Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: X Geneva Saturday, November 9, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1965
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 1'286'643
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 7206, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 3.65
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in approximately 1962, reference 5513, along with reference 5512, were the first Submariner models to be fitted with crown guards. Its predecessors, such as reference 5508 or 6536/1 all featured a 'small crown', which Rolex deemed too delicate for a robust tool watch.

    An especially alluring variant of reference 5513 is one fitted with a lacquer dial, such as the present watch. Produced until approximately 1967, lacquer, or gilt dials, impress with their glossy finish and golden text which catches the light beautifully. The present example features a particularly attractive dial that has turned a warm tobacco "tropical" tone with age. While the luminous markers have aged evenly with the hands, the lacquer displays a charming "spiderwebbing" effect.

    Consigned by the family of the original owner, the current reference 5513 was likely purchased by the original owner, a military doctor, during his service in Vietnam. His family states: “Dr. David Van Brown was Lieutenant General of the 50th General Hospital. He was in Saigon for 11 years and purchased the watch there probably around 1966. He was a pathologist and also a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Washington as well as Chief of Lab Services at the VA. He loved the watch and wore it all the time.”

    Displaying so much charisma, the present example is preserved in overall excellent condition with crisp bevels and finishes throughout.

  • 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 rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, tobacco brown "tropical" lacquer dial and bracelet

Circa 1965
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for CHF17,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+ 41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: X

Geneva Auction 9-10 November 2019