One of the purest Submariner references from the early days, the 5508 is an unfussy, unpretentious, un-adulterated-by-marketing tool. The 5508 was a diver with a job to accomplish, no more and no less. The original owner of this sub would’ve likely found our fascination with gilt, no crown guard, exclamation details infuriatingly pedantic. Nonetheless, if you want a piece of vintage Wilsdorfian steel with all the sexy adjectives, this sub fits the modern job description.
The last of the small-crown NCG subs, the 5508 is a favorite of Rolex collectors. Some prefer the red triangle bezel, but this all-black example is a little more stealthy and dress-appropriate. The model was produced concurrently and after the 6536. I seem to recall something about Misterrolex, James Dowling, quoting that dealers would in period allocate an order as a “6536/5508” and one or the other would be given to anyone interested in a small-crown sub. Don’t quote me on that.
Whatever the case, the model is a runout of one of the most iconic divers of all time, second to Sean Connery’s 6538. This sub is a little special, as defined by the Rolex crowd, for its little dot of tritium at 6. That exclamation point style was only produced (according to some) in late 1961 and 1962. The 37.5mm case on this example is sharp. It’s dial is completely intact and the all-important exclamation tritium remains fixed strong. It comes on a riveted original bracelet that appears tight. And all serial/stamps are correct. This 5508 comes from a reputable LA retailer.
*Thank you to Eric Wind for noting that this bezel insert is likely a replacement
Find this 5508 Submariner here from The Keystone for 55000 USD.