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Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 - 'Big Crown' 4-Liner 'James Bond' Tropical Dial

Sale price$59,850.00 USD

The Rolex Submariner is a true icon — and the word "icon" does get thrown around an awful lot. If you were to ask ten people at random to draw you their idea of what a watch looks like, there is a significant chance that they would draw or describe something that looks like a Rolex Submariner. It’s the dive watch of reference, and good/bad/indifferent there is no escaping it. Throughout its 70-year production, there have been countless small changes made to the model, particularly in the first decade or so. 

The Reference 6538 is one of those short-lived iterations, produced for roughly 3 years in 1956-1959. coveted by collectors, and known to many more for its supporting role on the wrist of one James Bond in 1962s 'Dr. No.'

Like all early Subs, the Ref. 6538 lacks crown guards, but from there, it takes on a few characteristics that allow it to stand out amongst its relatives. The crown is oversized at 8mm in diameter, the timing bezel insert features a red triangle at the 12:00 position, and the seconds hand is a white 'lollipop.' All of these subtle changes lend themselves to a near-perfect mid-century dive watch aesthetic, and when combined with its on-screen provenance, make for a triple threat in collectability. It is almost certainly the most desirable pre-crown guard Submariner.

The example that we have here dates to circa 1958 and features a strong case with even lugs, a patinated '4-line' dial and matching handset, the bezel insert shows wear and light fade from age, with a pink fade to its '

red triangle,' and the Brevet 'big crown' looks as good as ever. It comes fitted to a slightly later 'rivet' Oyster bracelet.

You might then call this piece 'a wearer.' A highly sought after and collectible piece that you can wear without fretting about constantly.

Doesn't sound so bad does it?

Stainless Steel 1958 Automatic 38mm

"As collectors themselves, Oliver and Clarke are on a mission to make buying vintage watches as painless as possible."

"The company focuses on good prices for its pieces, elite customer service and full transparency."

"The appointment-only space is inviting, with comfortable seating areas and exposed brick walls."

From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.

Oliver & Clarke

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