A fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, black lacquer exclamation dial and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1961
    Reference No: 5508
    Movement No: D80647
    Case No: 763'433
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1560, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, 185 mm. maximum length
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 38 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a reference 5508 with exclamation dial, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 186.

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is believed that between 1960 and 1963, Rolex placed a small dot of luminous under the 6 o'clock numeral to indicate less radioactive luminous, forming an exclamation mark. The present watch, manufactured in 1961, is fitted with a beautiful example of one of these exclamation dials with the signature and scales printed in gilt but with the depth rating and chronometer designation printed in white. This dial is beautifully preserved in original condition and displayed consistent aging with the numerals and the hands. Finished in rich black lacquer, the dial truly transforms this reference.

    Reference 5508 was launched in 1958 and carried a new depth rating of 100 metres or 330 feet. The case was still without crown guards but had a newly designed bezel that was calibrated for the first 15 minutes.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    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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Rolex

Ref. 5508
A fine and rare stainless steel wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, black lacquer exclamation dial and bracelet

勞力士,精細及罕有,不銹鋼自動上弦鏈帶腕錶,配中心秒針、黑色漆錶盤,型號5508,1961年製

1961
38 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$120,000 - 180,000 

sold for HK$187,500

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Two

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2016