Rolex Submariner Gilt Dial

Rolex Submariner Gilt Dial

There are Submariners and then there are Submariners. This, dear friends, is one of the latter.

Before there were 5512s and 5513s, before there were COMEX, Tiffany or Mil-Subs, there existed a line of Submariners so simple in design that they truly were the prototypical dive watch for Rolex, and arguably for the entire industry.  These early Subs don't have the heft, tolerances or flash that their more modern counterparts have, but they are every bit as iconic and have a fair dose more of understated charm. Bringing it back to basics, it is hard to dispute the importance of these early form-follows-function designs, and the presence they have on the wrist is truly something else.

Launched in 1953, the Submariner line is one of - if not the single most important timepiece designs in all of wristwatch history. An icon among icons, its signature Oyster case, rotating dive-timing bezel and simple three-hand black dial configuration with perfect proportions is for many the singular most identifiable wristwatch in the world.  Spawning a number of variations (and an innumerable of knockoffs), the early "shoulderless" models are some of the most collectible diving watches on the market, identifiable immediately by their slightly slimmer case dimensions and bezel assemblies, as well as - you guessed it - their lack of crown guards.

At once handsome and capable, these early executions are sought after by collectors for their historical significance and beauty, as well as their tie-in with James Bond, who, while portrayed by Sir Sean Connery in Dr. No, first brought a Rolex onscreen as part of Q's kit of SPECTRE-busting field gear. "Big Crown" Subs (such as those worn in the early Bond films) have a hefty premium on the market, but models such as this Reference 6536/1, which feature roughly the same case dimensions, a 100 meter depth rating and a smaller 6mm crown are still relatively undervalued in our eyes.

Introduced in 1955, the 6536/1 is commonly considered a transitional model from Rolex's earliest executions to the later Big Crown versions. This particular example carries a 306XXX serial, dating it to circa 1957. In beautifully patinated condition, it features a great case with a stunning aged dial and handset. The Radium lume has puffed up evenly, exhibiting a warm creamy coloration, and the ghosted bezel insert is a thing of sheer beauty.

We are excited to be offering this special example from a local collector in New York City.  They really don't get much more character than this! 

To see a video of this watch, click on over to our Vimeo feed, HERE.

*We have received numerous inquiries regarding the authenticity and originality of the bezel insert fitted to this Submariner.  We have researched it extensively, and while it may not have originally been fitted to the watch (inserts are commonly exchanged and swapped on vintage Rolex), we believe it to be an authentic Rolex part.  Of course, nothing conclusive can be ascertained without a crystal ball, especially when dealing with no crown guards Submariners!*


Stainless Steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 6536-1. Calibre 1030 Automatic Winding Movement. Circa 1957.

Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition overall, showing normal signs of wear associated with age and use.  Retains sharp lugs with no signs of over-polishing. "Swiss"-stamped dial shows signs of aging, including light pitting and "crinkling" wear from age. Gilt dial printing is crisp. Luminescent plots have aged to a warm cream color with correct "puffing" appropriate to age, which may have been touched up in places many years ago. Genuine Rolex replacement "Mercedes" hands with excellent matched coloration. Bezel insert shows lovely ghosted fade with a light scratch marks between 0 and 10. Printing and coloration appears original. Original case back stamped III.57 and Rolex signed crown.

Includes Rolex Steel Rivet Oyster Bracelet (Reference 7206, stamped 1/66 with 12 links and #58 & #75 End Links) and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

SKU: AS00828

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