Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII Hong Kong Saturday, June 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1965
    Reference No: 5513
    Case No: 1’190’493, inside caseback stamped III.64, outer case back engraved ‘S&L Acero’
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal.1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted Oyster bracelet, max length 175mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp, stamped B9
    Dimensions: 39mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Founded by two enterprising Italians, Leopoldo Serpico and Vincente Laino, the eponymous Venezuelan watch and jewellery house was established in the middle of the roaring 20s. The pair was a match made in heaven: Laino, being the business brains, and Serpico, bringing the financial brawn, guided the business to prosper for a generation. While Serpico y Laino retailed watches for various brands, their crowning achievement must have been the exclusive rights for Rolex distribution in Venezuela.

    During that time, Rolex was still forging its international reputation and customers trusted local retailer more than foreign brands, thus “double-signed” dials were born. These double-signed dials, identifiable by the “Serpico y Laino” dial signature or by a subtle “S&L” case engraving, served as a stamp of quality for the imported watches. As one can imagine, this required enormous respect from the maison to the retailer and vice versa.

    Just four decades later, with the prestige that Rolex enjoys, it is inconceivable such double-signed watches would be produced again. Understandably, these monuments of the past have become highly prized amongst apex collectors. Such is the desirability that the "double-signed" watches often enjoy a premium, at times multiples, over their plain counterparts since surviving ones are unbelievably rare. The present lot on offer, the Rolex 5513 “Serpico y Laino”, is one such example. It is known as the last of the “classic” submariners: no date, 4-digit reference and acrylic crystal. Notably, the watch has aged gracefully, resulting in a chocolate gilt dial, honey lume plots and a faded “ghost” bezel.
    Those interested in this particular piece will undoubtedly be focused on the “Serpico y Laino” signature. Serious connoisseurs will notice a unique detail; whereas an overwhelming majority of double signed watches have the retailer signature at 6, this exceptional piece has its signature at 12, making it a unicorn even amongst rare “double-signed” Rolex Submariners. Even more astonishingly, the lightly engraved “S&L Acero” on the case back is still well preserved after many years; it is a clear testament to the outstanding condition that this piece is in. To the best of our knowledge and research, there is only a handful of Rolex, of which fewer are Submariners, with the “Serpico y Laino” signature at placed at 12.

    For many, this Rolex 5513 “Serpico y Laino” will simply be one Submariner; yet, for the distinguished collector, this may well be the final puzzle piece. Knowledgeable aficionados will understand that this piece is present only once in a blue moon. So, to those hoping to complete a Rolex Submariner, “double-signed” or Venezuelan collection, we say - do not hesitate.

  • 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
A very rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with ‘tropical’ lacquered dial, center seconds and bracelet, retailed by Serpico Y Laino

Circa 1965
39mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$235,000 - 390,000 

Sold for HK$327,600

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XII

Hong Kong Auctions 5-6 June 2021