A rare and early stainless steel diver's wristwatch with black glossy "exclamation mark" Explorer dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 5513, further stamped 5512 and 1.62 inside the caseback
    Movement No: 77'130
    Case No: 765'450
    Model Name: Submariner "Meters first"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted Oyster bracelet, Reference 7206, end links stamped 80, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding deployant clasp futher stamped 4.62
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    First launched in 1962, the reference 5513 is today considered one of the most appealing vintage Submariners alongside James Bond’s “Big Crown”. Also nicknamed the “meters first” due to the order in which meters and feet are indicated on the dial, the model is the quintessence of vintage dive watches. The larger case, easy-to-read black dial, and the revolving bezel with crown guards made this watch the perfect tool underwater.

    The present watch is not just a very attractive reference 5513 but it has features that elevate it to grail status. The most noticeable feature is the so-called “Explorer dial” or “3-6-9 dial”. While the majority of Submariners were fitted with regular round hour markers, the present watch bears this extremely rare dial configuration.

    Mostly seen on the Explorer I, hence its name, this type of dial also appears on "Big Crown" Submariners, references 6200, 6538 and 5510 and the later references 5512 and 5513 with crown guards. In production for only the first half of the 1960s, references 5512 and 5513 are rare and it is virtually impossible to find them fitted with Explorer dials.

    When analyzing this watch closer, one can spot another extremely exciting detail: a dot underneath the numeral 6. The now nickname "exclamation mark" was used in the early 1960s to differentiate the luminous material used on the dial. Due to stronger restrictions on the use of radium, watch manufacturers had to find a way to identify watches with lower radioactivity. The use of underlines or exclamation marks were added on the first production.

    And last but not least, the 76x’xxx serial number places the present watch amongst the earliest reference 5513 ever seen so far. The watch also features pointed crown guards, which is correct for the period.
    The present Explorer-dial Submariner is a highly unusual and extremely attractive version of one of the most beloved dive watches ever made, qualities that make it a must-have for collectors of important vintage watches.

  • 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, further stamped 5512 and 1.62 inside the caseback
A rare and early stainless steel diver's wristwatch with black glossy "exclamation mark" Explorer dial and bracelet

Circa 1962
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF120,000 - 240,000 
€106,000-211,000
$123,000-246,000

sold for CHF212,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018