Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1961
    Reference No: 5512
    Movement No: 17'126
    Case No: 693'708, inside caseback stamped II.61
    Model Name: Submariner "Exclamation Mark Pointed Crown Guard"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex guarantee dated September 21, 1961.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First released in 1953, the Submariner was released under references 6200, 6204, and 6205. Revolutionary for the period, these dive watches display center seconds and a black lacquer dial, along with an Oyster case ensuring water resistance. Eventually, Rolex decided to upgrade existing models and incorporated crown guards with the reference 5512 for better protection. Furthermore, a chronometer movement was assigned to the reference 5512, ensuring greater precision and thus the models display a movement number.

    Like many intricacies of collecting vintage Rolex wristwatches, the various iterations of crown guards have developed their own nicknames and followings as the design evolved. The earliest were square-shaped, of which it is estimated very few exist. It is speculated that criticism of the bulky square crown guard prompted Rolex to modify the cases they had in stock, giving rise to the “eagle beak” crown guard. Finally, Rolex produced cases with unobtrusive pointed crown guards (sometimes abbreviated by collectors as PCG), as found on the present example. These early Submariners were fitted with stunning black glossy dials and featured either two or four lines of text at 6 o’clock with gilt printing in either silver or gold (or both). By the late-1960s, the crown guards were changed to a rounder design that is still in use today.

    The highlight of this example is without a doubt the stunning, nearly perfectly preserved glossy “exclamation mark” dial, featuring an incredibly smooth and shiny surface. Incredibly mirror-like and very impressive in appearance, the present dial is a sight to behold with the luminous material being intact. These dials were produced only for a short period of time in around 1961 and are defined by the minuscule dot of luminous material present under the 6 o’clock hour marker.

    Reuniting the aesthetic pleasure of watch collecting with its most intellectual aspect, the present glossy Exclamation Mark dial, Pointed Crown Guard 5512 is without a doubt a gem for the avid collector of fine, particular and uncommon timepieces.

  • 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. 5512
An impressive and incredibly well-preserved stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, black lacquer dial "exclamation dial", bracelet and guarantee

Circa 1961
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF40,320

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva
+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022