Rolex Submariner Sells For Over $1,000,000

This vintage timepiece sold for over $1 million USD, breaking record as one of the most expensive Submariner watches ever sold at an auction.

Jun 18, 2018 | By Shirley Wang

At the recent auction by Christie’s, An Evening of Exceptional Watches auction in New York, $7.77 million in watches was sold. While Daytonas are routinely hammering for sky high prices, this new record for the 1956 Rolex Submariner is hard to believe, being the first of its kind to enter seven-figure territory.

A “Very Fine, Extraordinarily Rare and Early Stainless Steel Automatic Wristwatch with Center Seconds and Gilt ‘Explorer Dial’“ sold for a cool $1,068,500 – a world record for a Rolex Submariner sold at auction.

This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner from 1956 is certainly more than your run-of-the-mill Submariner. The precious watch is equipped with an automatic caliber 1030, sporting a black dial with luminous Arabic numerals and markers and an original Nato strap. The Ref 6538 is well known for its big crown, as well as its explorer dial which is a great rarity on a 6538. Upon closer inspection, the depth rating on the timepiece reads meters-first, “200/660” with no units stated, printed solely in red instead of the typical white or gilt.

However, the Submariner doesn’t have a bezel. The owner, a painter, supposedly removed the bezel years ago to avoid getting the paint in between the bezel and the crystal, which will prevent it from rotating.

The owner never put the bezel back on before passing away in 2017, and the consignor, his son, left the Sub this way. Despite the shortcomings of a missing bezel and small Nato strap, the Rolex Submariner was listed with a $500,000-1,000,000 estimate, a range that it surpassed by a good 25 percent.

Just last year, a Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 that sold for 562,000 CHF at Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: Four, a short-lived record. However, the timepiece was a truly rare vintage model, a selling point that differentiates it from this 1956 Rolex Submariner.

View the the full catalog listing here and the full results from last night’s sale here.

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