Rolex Submariner ref. 6538A Big Crown military
Serial numbers 3071**, 1957
in very good condition
Serial and ref. numbers are perfect between the lugs
Original Rolex Gilt Chapter ring Dial
Very good condition
original Rolex rivet bracelet made in England
Enk liks 80
Very good Condition
Official Rolex declaration: certifies that the watch was produced in 1957, intended for military use and sold in England.
Price on request
1957, we are in the most prolific period of models and versions that the history of Rolex tells us.
Since the beginning of the 1950s and for the next 10 years we have witnessed the presentation and development of: Explorer, Turn O ‘Graph, Submariner and GMT.
The Submariner was born with the ref 6204 and then evolved with the refs 6205, 6536, 6536/1, 6538 and models for military use such as 6538A, 6540 and A 6538.
Just the Submariner ref. 6538, the best performing Rolex available, nicknamed “Coroncione” for the adoption of the Brevet 8 mm crown, was subjected to further development in 1957 to increase its strength and water resistance.
This development was undertaken for an extremely professional use, as the references we are going to talk about are for military use.
In this article I have certain data and others that are the result of study and supposition as it is very difficult
to be able to make an exact case study with only 1 of these very rare watches available and with the little documentation available.
Let’s start with the reference 6538 A: up to about 2001, contacting Rolex
through its Documentation and Heritage office it was possible to have confirmation of the belonging of a serial number to a specific watch and the exact year of production
This watch was produced on 05/17/1957 for military use. Going to check the various original spare parts catalogs of the time, I can say that the changes were aimed at the glass, its housing in the case, which passes from tropic 17 to tropic 19, to the caseback and its gasket.
The instrument used to test the water resistance was the Fanthometer, recommended for diving watches up to 200 m, so not being able to exactly test the water resistance of the evolved model 6538A, I suppose, a dial was mounted without any indication of reachable depth but presumably greater than the 200 m of its predecessor 6538, thanks as already written to the oversizing of some parts.
Analyzing the punches present inside the caseback of the 6538A we can see the serial number engraved with a character, I believe, too “modern” for the time.
A plausible explanation may be that during an official service, as per “modus operandi” seen on other special watches, the serial number was engraved in order not to replace the caseback with a similar one during reassembly.
One of a kind watch, the Holy Grail of Submariners.