Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: X Hong Kong Friday, July 10, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1962
    Reference No: 5512
    Movement No: 84'551
    Case No: 818'481
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel riveted Rolex Oyster bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 1.65
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present example is an early version of reference 5512. Launched in 1959, The present lot is the first model of Submariner to feature crown guards.

    Exceptional details present on this example make it a highly desired reference 5512 with its nearly perfectly preserved glossy dial. The gilt outer seconds track, referred to as a “chapter ring” are characteristic of these early examples, matching the correct gilt two-lines of text found at 6 o’clock. Also, another small but very important detail at 6 o’clock is the dot that is presented underneath the index which collectors identify it as an “exclamation mark” dial. 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.

    The case also boasts a particularly collectable trait: the pointed crown guards (or “Cornino” – literally “small horn” in Italian). The genesis of this detail is very interesting. The very first crown-guard cases featured large square crown guards. When clients complained about the bulkiness of this feature, Rolex filed away the square crown guard of the cases they had in stock, leaving only a small pointed guard. Thus, the “Cornino” was born. Successive cases will be produced with the flat crown guard which became the standard for the reference.

    Considering the strong case with beautiful, factory-original bevels still seen on the lugs and the well-preserved exclamation mark gilt dial presented in overall attractive condition make this timepiece a watch for shrewd collectors of rare Submariners.

  • 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
A fine, attractive and very rare stainless steel wristwatch with center seconds, "exclamation mark" dial and bracelet

Circa 1962
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

HK$275,000 - 470,000 

Sold for HK$300,000

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi

Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001


The Hong Kong Watch Auction: X

Hong Kong Auction 10 July 2020