This week on #VintageWatchFridays we are taking a look at staple piece for any mechanical collection; the classic Rolex Submariner Ref 5513.
The Rolex Submariner Ref 5513
For many vintage Rolex enthusiasts the Submariner Ref 5513 is the Submariner to have. It’s not the rarest – in fact it is probably one of the longest continually produced series in Rolex’s history, running from 1962 until 1989 – however it is considered to be the epitome of the classic dive watch.
The model we have for you today is from 1984 and is what is known as a transitional piece. This is because in 1981 Rolex began introducing the first Submariners and Sea-Dwellers equipped with synthetic sapphire crystals, however this particular Submariner Ref 5513 was produced with the original acrylic dome crystal.
What I think is really cool though is that despite having the earlier version of the crystal it was actually produced with the newer Tritum gloss dial (with White Gold surrounds) that superseded the previous matte Mark V Maxi dial. As you can see in the pictures the luminious material has developed a wonderful patina over time, making for a very attractive looking face.
If you look closely you will also notice that this Submariner Ref 5513 also features what is sometimes known as a ‘2-line’ dial. That is because the two movements used in the 5513 over its lifetime – calibers 1520 and 1530 respectively – were not certified chronometers, hence the reason there is no COSC designation on the dial below the depth rating.
What is interesting though is that the Submariner 5512, which was produced more or less around the same time, also used the 1530 movement however that particular model did carry the COSC certification. I’m not really sure why that is, perhaps it was an attempt by Rolex to make the Submariner 5513 more accessible price wise?
You will also see that the depth rating reads feet first, as opposed to the original meters first. Rumour has it that this change was made by Rolex back in 1969 to increase the appeal of its watches to its rapidly expanding US market.
This particular Rolex Submariner 5513 is presented on its original 93150 solid link bracelet and is in excellent condition, making it the perfect choice for novice collectors looking to anchor their budding collections with their first serious sports watch.
Available from Christie’s Private Watch Sales now, please email Reginald Brack for further details.
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