1959 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.

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 # RLXSM550859
Brand Rolex
Style Submariner "Small Crown"
Model 5508
Serial 48XXXX
Size Men's
Material Stainless Steel
Dial Glossy Gilt 
Millimeters 38mm
Strap 2pc Leather Strap



The wonderful no crown guard case has been lightly polished in the past, retaining thick and even lugs with some signs of use. The watch retains its original brass bezel which is in excellent condition. The bezel insert is a slightly later "fat-font" Mk.3 that has taken on an excellent grey/blue fade and retains its tritium pearl at the 12 o'clock marker. The Rolex signed underline twin-lock crown is original and era correct. The inside case back is stamped III.1958. The watch will come with a 2pc handmade leather strap.


The gilt chapter ring dial is absolutely beautiful. The dial retains its glossy finish and exhibits some light spidering and signs of aging. The original radium lume plots are in excellent condition remaining full and round in texture, under U.V light inspection the lume plots remain fully intact without degradation. The original radium gilt hands match the dial lume coloration perfectly and show no lume degradation when inspected under U.V. Light and under magnification. 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.