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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1966
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 1'420'573
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, movement, dial and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex reference 5513 is probably the reference most associated with the Submariner and even worn by James Bond in Live and Let Die (1972). First launched in 1959 and in production until the late 1980s, the present lot stands out because of its overall superb condition and beautifully aged bezel and dial. The earliest examples of the reference were fitted with glossy, lacquered dials with gilt (gold) printing, as is found on the present lot, and rank as the most coveted versions for collectors.

    Dating from 1966 the bezel of this example has gone from its original black to a striking chocolate color harmoniously complementing the caramel color of the luminous markers and hands. Another desirable and rare detail is the writing on the dial, known as the "meters first" due to the fact that the depth rating is given first in meters then in feet (Rolex switched to "feet first" end of the 1960s to appeal to the growing US market).

    What sets the present ref. 5513 apart, however is the fact that it was retailed by Venezuela-based retailer, Serpico y Laino. The retailer's signature is prominently written in bright silver above the depth rating, adding great character to the dial. In addition, under magnification, the caseback still retains the correct “S&L ACERO” engraving on its caseback.

    Retailer-signed Rolex sport watches are extremely rare, and combined with its gorgeous patina, the present Submariner offers tremendous personality and collectability along with enduring value.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Ref. 5513
A very rare and highly attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer dial, retailed by Serpico y Laino

1966
39mm. Diameter
Case, movement, dial and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF40,000 - 70,000 
€36,700-64,300
$41,200-72,100

Sold for CHF50,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: THREE

Geneva Auction 15 May 2016