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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so first off, I will start with the story of how I came to "own" this watch. My Great Uncle (Dad's side) purchased the watch in the 1950s while in the military. Shortly after, the watch broke and he removed some of the internal gears to make the watch a manual wind vs. an automatic and gave it to my dad. My Dad never wore the watch and it sat in a box until 2014 when he gave it to me. Because the watch was only worn for a few months total, it is in great condition. I did some basic research and determined that it could be worth a significant amount of money and gave it back to my Dad. We took the watch to "The Watch Shop" in Vienna VA where the owner said he worked most of his life for Rolex before moving to the US to open his own shop. He verified that the watch was authentic (no surprise, no one was making fake Rolexes in the 1950s). He also was able to repair the watch with original 1950-1960s era parts. (The cost of repairs was more than a lot of watches.) He also said that the watch has the original oyster band which is amazingly rare for that time. And that the water rating of 100 meters and the red lettering together show that it is pre production.

So basically, I think I have a pre-production submariner that falls somewhere between the 6200 and 6205 models. I wanted to share the story and a picture and see if someone can help me determine the exact model and possible worth of the watch. I also am considering taking it to Rolex dealer, but don't know of a good one in the Northern VA area.

Thanks
 

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It is worth a great deal of money. Congrats!!

I am not the greatest with these....but here goes. I hate it that you had it 'repaired' by someone that is not sensitive to the needs of a vintage Rolex. I don't believe that the bezel insert is original to the watch. Personally, I would NOT take it to anyone else, nor would I let anyone else touch it. Originality is everything with these vintage pieces. Take a toothpick and use it to carefully remove the bracelet. The model number will be located on one side, and the serial number on the other. TAKE YOUR TIME researching and learning about your timepiece. I don't know why he said it is a 'pre-production' submariner. I believe it might be a 6536. See this one that Jacek sold:

http://www.hqmilton.com/watches/1955-rolex-submariner-6536-1-with-red-depth-rating
 

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Take it to ABC watchwerks in Los Angeles. They're very knowledgable about vintage subs and they can get it back in tip top shape if you have the cash for a service.
 

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Take it to ABC watchwerks in Los Angeles. They're very knowledgable about vintage subs and they can get it back in tip top shape if you have the cash for a service.
He's in VA. You can't just 'take it' to ABC in LA. I would not let that watch out of my sight at this point in time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help Jason, with regard to the guy who repaired the watch, he worked in Rolex's swiss factory building watches for about 50 years before moving here so I think he is more than qualified. Also he is just about the only person that had original parts. There were 2 gears that needed to be replaced, everything else is original. I know the bezel insert is original which by looking into the 6536-1 models looks like the watch might be have been made between 1955 and 1957. I will remove the band and check the model and serial numbers now that I know where to look.

Thanks again for the help. I'll post up the model number once I know.

Nathan
 

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Thanks for the help Jason, with regard to the guy who repaired the watch, he worked in Rolex's swiss factory building watches for about 50 years before moving here so I think he is more than qualified. Also he is just about the only person that had original parts. There were 2 gears that needed to be replaced, everything else is original. I know the bezel insert is original which by looking into the 6536-1 models looks like the watch might be have been made between 1955 and 1957. I will remove the band and check the model and serial numbers now that I know where to look.

Thanks again for the help. I'll post up the model number once I know.

Nathan
There are many that are 'qualified' but equally as many that don't understand the originality factor. Glad he didn't replace any more than what had to be replaced.
 

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Truly awesome find there, congratulations and thanks for sharing the story and photo.

Just tell whoever opens it to mind the radium; the dial and hands are likely to be hot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry, I moved the discussion over to the Rolex Vintage Forum.

rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=453658

The watch is a Red Depth Rating 6536/1 with a 112XXX serial number. It looks like the watch was worked on some time after 1967 when the crown and bezel insert were replaced. For now, I am trying to determine what the watch is worth to possibly sell it.
 
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