A watch that every collector should have.
The Rolex Submariner is probably the most well-known diver’s watch in the world. Its introduction date’s back to 1953 and since that moment the Rolex Submariner is the watch to pick for any underwater activity. The Submariner has evolved throughout its existence and when looking at the modern models you definitely can see the design resemblances with its predecessors. The evolution of the submariner 5513 is particularly interesting on itself already, a lot of updates were performed in its 26-year production run.
When it comes to vintage Rolex watches there are a few features that determine the collectability, and this 5513 ticks all the boxes. The dial has a story on itself. The depth rating is a gimmick which is valued a lot by Rolex enthusiasts. On the bottom half of the dial, the depth rating of this watch is printed first in meters and right after it the waterproofness in feet. This gimmick is called ‘meters first and this is seen as the mark 1 dial for the 5513, valued more compared to the later introduced ‘feet first’.
The type of letter printing on the dial makes this watch an even more special 5513. Rolex used ‘gilt’ letter printing on the 5513 from 1962 up to approximately 1967, after this period the letter printing on the dial was changed to regular white. The gilt letter printing has never returned on any Rolex dial, making this type of dial way more desirable than others.
Then there is the ‘Underline’ which you may have noticed just below the word submariner on the dial. This is the reason why this Submariner is among the most desired 5513’s out there. The underline was used in the period when Rolex quitted using radium as luminous material on the dial. Radium became a controversial substance to use when more and more health problems were related to the radioactive stuff. Therefor Rolex decided to give up on the dangerous lume and switched to tritium. However, Rolex had a lot of dials ready to be lumed with Tritium, but they also had the same dials lumed already with the antiquated Radium. To distinguish these two dials for the safety of the people working with them, Rolex printed an underline on the dials which were finished with Tritium so people would know these were the safe ones. This was only done in the period from 1962 up to 1964 when it was changed to ‘t-swiss-t’, making our Submariner a piece from the most desirable years of the 5513 production run. We do think our dial has been re-lumed because of the slighly too gritty texture of the lume when looking with a magnifying glass, however, many watches from the 1960s are re-lumed and the way that job was done on this piece is simply perfect. The colours are right and the overall looks are unmistakenly with the early 60s.
This Submariner is equipped with an original jubilee strap from the same era, giving it a slightly more elegant appearance compared to the Oyster bracelet. This watch is the full package, meters first, the patina of the original hands matching the lume, the most desired dial for any 5513, the lovely and time corresponding jubillee bracelet… A vintage Submariner at its finest.
Visit our store to get a hold on this beautiful and collectable Rolex. It’s our pleasure to tell you even more while enjoying a nice cup of coffee.