Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 5513 inside caseback stamped I.62
    Movement No: 67'343
    Case No: 765'026
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet, max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex C&I deployant clasp stamped 67
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Submariner line is not only one of the best known in Rolex’s production, it also presents one of the most interesting evolutions. The present example is a very early version of reference 5513, dating to 1962. The model was launched shortly after its chronometer rated sibling, the reference 5512. Both models were the very first references to feature crown guards - an attribute which would later be a mainstay in the Submariner family.

    The present piece with a serial number of 765026 and dating from 1962, is particularly attractive as it reunites a multitude of unusual and sought-after traits, making it an extremely collectible piece.

    Undoubtedly, the dial is the showstopper. Over time, it has turned from black, to a rich and beautiful brown tone which has taken a "degrade" effect over time. The brown colour emanates outwards, and becomes even golden in places, making the dial look like it radiates light. Chocolate brown tones are present throughout, giving the timepiece an absolutely unmistakable appearance. There is no telling how a black lacquer dial will "turn" over time, and this one is equally parts astonishing as it is beautiful. This dial furthermore presents another surprise: the small dot at 6 o’clock unmistakably identifies this as an “exclamation mark” dial - the name coming from the ensemble dot and index, which resembles an exclamation mark. Such dials were in production only during a short period of time between 1961 and 1962 and are one of the first attempts to identify a lower radiation count compared to earlier dials. even the case is preserved in exceptional condition, with crisp bevels and thick proportions.

    As an even nicer touch, the present watch is part of Rolex racing history, as it was originally consigned by the son of the original owner Randall Bouverat. The latter was a professional racer who once even took part in a racing documentary, "Once Upon a Wheel" with Paul Newman. A professional At the time of original sale, it was accompanied by a letter from the son, recounting the various adventures his father undertook - always with his trusty Submariner on his wrist.

    A Letter from Randal Bouverat

    "Dear Mr. Victor,

    As we discussed, my family is reaching the end of an era with our heirloom timepiece, the Rolex 5513 (serial # 765026). This will usher in the beginning of a new era for a new owner.

    Alan Bouverat, my Father, was the original owner of the timepiece. He acquired it in 1963 while in England at the beginning of his professional career in motorsports. At that time he was working on the Cooper and Jaguar development teams.

    My Father treasured this timepiece. In his teenage years in the 1950s he developed a love for speed, racing his Harley motorcycle and his 1955 Chevy Belair. He learned early that speed and time go hand-in-hand. After he returned to the States with the Rolex he was invited to drive in the 1964 Daytona 2000 km race, the longest endurance race in the U.S. at the time and, ironically, the
    precursor to what is now called the Rolex 24 at Daytona. He and his driving partner, Milo Vega, won 1st place in their class driving a Lotus Elite.

    Until the early 1970s my Father was still auto racing. His final days behind the wheel were in his trusty McLaren competing in the Formula 5000 series. Yet he would continue his passion for motorsports as an Owner/Manager leading teams and drivers, culminaing with a world championship in USAC Mini-Indy. Throughout it all he and the watch were inseparable.

    Upon graduating from University he bequeathed the watch to me, as he had just retired from racing in 1989. The Rolex has been in my care these past 33 years. My Father always asks how it is doing. I joke “I have managed to keep it outside of race cars, engine bays and cockpits!”

    Now, with two daughters of my own graduating from university, and at the prospect of being unable to give it to only one of them, I have decided to begin a new tradition. The proceeds from the sale of the Rolex will start a new era with two timepieces…to keep both time and peace.

    I know this Rolex will bring its new owner a sense of the racing history it experienced at the hands of one man’s journey and then another’s preservation. It is still the best looking timepiece I have ever seen. May it continue to bring luck to its rightful new owner.


    Randal H. Bouverat"

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 5513 inside caseback stamped I.62
An exceptionally well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with "tropical" lacquer "exclamation mark" dial and bracelet

Circa 1962
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF30,000 - 60,000 

Sold for CHF68,580

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