The Rolex 5513 – A Vintage Thing
Watch & Bullion18 May 2017 | 3 min read
The World of vintage Rolex can be a daunting one. Symbolic of the watch industry boom nothing captures news headlines quite like the old watches with a crown on them. Only one week ago we were reminded of this, as a yellow gold 6062, formerly owned by the last emperor of Vietnam, sold for a record-setting 5 million USD.
Where do you start though? What is the first stop on this most notorious of horological adventures? You’d struggle to find a better watch for that task than the Rolex Submariner 5513 – A watch so cool that George Lazenby purchased one to wear for his audition as James Bond.
James Bond approves of this watch!
Despite its design remaining contemporary, and its functionality keeping it relevant, make no mistake about it, this watch is pure vintage. Introduced in 1962, and kept in production until 1989, this was one of the longest and most successful models for Rolex. What a long history for a model also means is a colourful range of variations. Particularly in the past, Rolex tended to quietly update their references over the years and make small adjustments in response to what was then a lower quality control.
This Rolex 5513 has a serial number in the 1.5 million range, making it one of the earliest meters first models available. The meters first dial variation was one that Rolex started to fade out around the 1.8 million range, changing to feet first in response to the American market.
The watch was bought in Muharraq, Bahrain in 1967 in the shop of the Navy, Army and Air Force Insititute. It comes with the original outer box and inner box, as well as case back sticker, all tags, the famous green plastic wallet and the iconic anchor. Whats, even more, we have the original Insurance valuation from the 70s, on which the original owner’s details are noted down.
Items that have been updated are the bracelet, the original being replaced for a 93150 bracelet with no stretch with perfectly fitting 580 end links. This results in vintage looks with modern comfort. Further, the hands and crystal were replaced together with a slight polishing sometime in the early 70s. What has weathered the ages is the twin-lock crown, the fat font insert, and the lume pip on the bezel.
The highlight of this watch is its dial. Not only a rare meters first version found only in early models, the patina has faded evenly and due to it not having white gold surrounding the lume it gives it a genuine vintage feeling. What specifically, however, makes this watch stand out from the many other 5513s is that this is a misprinted crown example. A very rare issue found in very early Rolex models a little smudging can be seen on the crown, a non-issue Rolex loathe, and enthusiasts love.
If you want to see more picture of this watch, click here!