Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1963
    Reference No: 5513 inside caseback stamped III.63
    Case No: 997'486
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, reference 6636, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 4.61
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    This early and wonderful Submariner reference 5513 from 1963 exhibits all the subtle nuances passionate collectors seek in a highly desirable vintage Rolex. The magnificent glossy dial with gilt lettering is rarified by the underline found beneath the Submariner signature, while at the 6 o’clock the discerning eye catches a glimpse of the “Swiss” designation. The luminous markers and hands have gracefully aged and turned a warm light brown tone. The case is in original condition, displaying crisp bevels and fitted with pointed crown guards -a beautiful, transitional design element found only on the earliest iterations of the model.

    Rolex’s Submariner line has been in existence in one format or another since it was introduced in 1954 at the Basel Watch Fair. Over the years, small changes were made from the addition of a date window, to increased depth ratings, however it is in these early timepieces that collectors and historians can trace history and see back in to the past. The early 1960s were a transitional era in horology, with better knowledge and understanding of radium, watchmakers moved away from the its use in dials’ luminous material to that of tritium. Avid collectors believe Rolex used the underline and the white Swiss as indications to their watchmakers that the dial contained tritium and not radium.

    The reference 5513 is a benchmark model, and the present, early timepiece is an impressive example. It is a worthy addition to a discerning collection featuring rare sports watches.

  • 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 inside caseback stamped III.63
A highly rare and extremely attractive stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, "underline" dial, pointed crown guards and bracelet

Circa 1963
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF35,000 - 50,000 

Sold for CHF43,180

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023