Rolex Small Crown Submariners 1953-1962

John (Jack) Atkinson, pioneer diver in the early 1950's and founding member of the Sub Aqua Club (UK) sporting his Ref. 6204

This section explores the wide variety of "Small Crown" Submariner models and their subtleties that includes the reference numbers 6204, 6205, 6536/8, 6536-1 and 5508, which were produced between 1953 and 1962, according to their case back date codes. The 18 specimens herein were carefully selected based on my own experience and validated by respected dealers and experienced fellow collectors.


A thorough understanding of these reference models and their characteristics should also give collectors and aficionados a strong knowledge base that can be applied to other Rolex Sport Models produced during the same time period. These would include the Submariner 6200, 6538, 5510, Explorer 6610, 1016, 6350, and GMT Master 6542, 1675 and others!


In today's Vintage Rolex watch market, the Submariner, especially the Small Crown, has become the quintessential model in most serious watch collections. As a result, the values have increased dramatically on these highly prized timepieces. The subtle details that make up the genre has become increasingly important.


The sections herein are intended to document the evolution of the various "Small Crown" models and the differences found amongst them. The goal was to exemplify every possible configuration and dial variant that was produced by the Rolex factory. However, I readily acknowledge the possibility that there may be additional variants that have been overlooked. If you have any suggestions to or examples to contribute, please feel free to make contact.



Mark Lerman

July 2020 is intended for informational purposes only and is in no way sponsored, endorsed,

or affiliated with Rolex U.S.A., Rolex S.A. or any other Rolex worldwide subsidiary. © All Rights Reserved 2020