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A RARE STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC SWEEP SECONDS WRISTWATCHCIRCA 1959 REF 6538 OYSTER PERPETUAL SUBMARINER 'BIG CROWN JAMES BOND'
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About the object

Rolex, A RARE STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC SWEEP SECONDS WRISTWATCH\nCIRCA 1959 REF 6538 OYSTER PERPETUAL SUBMARINER\n'BIG CROWN JAMES BOND'\n• cal. 1030 nickel lever movement, mono-metallic compensation balance, 25 jewels, precision regulator, adjusted to five positions and temperature • aged black-to-brown dial, luminescent triangle, dot and baton indexes, gilt minute tracking and printing, gilt luminescent Mercedes-style hands, sweep center seconds • tonneau water-resistant-type case with rotating black bezel calibrated for 60 units, featuring red triangle at 12 o'clock, large screw-down crown and screw back • case, dial, movement and bracelet signed • with a stainless steel Rolex USA stretch bracelet with deployant clasp\nDiameter 37mm.
US
NY, US
US

notes

The most striking design feature of this model, Ref. 6538, is the large crown with no crown guard shoulders. Now known to collectors as the 'big crown James Bond', this model is especially rare, as Rolex would replace the large crown (with a diameter of 8mm.) with a smaller one (with a diameter of 6mm.) by the end of the 1950s. For this reason, the larger crown with the word 'Brevet' commands more attention and more value in today's collecting world.

The present example, a second-generation Ref. 6538, shows the phrase 'Officially Certified Chronometer' below the word 'Submariner'. It is interesting to note that the earlier generation Ref. 6538 featured the same movement, but was not designated as such on the dial. This expanded signature is commonly known as the 'four-line' dial and is highly collectible. The beautiful chocolate-tone dial on the present lot makes it even more rare and interesting to collectors.

The nickname 'James Bond' comes from the fact that Submariner models without crown guards were frequently used in the Bond movies. In fact, it is likely that the Submariner used in some of the early Bond films, including 'Dr. No', 'Goldfinger' and 'You Only Live Twice', were examples of this model, Ref. 6538. Today any Submariner without crown guards, regardless of the reference or year of production, is referred to as a 'James Bond'.

For more information on this model and on the Submariner family of watches, Skeet, M. & Urul, N. Vintage Rolex Sports Models, pp. 20-25. For a similar example, see p. 31 of the same text.

dimensions

Diameter 37mm.


*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.


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Philippe, Patek

Realised Price
3,038,040 GBP