QualityTyme.net Rare & Fine Timepieces... When it comes to Rolex... We wrote the Book on it!! The Rolex Report: An Unauthorized Reference Book for the Rolex Enthusiast. Need Assistance Placing an Order?
BUY - SELL - TRADE - EXPERT WATCH REPAIR & RESTORATIONS...
Facebook Instagram Twitter Pintrest Better Business Bureau Google Maps
A Leader in the Online Watch Community Since 1999
HOME ABOUT US CONTACT US SHOWROOM TESTIMONIALS ORDERING
Offering an outstanding selection of
Modern and Vintage Preowned, as well as
"Unworn" Rare & Fine Timepieces.
We like Buying watches (almost)
as much as we like selling them.

Oh yeah, AND we LOVE Trades!
Want the absolute TOP DOLLAR?
We'll take your watch on consignment
to ensure you get ALL THE MONEY!
We offer Expert Watch Repair
& Restoration Services on Rolex and
other premium brand watches.
Educational Content:
Rolex Lectures
Rolex or Replica?
Watch FAQs
Watch Articles
Watch Histories
Serial Numbers
Additional Resources:
Terms of Business
Web Links
Photo Gallery
Amazon Books
Horological News
Event Calendar
Brand Accessories Watch Winders Parts & Accessories Watch Tools Watch Books
Parts & Accessories: We carry a full line of Custom Watch Accessories... Dials, Bezel, Straps, Bracelets...
Brand Accessories: We offer Genuine Watch Brand Accessories from Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, Omega, Cartier, Panerai...
Watch Winders: We are an Official Distributor of Orbita Watch Winders. Watch Books: We are the Author/Publisher of The Rolex Report, as well as offering dozens of other watch-related publications.
Watch Tools: We carry an extensive selection of Watch Tools and Supplies.
QualityTyme Rare & Fine Timepieces specializes in exceptional modern and vintage wristwatches. We offer a unique selection of watch accessories,
watch winders, and horological books, as well as providing Expert Watch Repair and Restoration Services that are second to none. We also publish
The Rolex Report, a series of critically acclaimed reference books used by thousands of watch collectors and enthusiasts around the world.
Anniversary
COUPON CODES
View Shopping Cart
QualityTyme.net is PROUDLY independent and NOT AFFILIATED WITH ROLEX USA.


The James Bond Submariner, An Unauthorized History...

By John E. Brozek

© InfoQuest Publishing, Inc., 2003

International Wristwatch Magazine, October 2003

Return to Watch Articles Index...

The year 1953 marked the birth of two very significant icons in today’s culture: The Rolex Submariner, and Ian Fleming’s British Secret Service Agent James Bond.

While Rolex officially launched the Submariner (model 6204) at the Basel Spring Watch Fair in 1954, the appearance of the first Rolex diving watch is believed to have been in the previous year, as model 6200. This is the same year that the TV adaptation of Ian Fleming’s book Casino Royale was first broadcast on CBS, starring Barry Nelson.

This movie depicted a much different Bond than we are accustomed to seeing today, as did the early Submariners. Both were a bit rough around the edges, but over the years that followed, they were refined into a very sexy symbol of thrill-seeking adventure with an affluent sophisticated flair.

This was, indeed, an exciting time for exploration. With the new sport of skin diving on the horizon, it opened the door to a world full of adventure. Earlier that year, Hillary and Tenzing conquered Mt. Everest, followed by the Piccard’s historic voyage into the abyss with their famed bathyscaphe Trieste. These pioneers were braving new frontiers and Rolex was determined to supply the watch, no matter what the situation. The Explorer (models 6098 & 6150) was released in 1953, as was the Turn-O-Graph (model 6202). Then, along with the Submariner, the Milgauss (model 6541) and the GMT-Master (model 6542) were officially debuted in 1954. Rolex’s catalog was then lined with an impressive collection of new “Professional Series” watches.

Over the subsequent years, the Submariner received numerous changes to the line, as did the screen credits for the Bond films. It took some nine years before Fleming’s British agent made it to the big screen. In 1962, Sean Connery was introduced as James Bond in Dr. No, and a Rolex Submariner was right there on his wrist.

Connery and the Submariner enjoyed a successful bond (no pun intended), as the pair returned a year later in From Russia With Love, and from there the films were released in almost rapid-fire succession: Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967). After an interim appearance by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Connery returned for Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Roger Moore then took the reigns in Live And Let Die (1973), followed by The Man With The Golden Gun (1974).

While these first nine films placed Rolex in the spotlight, Q Branch, like others of this time, experimented with hi-tech digital gizmos, thus Bond was issued a Seiko. In the 1980s, Rolex made a brief appearance with Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights (1987) and License To Kill (1989). The British Agent then took some seven years to return to the screen in Goldeneye (1996), which unveiled a new Bond: Pierce Brosnan, and a new watch on his wrist, the Omega.

In the beginning, it appeared as though Rolex would play a similar version of the name game. Early examples of the diving watch lacked the designation “Submariner” on the dial, and the company continued to patent a number of alternate monikers in 1953-54, including Deepsea, Frogman, Diver, Deep-Sea Diver, Skin Diver, Dive-O-Graph, and Swimproof. Fortunately, the name Submariner stuck and it subsequently received numerous evolutions to its appearance, including a new model (the 6205), by late 1954.

