1958 Rolex Submariner (Ref. 5508) "Small Crown"

Rolex 5508 Submariner Ad

The Rolex Submariner Reference 5508 is an icon and a legend. The 5508 Submariner is the purest representation of the diver's tool watch period. Nicknamed by the watch collector aficionado community the "Small Crown" the reference 5508 and its subsequent model, the Rolex 6536, 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.

This specific example from 1958 is found in downright stunning and very much original condition. The "long 5" red triangle insert is extremely rare and in remarkable condition as is the case of this specific Rolex 5508 Submariner as it retains the original case chamfers and finishing remaining sharp free from polishing or excessive wear. Additionally, the gilt chapter ring dial and gilt hands remain untouched showing some age but are in remarkable condition and without much degradation. The Rolex small crown submariners including the ref. 5508 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 # RLXSM5508RT
Brand Rolex
Style Submariner
Model 5508
Serial 40XXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Glossy Gilt Chapter Ring
Millimeters 38mm
Strap Rolex Oyster Bracelet W/ 75 End Pieces



This early 1985 Rolex 5508 no crown guard case remains in thick, sharp, unpolished condition, retaining the original case chamfers and finishing. The case retains its original crown showing the Rolex coronet and Brevet cross. The rare "long 5" red triangle bezel insert is original to the watch and remains in wonderful condition with the original radium filled pearl still partially intact. The Rolex oyster bracelet was sourced with the watch and is stamped 4/60, which could have been provided with the watch at the at time of original sale. The bracelet is in an amazing condition showing minimal stretch and retains 11 links and early 75 end pieces. The original crystal does show a craze in the lower left quadrant by the 8 o'clock & 9 o'clock marker.


The glossy gilt chapter ring dial and gilt hands remain stunning condition showing only light signs of aging. The glossy gilt dial does show some surface lacquer patina as can be seen in the photos but is honest and original to the watch. Under U.V. light the radium lume plots show some degradation and some of the lume has flaked off the plots in some areas, but otherwise remain in very good condition for its age. The radium lume within the original gilt hands have darkened with age as this is common for early radium, but remain fully intact and show no visible lume degradation when inspected under U.V. Light and under magnification.


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