A rare and fine stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet, used during the Belgo-Dutch Antarctic Expedition of 1966

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1965
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 1'240'321
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel, riveted expandable bracelet, max length 180mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Folding clasp stamped 74
    Dimensions: 39mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a fitted Rolex presentation box and an additional leather bracelet with Rolex stainless steel buckle

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in the early 1960s and made until the late 1980s, the Rolex Submariner reference 5513 had the longest production run of all Submariner models. Its undeniable success can be attributed to many features, all of which make the reference highly sought after by collectors around the world. The present watch brings together many details that tick the boxes for collectors. First is the magnificent and original glossy, gilt dial beautifully complemented by original gilt hands with luminous inserts that perfectly match the luminous hour markers.
    However, the story accompanying this watch is that of adventure, extreme conditions and world peace. The present lot belonged to Joseph Dutoit, a sub-lieutenant of the Belgian naval force who wore this 5513 during the Belgo-Dutch Antartic Expedition of 1966 (as engraved on the caseback). Belgium has a long history of scientific expeditions in the Antarctic, the first having taken place between 1897 and 1899. Their second expedition took place almost 60 years later, from 1957 to 1959, on the occasion of the International Geophysical year, where their native team constructed the Belgian research station “Roi Baudouin”. During this period, 64 countries measured and calculated many of Earth’s paramaters - from the depths of the oceans to the stratosphere - contributing to our knowledge of surface weather and climate, and to our understanding of the upper atmosphere. Thanks to this initiative, Belgium was one of twelve nations to negotiate and sign a unique international agreement, the Antarctic Treaty (Washington, 1959), where territorial claims were put aside and military activities were banned. Antarctica was thus declared a continent for "Peace and Science". In the following years, two more expeditions were sent to the Antarctic. The Belgian polar base was manned to support these expeditions until late 1961, when the National Centre for Polar Research was unable to raise funds needed to continue the Belgian Antarctic program. The Belgians therefore partnered with the Netherlands to continue their efforts. The ensuing first Belgo-Dutch expedition, taking place from 1964 to 1967, during which the present 5513 was worn, not only reached the South Pole, but also established a new Roi Baudoin Base, less than 100 meters from the old one which had been buried in snow.

  • 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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Rolex

Ref. 5513
A rare and fine stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet, used during the Belgo-Dutch Antarctic Expedition of 1966

1965
39mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF12,000 - 18,000 
€11,000-16,500
$12,400-18,600

sold for CHF32,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016