In 1955, the 6204 renumbered as the 6538, and the 6205 became the 6536. The 6536 was now fitted with the new 1030 movement and Mercedes hands, an improvement the 6538 didn’t receive until the late 1950s, when a version was released as the 6538A.

In 1956, the 6536 was also available with a chronometer version of the 1030 movement and was designated as the 6536/1. Two years later, in 1958, the 6200 renumbered as the 5510, and the 6536/1 became the 5508, when both were upgraded to the 1530 movement.

It is believed that Connery wore the 6538 in Dr. No. Many collectors therefore regard it as the only true James Bond Submariner, with the possible exception of the 6200, on account of the presence of the larger “Brevet” winding crown and non-crown guard case. Others believe that all Submariners “without crown guards” deserved the same distinction (i.e., to also include the 5508, 5510, 6204, 6205, and 6536 series). Crown guards were not introduced to the line until 1959, when they were featured on a brand new model, the 5512.

With that being said, there is the matter of the 5513 (released in 1962), which Roger Moore donned in Live And Let Die. While it doesn’t fit the aforementioned description, it’s probably the most memorable Submariner to appear in the Bond films. This Q Branch gadget featured an electromagnet powerful enough to divert the path of a bullet, as well as a spinning bezel which acted as a buzz saw and enabled Bond to cut free his ropes, thus saving himself and the heroin Solitaire (played by Jane Seymour), from certain death in a pool of man eating sharks.

The actual movie prop used in Live And Let Die; a “specially adapted Rolex wristwatch, Ref: 5513, case No. 2683776” and modified by Syd Cain (the film’s art director), was auctioned at Christie’s in 2001 (lot 145) for $41,992 (26,523 British pounds). Of related interest, the production drawing for this movie prop (also drawn by Syd Cain), sold at the same auction (lot 144) for $11,453 (7,233 British pounds).

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Submariner (1953-2003), Rolex recently debuted a new model at the Basel Spring Watch Fair. This new, very progressive Maxi Dial version of the Submariner is similar to the current 16610, but features larger hour indexes, a thicker minute hand (which we are accustomed to seeing on the Yacht-Master), and a green bezel.

Unfortunately, Hans Wilsdorf (the founder of Rolex) died in 1960, as did Mr. Fleming in 1964. Therefore, these craftsmen of modern culture icons were unable to enjoy the full success their creations would achieve. However, I believe if they were here today, they would have much to talk about.



___




Additional Watch Articles:

Article:

Source:

Publish Date:

Author:

The Paul Newman Daytona, An Unauthorized History... International Watchman Magazine August, 2003. John E. Brozek
The James Bond Submariner, An Unauthorized History... International Watchman Magazine October, 2003. John E. Brozek
The Vindication Swim, Mercedes Gleitze and Rolex take the plunge and become world-renowned... International Watchman Magazine December, 2003. John E. Brozek
The History and Evolution of the Wristwatch... International Watchman Magazine January, 2004. John E. Brozek
Rolex or Replica? Some timely advice so you don't end up making a very expensive mistake... Chronos Magazine Winter 2003/2004. John E. Brozek
Replicas and Knock-Offs, are they legal?
(With award winning consumer reporter Michael Finney of KGO-TV in San Francisco.)
ABC 7 News KGO-TV February 26, 2004. John E. Brozek
Everest, A Pinnacle of Achievement for Rolex... International Watchman Magazine April, 2004. John E. Brozek
30 Year Love Affair, The Paul Newman Daytona... Goodwood Magazine 2005 Issue. John E. Brozek
The POTUS Patek: A Rare Look Inside a Presidential Timepiece... Website Photo Article Summer 2013. John E. Brozek
Defending the Cup, The 1964 America's Cup Presentation Submariner... Website Photo Article Summer 2014. John E. Brozek
But / Sell / Trade / Service: Rolex ● Tudor ● Cellini ● Patek Philippe ● Cartier ● Omega ● Franck Muller ● Panerai ● IWC ● Tag Heuer ● Breitling ● Jaeger-LeCoultre ● Breguet ● Chronoswiss
Oyster Perpetual ● Air-King ● Date ● Datejust ● Day-Date ● Turn-O-Graph ● Submariner ● Sea-Dweller ● Deepsea ● GMT-Master ● Yacht-Master ● Explorer ● Daytona ● Milgauss
World Time ● Calatrava ● Annual Calendar ● Perpetual Calendar ● Gondolo ● Aquanaut ● Nautilus ● Elipse ● Pagoda ● Twenty-4 ● Sky Moon Tourbillion ● Grand Complications
Speed Master ● Sea Master ● Constellation ● Planet Ocean ● De Ville ● Royal Oak Offshore ● Luminor Marina ● Radiomir ● Portuguese ● Portofino ● Pasha ● Roadster ● Must 21
Santos ● La Dona ● Tank Francaise ● Avenger ● Bentley ● Chronomat ● Montbrillant ● Navitimer ● Superocean ● Opus ● Aquaracer ● Carrera ● Monaco
Expert Watch Repair & Restoration Services.
We are an Authorized Distributor of KOBOLD WATCHES. We are an Official Dealer of ORBITA WATCHWINDERS.
Google
 
Web QualityTyme.net

Copyright © 1999-2014 InfoQuest Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MEMBER NAWCC, AWCI, IWJG, NPA, WWT & SPACOC | NOT AFFILIATED WITH ROLEX USA, nor any of its associated companies.

Terms of Use | Copyright Notice____Privacy Statement | Webmaster

Find us on Google Places!________Find us on Yelp!_