Submariner 6536-1 - “Gold Depth” ca. 1956

Case No. 155,xxx


A second batch of the Submariner 6536-1 was produced in 1956 that included a change to the dial and hands. The Long Hour hand was replaced with the standard size. There were two slightly different dial variants throughout the run. One version did not have the units of measure and has a "/" was used as a separator between the numbers. It was printed with a font in the same style as the one used on the Submariner 6536-1 Red Depth. The second and more common configuration was printed in a slightly different font style and has the units of measure (m/ft) and "=" is used as the separator. The depth rating and the "Submariner" model are printed atop the lacquer layer in gold ink.

The hands are made from a metal alloy that was gold-plated. They are also flat on top, a design that came to be known by collectors as "Gilt Hands." When the hands move about the face of the dial, the "Big Bubble" sweep-seconds hand appears to lightly graze the "Chapter" ring of the minute track. When it briefly glides over the minute hand, they are perfectly aligned.

The luminous material on the dial and hands was manually applied Radium like most Small Crowns from the 1950s. Although it no longer glows in the dark, the Radium still has a distinct "speckled" glow when exposed to UV Light and has a relatively high Geiger reading as well. Please see the "Luminous" section for further information about characteristics of glow-in-the-dark materials used by Rolex.


The brass bezel once had nickel plating that has oxidized or worn away with age. The 6536/8 has a slightly bigger knurling than previous Small Crowns. The early "no-hash" inlay has a small divot to accommodate a dollop of luminous material that would typically fall away. The Submariner 6536-1 uses the #16 crystal, the same reference that is used on all Small Crown Submariners except the Submariner 6536/8.


The reference number 6536/1 is stamped inside the case back with a date code. The other marks were made by watchmakers to help keep track of the job number and sometimes dates of service. It is also common for Rolex Service centers to inscribe work order numbers inside the caseback.

The case profile on the reference 6536-1 is 3mm thinner than the Submariner 6536/8 and Big Crown Submariners. Due to the flat case back it is also almost a millimeter thinner than the Submariner 6204/6205. The width of the case is sans crown, is 37mm, which is .5mm narrower than the Submariner 6536/8 and Big Crown Submariners. The sides have a light satin finish as well as the tops of lugs.


The crown size is 6mm, the same size that was installed on all Small Crowns since the Submariner 6205.  It also has the well known "+" symbol ("Swiss Made") below the crown logo.

The 6536-1 is powered by the Rolex 1030 Automatic Movement. The outer case back is flat

The Submariner 6536-1 was fitted with a spring loaded Swiss rivet bracelet was made for Rolex by world renowned Gay Frères. The 20mm fixed end links are typically marked "65" or "64" and the  clasp has a stamped quality control date code.

6536-1 "Gold Depth" ca.1956                 #155,6xx is intended for informational purposes only and is in no way sponsored, endorsed,

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