An extremely attractive and rare stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial, pointed crown guards and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1961
    Reference No: 5512
    Case No: 661’597, inside caseback stamped I.61
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, stamped 7206, endlinks stamped 80, max length 200mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp, stamped 4.64
    Dimensions: 39.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex’s reference 5512 holds a special place in the history of the brand as it was the first Submariner model to feature the now ubiquitous crown guards. Released in 1959 and produced for approximately 15 years, the reference is a snap shot in time as Rolex evolved their crown guard design. Developed as a tool watch, the Submariner was marketed to commercial and recreational divers. The addition of the crown guards made the watch more robust, protecting the watch crown from unintentional damage.

    The earliest and most rare examples were square-shaped, of which it is estimated very few exist, the second generation, like the present watch, featured pointed crown guards with a black glossy dial and either two or four lines with gilt printing, the next generation maintained the pointed crown guard, but only had four lines of gilt print with “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified”, and by the late 1960s the crown guards were reduced to a rounder design and the ones they continued to use.

    In wonderfully original condition, this Submariner from 1961has an untouched dial with matching aged luminous hour markers and hands. The case is has strong lug bevels with nice overall proportions. Vintage Rolex watches are the king in today’s international market, and the reference 5512 is an early model that easily displays the soul of Rolex and is a necessary addition to any collection of early tool watches.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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FROM A PROMINENT ASIAN COLLECTOR

Rolex

Ref. 5512
An extremely attractive and rare stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial, pointed crown guards and bracelet

勞力士,「Submariner」型號5512 ,罕有及十分重要,精鋼自動上弦鏈帶腕錶,配黑色亮漆面錶盤,約1961年製

Circa 1961
39.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
HK$240,000 - 400,000 
€26,400-44,000
$30,800-51,300

sold for HK$362,500

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SIX

Hong Kong Auction 29 May 2018