Images are of the actual item and are an accurate representation of condition.
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Rolex collectors will quickly recognise the significance of this piece with its big, guardless crown and the red depth rating in two lines of writing.
Starting with Dr. No, Sean Connery wore a 6538 in several Bond films. This catapulted the watch to stardom and all guardless, big crown Submariners, even the 5508, are often nicknamed “The James Bond”. It all started with the 6538, which makes this one of the most sought-after Submariners in collecting history.
The Rolex Submariner 6538 has almost an endless list of features that distinguish it from its predecessors the 6200, 6204 and 6205. This is all because it has a dizzying number of dial variations for such a short production run of only 4 years (1955-1959). There is no readily available documentation confirming the lineage of the dial productions for the 6538. At least 10 dial styles are known of with some being much more rare than others. There appears to be an almost random approach to the design and manufacturing of these dials – some with two lines of text, some with four; some with red writing, some with gilt; some with depth units, some without. There were Tiffany dials, and also extremely rare ”explorer” dials with 3, 6 and 9 in radium filled Arabic numerals. The variations have led to a vast difference in rarity and price today. The most commonly seen 6538s tend to be gilt dials, appearing regularly at auction and achieving middle range prices.
This particular model features two lines of text, a red depth rating and no unit measurement (“200/660” instead of “200m/660ft”), which makes it an unusual find. The dial and hands are original without restoration or replacement parts. A soft discolouration to the dial has emerged from natural aging, along with the degradation of the lume spots and lume in the hands. There is also some natural oxidisation to the Mercedes hour, minute and lollipop second hands. The depth rating and Submariner writing have seen some slight degradation.
The 6538 measures 38mm in case diameter and has a comparably large 8mm diameter crown containing a twin-lock Brevet thread locking system, providing the water tightness expected of a Submariner of the time. The inner caseback is inscribed with Montres Rolex S.A Geneva Switzerland Patented., then, as with all 6538s, the quarter-year of production inside the production year (e.g. III 1956).
A domed plexiglass is age-appropriate and the watch comes on the riveted link oyster bracelet ref. 7206 with ref. 80 end links.
Probably the most common part of this super rare piece is the bezel, which is a relatively standard 6538, bi-directional turning divers bezel. There are interval markers at every five minute intersect with 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 ain Arabic numerals.
The 6538 contains the Rolex Calibre 1030, with 25 jewels running at 18,800 vph. This was the standard operating calibre for the early Submariners before developing the 1035 and COSC certified 1037 which came in later models such as the 5512.
Item is in unworn or unused condition and there are no visible imperfections.
The item is in exceptional pre-owned condition and shows almost no signs of wear with very few imperfections.
The item is in excellent pre-owned condition and shows minimal signs of wear with minor imperfections detailed in the condition report.
The item is in very good condition and shows one or two noticeable signs of wear or patina relative to its age.
The item is in good pre-owned condition and shows some general signs of wear or patina relative to its age.
The item is in fair pre-owned condition and shows overall wear or patina relative to its age.
If you require the exact water resistance specification please contact us.
This is a pre-owned Rolex Submariner "Red Depth" men's 6538 watch. 37mm case size in stainless steel, black dial on a stainless steel oyster bracelet, powered by a automatic movement. This Rolex is in good condition complete with box only. Circa 1954. Our Xupes reference is W5300 should you need to quote this.
This second hand Rolex watch has been fully inspected in house and is covered by the 24 months Xupes warranty – please note this does not include accidental damage or negligence. Water resistance is only guaranteed in line with manufacturer's warranty.
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