Submariner, Ref. 5512 Stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet Circa 1961
Submariner, Ref. 5512
stainless steel wristwatch with bracelet
Calibre: cal. 1530 automatic, 25 jewels
Movement number: 6'283
Case: stainless steel, screw-down back
Case number: 661'331
Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet and folding clasp
Dimensions: 40 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 205 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: Rolex service invoice and original Plexiglas
MVT: is running at the time of cataloging.
CASE: is in fair condition. It presents some visible wear with scratches and dents throughout. The serial numbers are partially worn off. The pearl on the bezel has been changed. The bracelet is in fair condition with some scratches throughout and noticeable warping. The clasp has heavy signs of use. (end link 80, clasp 161)
DIAL: is in good condition, with no marks to the gloss. The Plexiglas presents some scratches throughout. Dial is likely relumed.
Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The online condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance purposes only. The images of the lot also form part of the online condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Any reference to condition in the online condition report does not amount to a full description of condition. The online condition report may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the online condition report of the lot or shown in the online images of the lot (for example, the online condition report 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. The online condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation but rather the online condition report is a statement of subjective, qualified opinion (for example, information regarding colour, clarity and weight of gemstones are statements of opinion only and not statements of fact). Please also note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and wrist bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. In addition, certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot (for example, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades). For these reasons, the online condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Prospective buyers should also refer to the Buying at Auction guide which includes important notices concerning the type of property in this sale. 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. Please be advised that wristbands 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
First introduced in 1959, the Submariner reference 5512 was produced for 20 years. This new reference launched several notable changes to the Submariner. Firstly, the case size increased to 40 mm and for the very first time, Rolex introduced crown guards. The current watch made in 1961 is fitted with a glossy gilt dial featuring “swiss” at six o’clock, designating Radium as the luminous material and notably also features a rare design of coronet, sometimes referred to as a “tulip”.
The watch comes from the original owner who was in the Royal Air Force and stationed at RAF Sharjah, in the Trucial Oman, (now part of United Arab Emirates). He purchased the Rolex in 1962 while visiting RAF Khormaksar in Aden, Yemen. The watch was purchased through the NAAFI (Navy, Army & Air Force Institute) on military credit scheme for 820 EAS (East African Shillings) and is accompanied by its original credit receipt and sales receipt. In 1976, a broken main spring and the expense of a Rolex service led the owner to store it at the back of a drawer, it went untouched for nearly 35 years until it was sent for a service with Rolex service in 2009, in which a new crystal was added and the main spring replaced.
The watch carries a glossy gilt dial. Being early on in the 5512 production, the dial features a “meters first” designation as well as being a “2 line” example and does not feature “superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” on the dial, which adds to its rarity. Additionally, the case features pointed crown guards found on early models, which show little signs of polishing and maintain their factory proportions. The case back is stamped for the first quarter 1961 and is matched by the steel oyster rivet bracelet of the same date.
This lot offers the rare opportunity to own an incredibly well-preserved Rolex Submariner with military provenance, that sat across the middle of two of the strongest design eras for arguably the most iconic of Swiss watchmakers.