Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV Hong Kong Friday, May 27, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1961
    Reference No: 5512
    Movement No: 95’088
    Case No: 693’187, inside caseback stamped “5512, II.61”
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet, max length 185mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped “Rolex USA”
    Dimensions: 40mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    The first Rolex Submariner was introduced in 1953 and was released at the Basel fair in 1954 with the refs. 6200, 6204 and 6205 with differing movements and depth ratings for each. These early Rolex Submariner featured a smaller case than later references as well as the absence of crown guards.

    In 1959, Rolex reached another milestone for the Submariner via the ref. 5512 featuring for the first time, crown guards enabling a more robust appeal and protection of the crown from damage, It would also then set the design for future models to come. While early examples of the reference featured some interesting crown guards.

    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 raise 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 present example Rolex Submariner ref. 5512 with an exclamation dial and pointed crown guards from circa 1961 with a 693 thousand serial is a nice example of an early ref. 5512. Boasting a dial with a nice and attractive gloss and gilt chapter ring, it gives the dial an appealing subtle contrast with luminous material that has aged to a light beige hue enhancing its vintage appeal.

  • 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 very rare, fine and attractive stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with gilt dial, pointed crown guards, “exclamation” dial and bracelet

Circa 1961
40mm diameter
Case, dial, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$155,000 - 310,000 

Sold for HK$201,600

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia 
+852 2318 2031

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: XIV

Hong Kong Auction 27 - 28 May 2022