Tropical 1956 Rolex Submariner (Ref. 6536/1) "Small Crown"

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The Rolex Submariner Reference 6536/1 is an icon and a legend. The 6536/1 Submariner is the purest representation of the diver's tool watch period. Nicknamed by the watch collector aficionado community the "Small Crown" the reference 6536/1 and its successor model, the Rolex 5508, are easily distinguishable from other "no crown-guard" Submariner references due to 6mm screw-down crown which is much smaller than those outfitted to following models, including the "James Bond" versions made famous by Sean Connery who played James Bond in the 1960s.

The Rolex small crown submariners including the ref. 6536/1 are one of the most captivating value propositions currently in vintage Rolex collecting and are becoming increasingly harder to find due to low original production numbers and increasingly high desirability within the vintage Rolex collector community. Accessibility to prime examples is diminishing and pricing is increasing on the small crowns.

Stock # RLXSM65361
Brand Rolex
Style Submariner "Small Crown"
Model 6536/1
Serial 15XXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Gilt "Tropical" 
Millimeters 38mm
Strap Rolex 7206 Oyster-Rivet Bracelet W/ 58 End Pieces



The no crown guard case is strong, showing thick and symmetrical lugs with slight chamfers that show evidence of being lightly polished in the past. The case retains its original brass bezel. The later "fat-font" bezel insert has taken on a wonderful fade and shows some wear from use. The inside of the case back is stamped II. 56. The serial and reference numbers are faint between the lugs due to years of bracelet wear. The watch comes supplied on a later, yet era-correct Rolex 7206 Oyster-Rivet bracelet with 58 end pieces that is stamped 4/65 and is in excellent condition, showing light stretch from use and retaining 10 links.


The tropical gilt chapter ring "SWISS only" dial has a stunning appearance. The tropical patina in the dial is strong, offering a bold brown coloration that accents the bright gilt text and chapter ring beautifully. There is consistent spidering in the dial lacquer throughout. The original radium lume plots have aged to an attractive golden coloration, under U.V. light inspection the lume plots exhibit some light but consistent degradation and the 6 o'clock marker correctly glows bright than the other lume plots. The original gilt hands are in exceptional condition and have been professionally restored with radium to match the dial. When inspected with a Geiger counter the watch responds correctly and shows the correct Geiger reading. 


None. The watch is keeping time accurately but the extended service history is unknown.