The Record Breaking Vintage Rolex Submariner Has No Bezel!

It’s crazy how things work in the vintage watch market. It’s simply unexpected & that’s the beauty of it, The story that these watches bring from the past dictates it’s value & a value you should be looking at, not it’s price.

The Rolex Submariner is undoubtably one of the most beautiful & in demand sports tool watch in the world.

With it’s simple yet genius iconic design, this watch is simply a dream watch for any watch enthusiast.


If we would guess together what’s the most expensive vintage submariner ever sold in an auction, we would probably think of a nearly mint condition rare Submariner with original parts, nothing’s missing & no polishing… But it doesn’t work that way.

In June 2018, this Bezel-less ( If that’s a word! ) Submariner was sold for over $1 Million becoming the most expensive vintage Submariner ever to be sold in an auction.


I know what you are thinking, No Bezel, weird small Nato strap, steel with lots of scratches… it doesn’t make sense!

Well, Let’s have a quick look why this watch fetched that value.

Unique Reference “6538”

This watch reference is very special, as it’s famous for being worn by James Bond before wearing Omega & for it’s famous Nickname “Big Crown”

Sean Connery wearing the Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 “Big Crown” in the 1963 James Bond movie “From Russia With Love”


This watch dial is the same one as the Rolex explorer, which is super rare to see this dial on this particular reference.

Vintage Rolex Explorer

Depth Rating

Then, if you look closer, you’ll notice that the depth rating is both meters-first, reading “200/660” with no actual units present, and it’s printed in red instead of white or gilt

Why there’s no Bezel?!

All the above points gathered together, created this amazing rare piece. What adds the real value is the Story & the originality of the watch.

The watch comes straight from the original owner family. The owner of the watch was a painter & because paint would get between the bezel and the crystal, the owner removed the bezel completely & never put it back on the watch until he passed away in 2017.

So, Unique reference, Dial, Original owner plus a story & you have a champion!

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