Trac­ing the Rolex Sub­mariner “Big Crown” Ref. 6538 At Auc­tion —

Al­ready An Icon – But Now With a New World Record

WatchTime - - Watchtalk - By Bran­don Frazin, Spe­cial­ist, Watches, Christie’s

Rolex in­tro­duced the Sub­mariner in 1953 and it has been a pop­u­lar choice for many watch wear­ers, en­thu­si­asts and col­lec­tors ever since. Cre­ated for the pur­pose of div­ing, the Sub­mariner was and still is a tool watch at its core, of­fer­ing one of the first qual­ity wa­ter­proof time­pieces with an au­to­matic move­ment and wa­ter re­sis­tance to 100 me­ters. Although Rolex has been con­tin­u­ally adapt­ing and evolv­ing the Sub­mariner since it was first re­leased, the clas­sic de­sign has stayed con­stant, mak­ing the Rolex Sub­mariner what it is to­day: an icon.

e First Rolex Sub­mariner

e devel­op­ment of the first Sub­mariner is owed to Rolex founder and pres­i­dent Hans Wils­dorf. Known for his open mind and in­no­va­tion, Wils­dorf cre­ated the Sub­mariner based on a con­ver­sa­tion with René­paul Jean­neret, a val­ued mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors and pas­sion­ate diver. It was Jean­neret that pro­posed de­vel­op­ing a watch that wasn’t only suit­able for use in the wa­ter, but also an el­e­gant time­piece.

Wils­dorf met this chal­lenge and the first Sub­mariner was con­structed from stain­less steel with a stain­less-steel bracelet, a dial with lu­mi­nous hour mark­ers and hands for max­i­mum read­abil­ity in low light con­di­tions, and a ro­tat­able bezel for tim­ing dives. Even though Rolex up­graded and changed the Sub­mariner over the years, the cur­rent mod­els main­tain the orig­i­nal DNA and pur­pose.

This Rolex Sub­mariner "Big Crown" Ref. 6538 be­came the first Sub­mariner to break the $1 mil­lion mark at Christie's New York on June 13, 2018.

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