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    Bob's Watches
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    At Bob's Watches, your trust is very important to us. We believe that buying a pre-owned Rolex watch online should be simple, honest, and straightforward. To that end, we guarantee that every Rolex watch on our site is 100% authentic, comprised entirely of Rolex parts. Our mission is to be the leading trusted online source for selling and buying authentic pre-owned Rolex watches. We stand behind this authenticity guarantee with a full money back refund on any watch not found to be completely genuine.

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VINTAGE ROLEX SUBMARINER REF 6538 "JAMES BOND" W/ BIG CROWN, TROPICAL DIAL CIRCA 1957

A rare and "fresh-to-market" Rolex Submariner in stainless steel
VINTAGE ROLEX SUBMARINER REF 6538 "JAMES BOND" W/ BIG CROWN, TROPICAL DIAL CIRCA 1957
Auction Ended
$180,000
3 Bids
Reserve Met
Auction Ended On
November 23, 2020
Lot 5
Starting Bid: $165,000
Estimate:  $175,000 to $200,000
Manufacturer: Rolex
Year: Circa 1957
Model Name: Submariner
Reference: 6538
Case Serial Number: 307,XXX
Condition: Excellent condition.
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 38mm
Bracelet: Stainless Steel Oyster Rivet 
Item Number: 104752
Movement:        Cal. 1030, 25 jewels.
Signed Case, dial, movement, and bracelet.

The watch has been checked for proper functionality
Bob's Watches does not charge a buyer's premium and no shipping costs in US. View International Shipping Info here.

VINTAGE ROLEX SUBMARINER REF 6538 "JAMES BOND" w/ BIG CROWN, Tropical dial CIRCA 1957 

Bob's does NOT charge a buyer's premium – what you bid is what you pay.

Condition Report

Dial

Excellent original swiss only gilt chapter ring dial which shows light wear from age, with luminous markers that have aged to a warm yellow color and matching gilt hands. All luminous makers remain intact. The glossy finish on the dial has mostly aged to matte and is beginning to turn slightly tropical. 

Case

Excellent original stainless steel case that has previously been polished and shows light wear from use. Inner caseback is stamped: 6538 III.57. Serial and reference numbers are crisp and well defined. 

Bezel

Excellent original early non 1-15 min marker, red triangle bezel which has faded to a light grey color and has light wear from use consistent with age. 

Bracelet

Excellent original stainless steel 7206 oyster rivet bracelet with 12 links and 80 end links. Bracelet clasp is stamped 4 61. Bracelet shows very slight wear and has some very light stretch from age.

Box and Papers

Bob's presentation box, Certificate of Authenticity, and warranty card.

Catalog Essay:

In terms of vintage dive watches, arguably none are held in higher regard than the original “James Bond Submariner” - the big-crown reference 6538. As the model that appeared on Sean Connery’s wrist during the very first James Bond film (Dr. No, 1962), the Rolex Submariner 6538 is one of the most famous movie watches of all time, and it is the exact model responsible for the entire James Bond/Rolex Submariner association that is so alive and vibrant today.

Legend has it that the actual watch worn in the films originally belonged to film producer, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, who loaned the watch to Connery for filming when it was discovered that a Rolex was needed with very little notice. James Bond author and creator, Ian Fleming never actually specified in any of his books which model of Rolex watch Agent 007 wore, and ever since the very first James Bond film in which Sean Connery wore a reference 6538, it has been a Submariner that has been the quintessential James Bond Rolex watch.

Instantly recognizable due to its 38mm case without crown-guards paired with its red triangle bezel insert and 8mm oversized winding crown, the reference 6538 is an absolute grail for many collectors, and it is arguably the most desirable vintage Rolex Submariner model in existence today. Produced for just a handful of years between approximately 1955 and 1959, the ref. 6538 perfectly represents the first generation of Submariner watches, and since many were used as professional underwater timing tools (with some even being issued to select branches of the armed forces) a fair number of examples were lost, damaged, or destroyed over the years.

Sean Connery would go on to wear the same big-crown Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 as his one and only watch during his first three appearances as James Bond. The model can be spotted during various scenes in Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), and Goldfinger (1964), including a famous closeup shot of Connery wearing it on an undersized nylon strap and paired with a white tuxedo jacket.

This particular Rolex Submariner 6538 dates back to approximately 1957, and just like the exact watch worn by Sean Connery in the classic James Bond films, this example features a 2-line gilt dial rather than a 4-line dial like what can be found on the chronometer-certified versions of the reference 6538. Completed with a circa-appropriate, rivet-link Oyster bracelet and beautiful red triangle ghost bezel insert, this incredibly rare and highly collectible vintage Rolex Submariner is an excellent example of one of the most famous and important dive watches of all time. 

SPECIAL NOTICE

MOVEMENT: Movement is functioning. This vintage Rolex Submariner comes with Bob's Watches one year warranty.

Auction Terms & Conditions | Bob's Watches | (800) 494-3708 | Bond # 72BSBHE9842

* The money you spend bidding on items you receive at auction is not tax deductible. Please consult your accountant for all tax related questions or deduction qualifications and bid accordingly.

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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.

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