Despite missing both its original bracelet and bezel, a Rolex Ref. 6538 “Big Crown” Submariner sold for a record-breaking sum last week at Christie’s in New York (on June 13).

The Submariner – which has a gilt Explorer dial with Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 instead of indices – sold for over a million dollars.

What drove the price up so high is the rarity of the combination of a Submariner Ref. 6538 with a gilt Explorer dial and with a depth rating of “220/660” printed on the dial in red with no “feet” or “meters” marking and just “Submariner” underneath.

The watch was produced in 1956 and as of this writing represents the most expensive Rolex Submariner ever sold at auction based on a final selling price of $1,068,500.

However, it’s worth noting the come October, Phillips might have something to say about this, with their anticipated Steve McQueen Submariner scheduled to be sold at auction, and expected to fetch a considerable sum.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason is the founder of Professional Watches and specializes in writing, product photography, and digital marketing.