Submariner 6536-1 - “Tropical” ca. 1957

Case No. 230,xxx


This small batch of Submariners 6536-1 watches was produced in early 1957 and appears to be a minor transitional model because it has a newer style dial and hands configuration, but the bezel inlay is the same as the previous years model, without a red triangle. This particular dial has turned 'Tropical' because the galvanic layer has lost some of its opacity.

The most noticeable change previous years is probably the "Big Bubble" sweep that is now painted white and stands in contrast to the darker the dial.  But the most important update is actually the dial on this watch. It is clear that a new Cliché with bolder graphics was used to print the lettering and graphics. On the dial, Rolex finally makes the model "Submariner" name a more permanent part of the dial. This new design relocates "Submariner" model from atop of the lacquer layer, where it was not very noticeable, to the galvanic paint layer, where it has a much bolder font style and a brighter color.

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 reference number 6536/1 is stamped inside the case back with a date code. The other marks were made by watchmakers to keep track of service work orders. Rolex Service centers commonly marked their work order numbers inside the case back. The Submariner 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. is intended for informational purposes only and is in no way sponsored, endorsed,

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