Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1963
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 979'313
    Model Name: Submariner "Explorer Dial"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel "folded links" Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped "580" and "9315" to the endlinks, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex box and outer packaging

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced in 1962, the Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 and 5512 were the first Submariner models to feature crown guards, which gave the timepiece completely different aesthetics whilst enhancing its robustness, invaluable in a tool watch intended for underwater operations.

    Early examples of the reference were fitted with “glossy” lacquered dials with a short production span of approximately four years. In 1967, Rolex replaced its “glossy” lacquered dials with the more common matte dial. Admired and praised by collectors, these early examples are highly sought after and rare with varying dial examples commanding more than others.

    The dial of the present watch features traits which propel it to the Olympus of Submariner collecting. Most notably, it features the so-called “Explorer” configuration, or “3-6-9 dial”. While the vast majority of Submariners were fitted with regular round hour markers (for 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11) and rectangular batons (for 3, 6 and 9), the present watch bears this extremely rare dial configuration with thin batons (for 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11) and Arabic numerals (for 3, 6 and 9). The only common numeral style both versions feature is the typical triangular marker at 12. 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 with explorer dials are incredibly hard to find and sought-after.

    When analyzing this watch closer, one can spot another extremely exciting detail: a line under the watch designation "Oyster Perpetual". This cryptical detail can be found on Rolex watches between 1961 and 1963. During these years the company transitioned, due to new international regulations, from radium based luminous material to the much less radioactive tritium-based material. The underline was intended to convey the presence of the new material but was quickly abandoned in favor of more explicit indications (such as the "T swiss T" designation).

  • 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
An early, transitional and superbly rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with center seconds, gilt/gloss underline "Explorer" dial and bracelet

Circa 1963
40mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for CHF88,200

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021