The production of the Submariner started in 1953 and the watch was first presented to the public at the Basel Fair in 1954 under reference 6204.
(Submariner ref. 6204 Photo: Ed Delgado)
It had a bi-directional bezel with no minute markers between 0 and 15, a straight minute hand and the luminous dot was located at the very end of the sweep second hand. There was no maximum depth on the dial and the watch was waterproof to 600ft. The very thin case with no protective shoulders around the 6mm crown hosted Rolex cal. A260. The watch was directly issued from the Turn-o-graph ref. 6202:
(Turn-o-graph ref. 6202)
In 1955,hublot watches for sale, the reference 6205 appeared with the same characteristics as reference 6204. The same year, ref. 6200 was launched with a thicker caseback, a different case shape and the new cal. A296. The maximum depth was increased to 660ft and the end of production date was 1957. Between 1956 and 1958, there has been a version of ref. 6200 for the UK market with an “explorer” type dial (showing numbers 3-6-9 instead of the corresponding markers) and a 8mm BREVET “big crown” that could be easily handled with gloves.
(Submariner ref. 6200)
In 1956 Rolex launched ref. 6536 and 6538. These references were first fitted with cal. A260, soon to be replaced by cal. 1030 and its improved bi-directional winding. The first version of ref. 6538 still had a “bubbleback” type caseback; the second version (6538A) had a thicker case, an 8mm crown and hosted cal. 1030. In both cases, the maximum depth was 660ft, vs 330ft for ref. 6536 (which was renamed 6536/1 with the introduction of cal. 1030). Between 1958 and 1960, some 6538 have obtained a chronometer certification.
(Submariner ref. 6536/1)
(Submariner ref. 6538)
It is a Submariner 6538 that appears in the first James Bond movie DrNo:
In 1958, references 5510 and 5508 have been launched and produced until 1962. The first had a 8mm crown and was powered either by cal. 1530 or 1520, whereas the second had a 6mm crown and was powered by cal. 1030 or 1530.
(Submariner ref. 5508)
In 1960, ref. 5512 was started with a 7mm crown, a new bezel shape, protective crown guards (these have a square or a pointed shape at the beginning of the production) and cal. 1530 with chronometer certification.
(Submariner ref. 5512)
In 1962, reference 5513 appeared as the 5512 non-chronometer-twin brother.
(Submariner ref. 5513)
From the end of the 1970’s to 1989,http://www.time4usale.com, the matte painted dial was replaced by a glossy one with white gold surrounding the indexes.
The first Submariner with the date feature was launched in 1965 under reference 1680 (it was also the first with a gold version 1680/8).
(Submariner ref. 1680/8)
Between 1969 and 1975, the word SUBMARINER was painted in red on the dials of the watches sold on the North American market. From 1986 to 1989, this watch was fitted with a sapphire crystal and the new cal. 3035 under ref. 16800.
(Submariner ref. 16800)
In 1989, the cal. 3135 was developed and the Submariner with date renamed 16610; the corresponding non-date model was ref. 14060. In 2003, the 50th birthday of the Submariner was celebrated with a green bezel watch under reference 16610LV.
(Submariner ref. 16610LV)
To be continued…
For DrSrong’s original post in Rolex forum, CLICK HERE