp. 70 - 73.
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 6204 as well as references 5508 (lot 105 in this auction), 6200 (lot 107 in this auction) and others are also known as the "James Bond" models.