Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1963
    Reference No: 5513, inside case back stamped II.63
    Case No: 891'703
    Model Name: Submariner "Underline"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted Oyster bracelet, max length 170mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding deployant clasp, stamped 7-67
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    This early and wonderful Submariner reference 5513 from 1963 exhibits all the subtle nuances passionate collectors seek in a highly desirable vintage Rolex. The magnificent glossy dial with gilt lettering is rarified by the underline found beneath the Submariner signature, while at the 6 o’clock the discerning eye catches a glimpse of the white “Swiss” designation. The luminous markers and hands have gracefully aged and turned a warm light brown tone. The case is in original condition, and in our view never polished, fitted with pointed crown guards -a beautiful, transitional design element found only on the earliest iterations of the model.

    Rolex’s Submariner line has been in existence in one format or another since it was introduced in 1954 at the Basel Watch Fair. Over the years, small changes were made from the addition of a date window, to increased depth ratings, however it is in these early timepieces that collectors and historians can trace history and see back in to the past. The early 1960s were a transitional era in horology, with better knowledge and understanding of radium, watchmakers moved away from the its use in dials’ luminous material to that of tritium. Avid collectors believe Rolex used the underline and the white Swiss as indications to their watchmakers that the dial contained tritium and not radium.

    The reference 5513 is a benchmark model, and the present, early timepiece is an impressive example. It is a worthy addition to a discerning collection featuring rare sports watches.

  • Artist Biography


    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, inside case back stamped II.63
A very fine and extremely rare stainless steel wristwatch with pointed crown guards, black glossy "underline" dial and bracelet

39mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for CHF37,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017