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A Very Rare Rolex Submariner of 1970 at Auction

The vintage market of luxury watches is booming today, and you can only expect it to continue even in the post-COVID19 era. However, when it comes to the vintage luxury watch industry, you cannot miss mentioning Rolex. The exciting news for all Rolex enthusiasts is that value of vintage Rolex watches are on hike.

The horology industry has already caught the sight of some of the record-breaking Rolex watch sales at auction to date. And today in this post, an extremely rare and iconic Rolex Submariner of 1970s is in the limelight. Continue reading to delve into this unique Rolex Sub.

The Super Rare Submariner at the Auction

This scarce diver’s watch of Rolex is like the one that Sean Connery’s James Bond wore. The timepiece was purchased in pre-owned condition for only £20.  Now the interesting fact is that this Submariner of £20 was set to sell for about £150,000.

The watch is a Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 4 Line version that was Sean Connery’s choice as James Bond. However, this timepiece at auction comes in stainless steel.

So who was the original owner of this Submariner 6538?

This Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 in stainless steel was owned by a man whose father could not afford a brand new watch for diving.

Thus, he purchased the Submariner 6538 from the second hand market in 1970. Today, the worth of the timepiece is 1,500times more than the sum that was paid to buy.

You will rarely find a Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 4 Line version today in the open market. Thus, whenever they appear, they lure substantial, loyal watch aficionados. However, this stainless steel Submariner 6538 was allocated for sale with the auctioneers- Bonhams.

Delving Into The Iconic And Famous Rolex Submariner 6538

Rolex unleashed the Submariner Reference 6538 in 1955. No, it is not only the scarcity of the watch that makes it extremely desirable today. What also accord to its popularity and crave is its perfectly proportional, robust design and appealing appearance.

However, the elite Geneva-based Swiss watchmaker produced the model for four short years. It sports a black-lacquered “Swiss” dial. While the watch lacks an 8millimeter crown and crown guards, it accorded the moniker “Big Crown Submariner”.

Interestingly, the Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 enjoys a divine status onscreen, thanks to the cordial and infallible accompany that it offered to Sean Connery as James Bond in several secret missions.

The story is that Sean Connery chose a “Big Crown Submariner” to strap on his wrist while playing the iconic role of James Bond in the movies like “Dr. No”, “Goldfinger” and “From Russia with Love”.

Eventually, the Submariner Reference 6538 also acquired another popular nickname “James Bond Submariner”. And like most Rolex lovers, you might be familiar to this nickname more than the moniker “Big Crown Submariner”.

However, the reason behind the incredible popularity of the Rolex Submariner 6538 does not end here.

What makes this reference historically significant and more valuable is that it was the first-ever Submariner to secure the chronometer certification. And the watch’s sought-after “four-liner” dial reflects this designation.

The Stainless Steel Submariner 6538 at Auction

So Rolex produced the incredibly rare Submariner Reference 6538 that is in the limelight today in 1956. And the wow factor is that the watch is in nearly mint condition.

The watch flaunts a 37mm case and a black face that is further accented with gold hands and a Mercedes hour hand. The model sports the defining features like the over-sized crown and gilt dial.

More significantly, the gilt dial sports gilt hands and this is something unusual to find on a stainless steel case. Also, this feature is atypical to date, thereby merely amplifying the lure and desirability of the watch among collectors.

An official at the auction asserted –

“The present owner’s father bought this watch second hand in 1970 for £20 as he could not afford a new watch for diving. Little did he realize he was buying into the Submariner legacy and has become one of the touch points for collectors the world over”.

It was further added –

“The 6538 was supplied for just four years, but it has become one of the best known and sought-after of the Submariner models.”


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