A very attractive and highly rare stainless steel military wristwatch with revolving bezel, fixed bar lugs and military engravings, made for the British Military

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1972
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 3’764’831
    Model Name: Military Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: NATO
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel NATO buckle
    Dimensions: 39 mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, case back further engraved with military issue numbers W10/6645-99-9237697 801/77
    Accessories: With Rolex Internaional service guarantee dated Nov 11, 2005 and letters from Rolex confirming production of the watch and its supply to the Ministry of Defence in November 1977 for onward transmission to Central Ordanance depot in Donnington
    Literature: For another example of stainless steel military Submariner, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, p. 212.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Arguably the most iconic military diver’s wristwatch in history, the British Ministry of Defence commissioned a very limited batch of Rolex Submariners in the early 1970s. These military-issued variants, or “MilSub”, were designed in accordance with enhanced specifications to meet the demands from the Special Forces.

    When Rolex accepted the commission from the British Ministry of Defence, Rolex modified the reference 5513 in regards to specifications provided by the British Ministry of Defense. Most noticeably, “MilSubs” have wide sword-shaped hour hand for enhanced readability, a circled “T” desgination on the dial, indicating the use of luminescent tritium. Another feature was the 60-minute revolving bezel insert, which is different from the non-military 15-minute calibrated bezel.

    The British Ministry of Defence also required a stop seconds feature as well as fixated spring bars welded to the lugs. Another noticeable difference between the military and civilian models are their case back engravings – the present lot marked with the "W-10" code for Central Ordanance Depot in Donnington, "923-7697" code for NATO, followed by the issue number, "801", and year of issue, "77". Most impressively, the watch is accompanied by letters from Rolex confirming production of the watch and its supply to the Ministry of Defence in November 1977 for onward transmission to Central Ordanance Depot in Donnington.

  • 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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879

Rolex

Ref. 5513
A very attractive and highly rare stainless steel military wristwatch with revolving bezel, fixed bar lugs and military engravings, made for the British Military

勞力士,「Military Submariner」型號5513,非常精細及罕有,精鋼自動上弦腕錶,配活動錶圈,約1972年製,為英國皇家海軍於特別製作

Circa 1972
39 mm diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, case back further engraved with military issue numbers W10/6645-99-9237697 801/77

Estimate
HK$900,000 - 1,600,000 
$120,000-200,000

Place Advance Bid

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

Phillips & Blackbird: SPORTS

Hong Kong Auction 27 May 2019