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Rolex Monometer – the first Submariner?

With its ‘Monometer’ model, Rolex laid the foundation for a series of professional watches such as the Submariner and Sea-Dweller, now collectable pieces famous the world over.

The unusual name was registered by Rolex in 1953. A manometer is, in fact, the name of a scientific instrument used for measuring pressure. Opinions vary as to why Rolex chose the closely related name Monometer, but there’s no doubting the scientific-sounding nature of the watch: this is a timepiece built to a high standard, for professionals.

Carrying the Rolex reference 6202, further confusion arises as this number was also used by the functionally identical ‘Turn-O-Graph’, also released at this time. Within a few years both were superseded by the famous ‘Submariner’.

Very few Monometers were made, in two different variations of dial. One was a honeycomb version and the other plain black. In the last 20 years few have come to the market, with as few as four believed to have been publicly traded.

The specialist watch auction house Antiquorum will offer a rare Rolex Monometer (lot 493) at its forthcoming 17 March Geneva sale. Estimated at CHF 30,000 - 40,000, the watch comes with a leather strap and direct from its first owner, complete with service history. In 2006, Antiquorum sold a Rolex Monometer with steel Jubilee strap for CHF 53,000.

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For further information on Antiquorum's 17 March Geneva sale, please visit


Photo: Antiquorum