A very rare stainless steel wristwatch with centre seconds, hack feature and military markings, made for the British Royal Navy

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1975
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 3926992, repeated inside the case back
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1520
    Bracelet/Strap: NATO
    Clasp/Buckle: Steel unsigned
    Dimensions: 40mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, inside case back stamped I. 72, outer case back stamped with military issue numbers 0552/923-7697 and unit number 425/75
    Accessories: Rolex fitted presentation box

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the early 1970s, the British Ministry of Defense commissioned very limited batches of Rolex ref. 5513 Submariners, designed to enhanced specifications to meet the demands of their Special Forces.

    These “Military Submariners”, or “MilSubs”, differ in many ways from standard production pieces. They feature thicker, sword-shaped hands for enhanced readability, a rotating bezel calibrated to 60 minutes, an encircled “T” on the dial indicating the use of luminescent Tritium, and solid steel bars fixed between the lugs, permitting the use of a nylon NATO strap that ensured a watch would not be separated from its wearer. Finally, the case back is engraved with the military branch, unit, and year of issue.

    The present example, issued in 1975, is in remarkably original and unrestored condition, with all of its original militarized features perfectly intact. Referred to collectors as a “full spec”, it even retains its original NATO strap, making it one of the most exciting MilSubs to appear on the market in years.

  • 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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212

Rolex

Ref. 5513
A very rare stainless steel wristwatch with centre seconds, hack feature and military markings, made for the British Royal Navy

1975
Stainless steel
40mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, inside case back stamped I. 72, outer case back stamped with military issue numbers 0552/923-7697 and unit number 425/75

Estimate
CHF70,000 - 120,000 

sold for CHF118,750

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

The Geneva Watch Auction: One

Geneva Auction 10 May 2015 6:30pm