Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN Geneva Saturday, May 12, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1965
    Reference No: 5513, inside caseback further stamped 5513 and I.65
    Case No: 1'240'443
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex pin buckle
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Submariner is one of the models most strongly associated with the brand, recognized by even the least watch-conscious individuals. Reference 5513 is the one that best epitomizes the Submariner line, as it can be considered a “final result” after the experimentations of the early Submariner models. The Submariner line was launched in Basel in 1954 with reference 6204. This is the first of a number of references which remained in production for a short time - some for just one year, others for as long as four years - indicating how the company was continuously working to update and improve on the new, very successful model. Finally, a consensus (at least about the case design) was reached in 1959 with reference 5512, followed in 1962 by the present reference 5513, the non-chronometric brethren of the 5512. These two references remained in production for respectively 19 years (5512 was discontinued in 1978) and 27 years (5513 ended in 1989): the difference with the earlier iteration is enormous, and it indicates that finally Rolex achieved what they considered “perfection” for the model.

    While the case design remained unchanged throughout the lifetime of the model, the same cannot be said about the dial: most commonly, reference 5513 features a matte dial. The first examples, however, feature an immensely attractive glossy dial. This rare dial variant was in production until 1967 and it is perfectly exemplified by the present piece. The rarity of this configuration and its ties to early Rolex production (indeed the glossy dial is a characteristic of other pre-1967 Rolex models as well) represent only part of the appeal of this configuration. The astounding good looks of the glossy dial are equally important to explain the collectability of the model. When the glossy dial is well preserved - such as in this instance - its aesthetic impact is simply enormous. As the name suggests, Submariners had quite a few chances of coming in contact with water. While the Oyster case has superb water-resistance capabilities, that is not true if the owner forgets to properly screw down the crown, a more than common occurrence. A little humidity inside the case is sufficient to irremediably spoil the glossy finish of the dial, consequently it is a very rare occasion to find such a superbly preserved, fully original glossy dial.

  • 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 caseback further stamped 5513 and I.65
A very fine stainless steel automatic wristwatch with center seconds and black glossy dial

39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for CHF30,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018