1959 Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538 Big Crown

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An almost Halley’s Comet of the watch market, Reference 6538 of the Rolex Submariner is both wildly rare and unmistakably itself. The Big Crown Sub, as we call him because of its oversized crown which is fully guardless, is best known as the first ever James Bond watch. 

That aside, as proven by George Washington on the quarter or Hitchcock on the intro of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, you know it’s an icon when you can recognize it by its silhouette alone.

In addition to checking off the boxes for cultural importance, fame, and rarity, this Sub cinches its high-level collectible status with how well it aged. The original tropical gilt dial is beautifully legible, the iconic Mercedes hands tinged but intact. It should probably be in a museum, but one’s wrist is the next best thing.

Price: $132,835

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