ROLEX | SUBMARINER 'BIG CROWN', REFERENCE 6538, A STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH FOUR LINE DIAL AND BRACELET, CIRCA 1958 | 勞力士 | "Submariner 'Big Crown' 型號6538 精鋼鏈帶腕錶，備 Four Line 錶盤，錶殼編號426363，約1958年製"
1,800,000 - 2,500,000 HKD
1,800,000 - 2,500,000 HKD
SUBMARINER 'BIG CROWN', REFERENCE 6538
A STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH FOUR LINE DIAL AND BRACELET, CIRCA 1958
Submariner 'Big Crown' 型號6538
精鋼鏈帶腕錶，備 Four Line 錶盤，錶殼編號426363，約1958年製
Calibre: cal. 1030 automatic, 25 jewels
Case: stainless steel, screw down case back
Case number: 426'363
Closure: stainless Rolex Jubilee bracelet and folding clasp
Size: 39 mm diameter, bracelet circumference approximately 200 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
The movement is in working condition at the time of cataloguing. The dial is extremely well preserved in very nice condition. Both the signature, depth rating and the additional three lines of text are all complete. The lumes are intact and have aged consistently together and are all now a very nice ivory colour. All lumes react under UV. The 6 o'clock marker reacts much sharper which is how it was intended. The hands have been relumed at some stage. The dial gives a good reading under the Geiger counter. The dial with natural sign of aging known as the spider webbing effect but can only be seen in certain light and is very desirable among collectors. The case with minor wear which is consistent with the age of the watch. The case has seen some minor polishing but the bevel can still be seen under loupe. The case back with a crisp milled edge and is stamped for the 4th quarter of 1958. The numbers can still be read between the lugs. The bracelet is stamped for the 2nd quarter of 1972. This is an extremely attractive and original example of a four line 6538 Big Crown.
Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of time and may need a service at the buyer's expense. Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts.
You are advised that watch straps or bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator or crocodile) are not sold with the watch and we reserve the right to remove these straps or bands prior to shipping. Furthermore, the watch may not come with its original manufacturers strap or band.
Prospective bidders should review the Conditions of Business, Authenticity Guarantee, the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and any Important Notice in the sale catalogue.
"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."
Produced shortly after the first Rolex Submariner, the reference 6538 exemplifies the extraordinary legacy of the renowned diving tool watch. Known colloquially as the ‘James Bond Submariner’, the spotlight was thrusted on this reference after appearing as the titular hero’s choice of accessory in the three iconic films acted by Sean Connery in the 1960s.
Beyond its imprint on popular culture, the reference 6538 also embodies the history of the heritage brand. In production for only a few years, this Submariner model is characterised by its lack of crown guards and its unusually big 8 mm Brevet crown which would have accommodated wetsuit-wearing military divers in the 1950s. As a result, the reference 6538 is affectionately known as the ‘Big Crown’.
With this present example, another fascinating detail can be found in the four-line text: the dial displays the silvered ‘Officially Certified Chronometer’ indication, contrasting the slightly-bronzed Submariner signature above. The dial of this present example has aged finely, with its creamy pumpkin radium lumes and Mercedes short-style hands juxtaposing the glossy-lacquer black dial. Reflecting the adventures voyaged by the wearer, some of the details ripen over the course of time, rendering the timepiece as unique in its own way. Adding sophistication, the case is complemented by the later-dated Jubilee bracelet originally designed for the Rolex Datejust. Furthermore, the bidirectional-rotating bezel includes markers between 1 and 15 minutes and a vibrant red triangle.
Associated with the glamour of the silver screen and the practicality of a tool watch, the reference 6538 has cemented its place within the rich lineage of the Rolex Submariner. Coupled with an increasingly sought-after vintage watch market and low production numbers, this auction presents an exclusive opportunity to collect an incredibly rare timepiece. The watch is furthermore offered in very original and striking condition.