Offered here is an early version of a Rolex “Small Crown” Submariner, Reference 5508, popularized by its use by James Bond in the films of the same name. This example dates to 1958, and has a radium dial before Rolex transitioned away from radium and applied the luminous material with tritium. Further, it retains its original, rare, and very valuable original “red triangle” bezel insert, which was used on these Submariners until 1959, and were more often than not replaced and discarded over the years.
This Submariner is in good vintage condition. The case has been previously polished, but shows thick and even lugs. The dial is still glossy, with no major damage or scratches, and shows very fine cracking to the lacquer (“spidering”), which is very common in these early gilt-dial watches. Further, the original radium lume is present on both dial and hands, aged to an attractive yellow color. The bezel insert, as previously mentioned, is the original red triangle bezel (with original brass bezel assembly), in good condition, showing normal wear from use over the years. Finally, the watch comes equipped on a later Rolex stretch-rivet 7206 bracelet, with 58 endlinks. The bracelet has 12 full links and almost no stretch, and dates to the 4th quarter of 1960.