Rolex Submariner 5513 Transitional Circa. 1987 For #VintageWatchFridays

Rolex Submariner 5513

It’s starting to warm up in the city and so it’s important to have your quintessential summer watch at the ready, like this R Series Rolex Submariner 5513.

The Rolex Submariner 5513

As we’ve discussed before (see here) the Rolex Submariner 5513 is not particular rare by vintage watch standards, however it is considered by many to the classic Submariner. This is the blueprint from which all other mechanical dive watches have been modelled and is instantly recognizable just about anywhere in the world. The particular watch we have here for you today though stands out for a few other reasons also.

For a start it is what’s known as a ‘transitional’ piece. This is because Rolex had started transitioning into synthetic sapphire glass crystals before 1985 however this particular Submariner 5513 was built with one of the remaining stock of the original acrylic domed crystals, even though it wasn’t made until 1987.

Rolex Submariner 5513

In contrast though the watch also features an updated, glossy dial (also introduced during this transitional phase) with white gold surrounds around the markers, making this particular Submariner 5513 something of a hybrid.

Something like this would never happen these days of course thanks to much stricter product protocols, however unusual pieces like this reveal a glimpse at Rolex’s somewhat quirky history before they became the streamlined powerhouse they are today, which is why they are so appealing to collectors.

Rolex Submariner 5513

The other fairly obvious difference you may have noticed is that this particular Submariner 5513 is not presented on a steel bracelet as you may well normally expect. Instead it is fitted on the original Tropic rubber strap issued by Rolex, generally for the US market. This another cool and quirky detail that makes watch just that little bit more interesting.

Perhaps best of all though is the fact that it comes complete with the original box, papers, hang tag, outer box, you name it.

Rolex Submariner 5513

Make It Yours

This Rolex Submariner 5513 with Tropic strap will soon be available on Christie’s Watch Shop so be sure to keep an eye out for it!

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Tom Mulraney
Founder & Editor
Tom likes to write about luxury watches. So much so, that he created The Watch Lounge just so he would have an outlet for his passion. Together with his team, he is dedicated to bringing you original, entertaining (and maybe even a little educational) luxury watch and lifestyle content.

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