ROLEX | SUBMARINER "EXPLORER DIAL", REF 5513, STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH RARE DIAL AND BRACELET, CIRCA 1964
PROPERTY OF THE FAMILY OF THE ORIGINAL OWNER
SUBMARINER "EXPLORER DIAL", REF 5513
STAINLESS STEEL WRISTWATCH WITH RARE DIAL AND BRACELET
Dial: black, explorer dial
Calibre: cal. 1530 automatic, 26 jewels
Case: stainless steel, screw-down back
Case number: 1'023'362
Closure: stainless steel Jubilee bracelet and locking clasp
Dimensions: 40mm diameter, bracelet circumference approximately 185mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: Rolex box, guarantee booklet and Garrard & Co certificate of guarantee dated 23rd March 1965, and extensive Rolex service papers
Movement: running at the time of cataloguing.
Case: in very good overall condition, the case shows clear bevels and maintains strong proportions. With moderate scuffing throughout, consistent with age and wear. The back bears light scuffing. The serial and reference number between the lugs are perfectly legible with good definition. The Jubilée bracelet ref. 50 with clasp code 62510 H / V9 (September 1996) and 502B endlinks with reasonable stretching to the links. Clasp locks firmly.
Dial: surface spotting, discolouring spots to the luminescent on the hands, overall in attractive condition
Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of time and may need a service at the buyer's expense. Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts.
You are advised that watch straps or bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator or crocodile) are not sold with the watch and we reserve the right to remove these straps or bands prior to shipping. Furthermore, the watch may not come with its original manufacturers strap or band.
"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."
The Rolex Submariner 5513 does not need any introduction. Produced during 27 years, between 1962 and 1989, it is the model used as the reference for a vintage diving watch. The watch went through several evolution, mainly based on the different dials used throughout the production period.
During the first years of the 5513, Rolex produced some pieces with an Explorer dial in parallel to the standard dials. The ‘Explorer dial’ or ‘3-6-9 dial’ is named after its similar layout to the Explorer design as opposed to the traditional Submariner dial with the usual round, baton and triangle indexes. Explorer dials can also be found on the 5512 during the same period as well as on some examples of earlier references such as 6538, 6200 and 5510. Interestingly, the very vast majority of these 5513 fitted with this special dial were sold in the UK, suggesting an availability limited to that country, which was at the time one of the most important markets for the crowned brand.
In fact, there are several types of explorer dials further divided into two main categories based on the luminescent material used: radium or tritium.
The present lot is part of the earlier production with radium material. These dials usually have a monochrome text in gilt, like this lot, creating an attractive harmony throughout. This piece has a wonderful patina with well rounded fat indexes and matching hands that beautifully complement the gilt lacquered black dial.
The case framing it is in well preserved and attractive condition, with strong proportions, defined bevels and very legible case and reference numbers between the lugs.
In addition to its clear provenance, this wonderful watch is extremely well documented and is accompanied by its original Rolex Guarantee booklet, Certificate of Guarantee by Garrard, the original Rolex presentation case as well as extensive Rolex service paperwork.
Until today, the watch has remained in the family of the original owner who's fascinating life has been closely linked to underwater world.
Indeed, his interest in diving began in the late 1950s at The Nautical College in Pangbourne, where he was awarded a copy of Jacques Cousteau's The Silent World at a prize ceremony presided over by the Duke of Edinburgh.
He later became a member of his university's diving club. An engineering student, he made his own scuba equipment, repurposing emergency inflation cylinders from a local RAF airfield for use as diving cylinders and fashioning his own foam rubber diving suit. His enthusiasm was such that at his graduation a girlfriend gifted him a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner, the present lot.
His career in the fishing and shipping industries would go on to give him extraordinary opportunities to pursue his passion. He, and his faithful horological companion, dived off Gough Island and Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic, and off the Spanish coast of the Mediterranean. On a road trip with a friend from England to southern Africa in the sixties he dived at Massawa on the Red Sea, off Zanzibar and in Walvis Bay in Namibia. He eventually settled for some time in Cape Town where he had many opportunities to dive out at sea, in Table Bay and around the coast.
While living in South Africa, he even had the opportunity to meet and speak with his hero. He was invited as a guest of the Consul of France in Cape Town to a drinks reception hosted by none other than Jacques Cousteau, aboard the famous research vessel Calypso.
After many years of careful, adventurous ownership the watch was eventually given as a gift to his son, who now offers it for sale at auction.
Sotheby's is extremely pleased to present this superb and well documented piece.