Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces

Monaco, Jul 21, 2021

LOT 345

Ref. 6538, self-winding, centre-seconds; “Submariner socalled “James Bond”; stainless steel

EUR 15,000 - 25,000

USD 17,900 - 29,700 / HKD 140,000 - 232,000

Sold: EUR 35,100

Fine and very rare, stainless steel, self-winding, tonneau-shaped, diver’s wristwatch, black “service” dial, with centre-seconds and big crown.

Grading System
Grade: AA

Very good

Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 2*

Very good

Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 2-54-01

Very good

Service dial

HANDS Original

Brand Rolex, Geneva

Model “Submariner”, so-called “James Bond”

Reference 6538

Year 1959

Movement No. N 732 417

Case No. 449 281

Bracelet Nato strap

Diameter 38 mm

Caliber 1030

Signature dial, case and movement


The history that unites Rolex and the conquest of the ocean depth dates back to 1926 when Mercedes Gleizé swam across the English Channel with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual (with a bezel, crown and case back screw-down), the first water-resistant wristwatch. Born in 1953, the Submariner, at this time, is water-resistant up to 100 metres.

The first models with no crown guards are called "James Bond", like the reference 6538 immortalized on the wrist of 007, Sean Connery, in the film Dr No and Goldfinger. There are two types of Rolex "James Bond" depending on the size of the crown, small or big. The 6538 worn by 007 is a "big crown", which makes it the most popular among collectors