Historical Perspective – The Missing Link, The Rolex Reference 6202 or the “Pre-Submariner”

Historical Perspective – The Missing Link, The Rolex Reference 6202 or the “Pre-Submariner”

The Rolex Submariner is, undoubtedly, the most meaningful jump observe at any point made, in addition to being amongst the most unbelievable watches at any point molded. Presented more than 60 years ago, in 1953, it was important for the absolute first timekeeping instruments to be conceived for another generation of pioneers: jumpers. During its over sixty years’ profession, the Submariner has both definitely evolved on the specialized side, however remained outwardly consistent with its origins. Together with our “columnist extraordinaire” Paul Altieri (Founder and CEO of Bob’s Watches ), we are going to investigate some of the most important Rolex Submariner’s references, beginning today with… a Turn-O-Graph, the reference 6202 that can be classified “the missing link“.

In 1953, Rolex delivered the absolute first Turn-O-Graph as the reference 6202. Dissimilar to the Turn-O-Graph and Thunderbird watches that followed, the reference 6202 was not only a Datejust with a rotating bezel. All things being equal, it was the watch that would at last become Rolex’s now-incredible Submariner line of jump watches.

Although the Rolex Submariner made its presentation in 1953 with the reference 6204, the reference 6202 Turn-O-Graph entirely predated it, which clarifies why the reference 6202 is much of the time considered the Submariner’s precursor – a “Pre-Submariner” of sorts, in the event that you will.

From a visual viewpoint, the reference 6202 closely looks like some of the early pre-crown watch Submariners, for example, the reference 6204 and the reference 6205. At the point when given some chronological context, the similarity bodes well, given that the reference 6202 was the foundation onto which Rolex would assemble their iconic and exceptionally fruitful Submariner line of plunge watches.

Due to the less-normalized production process of the time, the reference 6202 saw a wide range of dial variations; and the 6202-reference number was also utilized for watches that were marked under Rolex’s Monometer line. The Monometer was produced for an extremely short period of time and not many models were fabricated. Other than the name on the dial, the reference 6202 Monometer was indistinguishable from the reference 6202 Turn-O-Graph, and both watches can be considered the precursors to Rolex’s Submariner.

In all reality, the reference 6202 can be considered the precursor to a few distinctive Rolex watches that are now held in high respect by vintage collectors. In addition to being the forerunner to both the Submariner and Turn-O-Graph/Thunderbird lines of watches, the reference 6202 was also the foundation for the absolute first Rolex Milgauss.

While the contemporary Milgauss more closely looks like an Oyster Perpetual or Datejust, the absolute first Milgauss (the reference 6541) was to a great extent dependent on the plan of the original reference 6202 Turn-O-Graph. Although the Milgauss lost its hour long outlined bezel in ensuing iterations, it was the reference 6202 that was at first chosen by Rolex to be the foundation for their enemy of attractive line of watches.

The reference 6202 Turn-O-Graph represents the start of Rolex’s rotating bezel tool watches and is really credited similar to their first sequentially produced watch with a rotating bezel. While it was not the absolute first Rolex observe ever fitted with a rotating bezel – that credit would go to the reference 3346 from 1937 of which only seven to twelve models were made – the reference 6202 Turn-O-Graph is the watch that eventually would go on to evolve into some of Rolex’s most famous and renowned lines of sport watches.

Due to its age, short production run, and important role inside Rolex’s history, enduring instances of Rolex’s reference 6202 Turn-O-Graph have become very uncommon and attractive among collectors today. While it might look like a vintage Submariner with a post-retail bezel embed from a distance, the reference 6202 is really a watch that pre-dates the Submariner and loaned its plan DNA to some of Rolex’s most loved and effective lines of sports watches.

In the coming episode of this Historical Perspective arrangement, we’ll look at the first real Rolex Submariner, the reference 6204 from 1953. To be continued…


This article is important for our Historical Perspective Series focused on the Rolex Submariner. You can locate the 4 episodes here:

  1. The Missing Link, The Rolex Reference 6202 or the “Pre-Submariner”
  2. The Very First Rolex Submariner, The Reference 6204
  3. The Original “Bond” Rolex Submariner, The Reference 6538 “Major Crown”
  4. The Classic Vintage Submariner, The Reference 5512 and 5513