How The Rolex Submariner Became Synonymous With Sean Connery
This weekend the world received news that Sir Sean Connery had died at the age of 90. The Scottish actor found international fame as Hollywood's original James Bond and ultimately set the tone for what Ian Fleming's 007 would embody on the silver screen.
To many, he was the James Bond—he was the first to order his martini "shaken, not stirred"—and his name alone conjures up images of debonair style and charm. But for watch fans, it’s all about his Rolex Submariner.
Connery wore several brands as Bond, including Gruen and Breitling, but when he starred in Dr No (1962) the actor secured himself a place in watchmaking history with his Ref 6538.
The world’s first dive watch, Rolex's Submariner got an exciting revamp earlier this year and it's a sensible, as well as stylish, choice for the super-spy.
(Related: A New Omega Seamaster Diver Model Will Be Seen On James Bond in the Upcoming Movie, No Time to Die)
In 1962, when Dr No was released, the Sub was mostly worn by actual divers. Fast forward to today and Connery’s preference for what collectors have dubbed “The Big Crown” (due to the watch's enlarged crown, which doesn’t come with guards that protect the winding mechanism) has resulted in it becoming a cult classic.
Connery also wore Submariners in Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) and Thunderball (1965). Remember Goldfinger’s opening scene when, while wearing a white tuxedo, Bond casually checks the time while planting barrels of explosives?
In 2018, Christie’s sold a Ref 6538 featuring a rare Explorer dial for an eye-watering US$1,068,500, making it the most expensive Sub ever sold at auction, leaving no doubt that Connery’s watch legacy continues.
RIP, Double O.
(Related: A Watch Expert Shares 5 Luxury Timepieces You Should Have In Your Collection)