Lot 251
  • 251


90,000 - 160,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Rolex
Dial: black, gilt letteringCaliber: cal. 1030 automatic, 25 jewelsMovement number: D713046Case: stainless steel, screw down case back and crownCase number: 263360Closure: stainless steel Rolex rivet bracelet with folding claspDimensions: 37 mm diameter, bracelet circumference approximately 180 mm Signed: case, dial and movement Accessories: Rolex presentation box and sales tag 


Case: The case is in good overall condition, and in our view, may have seen a very light sympathetic polishing in its past. The case retains thick lugs and well defined bevels. The case and case back has surface scratching throughout from wear, consistent with the age of the timepiece and use. There are some small scratches to the bezel present between 12 and 1 o'clock. The luminous dot is missing at 12. The bracelet has an end link at the 6 o'clock position that is not original. The inner case back is stamped 6538 and IV.1958.Dial:The dial is attractive and in good overall condition. The lacquer coating is most likely later treated, and displays a slightly matte pitting evenly throughout. The hour markers were most likely relumed.Movement: The movement is in very good overall condition. The movement is running at time of cataloguing, however it was not tested for the accuracy of time or duration of the power reserve and may need service at the buyer's discretion. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

Catalogue Note

The reference 6538 was introduced in 1955, replacing the 6204 (launched the year prior alongside the 6205 and 6200). With a different movement, the caliber 1030, the case was slightly thinner and featured prominent bevels to the lugs. The crown of the 6538 was also enlarged to 8 mm, thus giving the model its nickname 'Big Crown' and differentiating it from the ref. 6536 (lot 252).The reference has been immortalized in some of the most emblematic James Bond movies, appearing prominently in Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball, where Bond, played by Sean Connery, utilizes his Submariner to accomplish his missions. 

The case back of the present lot is stamped IV.1958, and would be one of the later examples in the production of the reference. It is interesting to note that the present example features a 'fat font' bezel insert with a red 12 o'clock triangle, and without markers for the first 15 minutes.

The present lot features the dial variation with two lines: 200m=660ft  SUBMARINER. The dial was finished originally with a glossy lacquer overlay, which on this example has faded to a muted finish. The gilt track and signature remain crisp and well defined.

This lot is being offered by the descendants of the original owner, and is an exciting opportunity to own one of the most iconic Rolex Submariner models in honest condition.