Rolex - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1963
    Reference No: 5513 inside caseback stamped III.63
    Case No: 999’943
    Model Name: Submariner “Explorer Underline”
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1530, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster stretch bracelet, endlinks stamped 60
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 2.64
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex guarantee booklet dated July 24, 1964 and Rolex service guarantee card dated December 19, 2014.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Introduced around 1962, the Rolex reference 5513, alongside its counterpart the reference 5512, marked the inception of Submariner models equipped with crown guards. Prior iterations, such as the reference 6538 and 5508, featured no crown guards, a design Rolex soon deemed too delicate for the robust nature of a tool watch.

    The present example, however, transcends being merely a striking reference 5513; it boasts several exclusive features that render it one of the most coveted of all Submariners. Most notably, it showcases the rare "Explorer dial" or "3-6-9 dial" configuration.

    Primarily associated with the Explorer I, hence its moniker, this dial type also appears on "Big Crown" Submariners like references 6200, 6538, and 5510, as well as later references 5512 and 5513 featuring crown guards. Produced only during the first half of the 1960s, references 5512 and 5513 with “Explorer” dials are exceedingly scarce and highly sought after by collectors.

    Upon closer examination, another captivating detail emerges: an underline beneath the depth rating. Dubbed the "underline," this feature was employed in the early 1960s to signify the transition from radium to tritium on the dial. The dial’s lacquered surface remains well-preserved, highly reflective with only minor signs of aging in the form of light spotting.

    First sold at auction by the original owner in June 2021 and bought by the current consignor, the original owner purchased the watch on a trip to London. Further elevating the watch’s importance, it comes accompanied by its original Rolex guarantee booklet and Rolex service guarantee from December 2014.

  • 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 III.63
An extremely rare and attractive stainless steel wristwatch with black lacquer “explorer” underline dial, pointed crownguards, bracelet, guarantee booklet, and service guarantee

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

$80,000 - 160,000 

Sold for $95,250

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Americas
+1 (212) 940-1293

Isabella Proia
Head of Sale, New York
+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: X

New York Auction 8 - 9 June 2024