Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1971
    Reference No: 5513, inside caseback stamped last 3 digit of serial '396', IV. 70
    Case No: 2’837’896
    Model Name: Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 9315, endlinks stamped 280, with diver extension stamped PAT. PEND., max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp stamped "4,69"
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Further accompanied by Rolex Japan service papers.

  • Catalogue Essay

    With already an extensive experience and history in producing robust tool watches for diving, Rolex pushed its limits even further in the late 1960s when they agreed to partner with the “NASA” of the seas, COMEX. The firm was the most active explorer of the deep oceans, hence an “ultra” diving wristwatch was in need to execute deep sea expeditions. The Rolex ref. 5513 was the initial model that both parties worked on to develop the “ultimate” dive watch. With a daring yet successful idea to release pressure one way, a helium gas escape valve was developed and located on the case band opposite side of the crown. The initiation of the new patent meant an increase in performance and depth of the watch. With the gas escape valve having been tested thoroughly and proved its purpose, the Sea-Dweller was born.

    With most examples issued to COMEX specialist divers with a COMEX dial and case back with engraved issue numbers, the 5513 non-logo with helium escape valve is one of the rarest of all. Fitted with matte black no logo feet first dial, the present example is indefinitely rare. Further enhancing the beauty of the present example, the dial is presented in excellent overall condition and also with the diver extension stamped PAT. PEND. The present watch is one of the rarest examples of COMEX issued wristwatches.

  • 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, inside caseback stamped last 3 digit of serial '396', IV. 70
A very fine, attractive and rare stainless steel diver’s wristwatch with sweep center seconds, gas escape valve and bracelet, made for COMEX

Circa 1971
40mm Diameter
Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$320,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$562,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019