Lot 168
  • 168


30,000 - 50,000 GBP
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  • Rolex
  • steel
  • diameter 39.5 mm bracelet circumference approx. 190 mm
• cal. 1530 automatic lever movement, 23 jewels • black gilt dial, luminescent triangular and baton indexes and Arabic numerals, luminescent Mercedes hands • stainless steel Oyster case, black rotating bezel calibrated to 60 units, screw-down crown and back • case, dial, and movement signed • with a stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp 


Movement running at the time of cataloguing. The dial with loss to the depth marking (but can still be seen under certain angles with a loupe) otherwise in good condition, luminescence slightly glowing after being exposed to ultraviolet light. The case has been polished in the past, with scuffs and scratches throughout, scratching to the top left lug, minor denting to the band and case back, the bezel has faded to grey and the pearl is missing, loosely rotating in both directions. The crown sets the time and screws down easily, when in the unscrewed position (not time setting), it can slightly moves. The bracelet heavily damaged, links have warped and separated. The clasp securing firmly. Inside case back with scratches service numbers and stamped 5513 III64. Bracelet: 6636, endlink 80, clasp 3/66. The watch has not been tested to determine the accuracy of its timekeeping. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and that a service may be required at the buyer's discretion.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by a Rolex guarantee dated 1965, promotional leaflet and presentation case. The present lot, reference 5513, widely considered as the pinnacle reference in the Rolex Submariner lineage, features the rare and incredibly sought-after 'Explorer' type dial. It is distinguished by the combination of traditional baton indexes with the addition of the Arabic numerals at 3,6 and 9.

Much rarer than the standard version, these Explorer dials can be found on “big crown” references such as 6200, 6538 or 5510. They are also on early 5512 and 5513 references as the present watch.

These explorer dials are also characteristic from that period with meters first (produced until 1.7-2 million serial) gilt dials (produced until 1.5 million serial).

It is always a perilous exercise to establish rules for early and rare Rolex pieces. Nonetheless, the 5512-5513 explorer dials can be divided into three main evolutions:

- Firstly, the radium dial which is signed Swiss at 6 o’clock.

- Around 1963, Rolex changed from radium to tritium. These dials bear the “underline” sign either under the writing at 6 or 12 o’clock. They can be signed either Swiss only or Swiss T<25.

- Finally, the last production period of Explorer dial is characterized by having tritium dial, Swiss T

These watches are considered as true treasures by Rolex enthusiasts. Finding one, fresh to the market and from the original family is even more exceptional. The watch further comes with its original guarantee and accessories, meaning that it may be considered as a “holy grail” piece for collectors.