Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1973
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 3'234'540
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 9315, endlinks numbered 380, max length 235mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a document in Greek (as well as a certified translation in English) from the 13th Command of Special Operations confirming this watch was part of the equipment of the Underwater Demolition Command.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Military watches have always had a special attraction for collectors and Rolex military-issued Submariners are amongst the most sought after of this category.

    The present reference 5513 is in fact a very rare find as it belongs to a small batch delivered to the Greek Navy in the 1970s as part of the diving equipment used by the frogmen of the Underwater Demolition Command.

    This special operations unit – established in 1957- consists of the elite force of the Greek navy. The Underwater Demolition Command has been present during numerous crisis in Europe or the Mediterranean. In 1997, during the violent unrest that erupted in neighboring Albania, the unit was responsible for taking control of the international airport of Tirana and the evacuation of 240 foreign civilians.
    In 2008, the unit took part in Operation Atalanta, deploying off the coast of Somalia where they carried counter-piracy operations.

    In the summer of 2014, the Underwater Demolition Command undertook an operation in which they were to evacuate Greek/ Cypriot and foreign citizens from Tripoli, Libya.

    The present Rolex ref 5513 was part of the equipment of the frogmen but was most certainly very rarely worn other than during the officer’s parades considering the superlative condition of the case which still retains its caseback sticker.

    It is furthermore accompanied by a document in Greek (as well as a certified translation in English) from the 13th Command of Special Operations confirming this watch was part of the equipment of this elite unit.

  • 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
A very rare and well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet, commissioned by the Greek Naval Forces

Circa 1973
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF30,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF47,880

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81
[email protected]

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022