Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN Hong Kong Monday, November 26, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1961
    Reference No: 5512, inside caseback further stamped 1.61
    Movement No: 43'244
    Case No: 661'929
    Model Name: Submariner "Meters First"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex riveted Oyster bracelet, reference 7206, end links stamped 80, max length 200mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding clasp further stamped 2.61
    Dimensions: 39.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied with Rolex warranty dated December, 1961.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Submariner saw the light of day in 1953, with reference 6204. However, the first few years of its life were characterized by an intense research and development process which saw the introduction of a total of nine Submariner references in 6 years: more than one per year. Then, in 1959 the “final embodiment” - with the exception of minor incremental modifications - of the Submariner was launched with reference 5512. Incorporating a Cosc-certified movement and featuring the first appearance on a Submariner of the crown guard, reference 5512 was extremely successful, remaining in production until 1978 and spawning a non-chronometric twin in 1962 (reference 5513).

    A very early specimen of the model fitted with 'meter first dial' typical feature for early examples production, the present watch was made in the first quarter of 1961, stamped inside the caseback, and features a pointed crown guard. While the most commonly seen crown guard style is flat, earlier specimens feature a pointed crown guard. This trait is a direct response to customers’ complains about the excessive size of the crown guard - originally featuring a square design - and the same is true for the final flat incarnation which will be introduced around 1963/64. As they were made only in the first few years of production of the model, pointed crown guard examples are highly collectible variations of the reference.

    Adding to the rarity of the pointed crown guard case, this example features a breathtaking tropical dial. Absolutely flawless in all its graphics, the black background acquired a very intense milk chocolate tone. The luminous material, preserved in superlative condition, has undergone a color shift and offers now a warm light camel hue, perfectly harmonizing with the chocolate dial.

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 5512, inside caseback further stamped 1.61
A very attractive and rare stainless steel diver's wristwatch with bracelet, pointed crown guards, guarantee and 'milk chocolate' tropical dial

Circa 1961
39.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

HK$390,000 - 780,000 

Sold for HK$512,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

Ziyong Ho
+852 9386 2032

Jill Chen
+852 2318 2033

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SEVEN

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2018