Lot 400
  • 400


150,000 - 300,000 CHF
bidding is closed


Dial: brown, tropicalCalibre: cal. 1035 automatic, 25 jewelsMovement number: DN'775'122Case: stainless steel, screw-down crown and backCase number: 426'315Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding claspDimensions: 37 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 180 mmSigned: case, dial and movement Accessories: none 


DIAL: the dial stands in very good condition, displaying a strong glossy finish with spidering thoughout. The dial has taken a dark brown patina over time, with a lighter shade of brown around the 3 o'clock index.The indexes have taken a homogeneous creamy patina throughout. All text remains intact with a slight loss of definition to the depth rating line. CASE: in very good condition with some signs of previous polishing, displaying clear bevels. With one noticeable dent to the lower case profile between 2 and 3 o'clock. Reference and serial engravings remain clearly defined and legible between the lugs. With slight pitting to the periphery of the inner- case-back between 6 and 11.The inner case-back is dated "IV. 1958". Bezel rotates freely in both directions. Bracelet: later riveted Oyster, dated I-71, end-links ref. 80. MOVEMENT: running at the time of cataloguing Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of its timekeeping. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and that a service may be required at the buyer's discretion.
"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 Rolex Submariner arguably stands among the most iconic wristwatches of all time for a very good reason, as it has been defining the design language for all diving watches since its inception in 1953. The most acclaimed Submariner reference is without question the 6538, which was closely associated with James Bond after legendary actor Sean Connery notoriously wore the watch in the “Dr No”, “From Russia with Love”, “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” classic movies. The ‘Big Crown’ Submariner was produced between 1956 and 1959 in two technically distinct yet visually similar versions: while both rely on the cal. 1035, the ‘four liner’ dial is paired with a COSC-certified movement as opposed to the ‘two-liner’ non-Chronometer Certified model. 

The present tropical Submariner ref. 6538 was manufactured in 1958 and is a watch of all superlatives, encompassing a host of extraordinary features collectors are longing for. Its two-liner meters first dial is strikingly well preserved and displays a rich brown patina, further-embellished by the warm eggshell hue of the thick indexes. However, the dial expresses all its glory under the sunlight, revealing the most intricate spidering effect to its glossy surface as the watch is tilted. As the devil is in the details, collectors will furthermore appreciate the matching rare set of hands, which includes the highly desirable white lollipop traditionally observed on the COSC model.  

The case does not disappoint either as it perfectly supports the gravitas of the dial, with strong proportions and clearly defined bevels. It is additionally fitted with a beautifully preserved last generation red triangle bezel insert, a true rarity in this condition. Finally, the case is adorned with the signature 8mm oversized Brevet crown, making the present ‘Big Crown’ Submariner an exceptional opportunity to own a unique and important example of an all-time classic.