• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 105

    Rolex. A rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, square crown guards, bracelet, anchor and box



    Rolex. A rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, square crown guards, bracelet, anchor and box

    Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 200m=660ft, Submariner, Ref. 5512, case no. 478’007, circa 1959
    MOVEMENT: automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    DIAL: black, luminous dot, baton and dagger numerals, luminous hands, outer minute division, sweep centre seconds
    CASE: stainless steel tonneau-shaped, screw back stamped III.59, screw down crown, later revolving black bezel calibrated to 60 units, 39.5 mm. diam.
    SIGNED: case, dial and movement
    BRACELET/CLASP: stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet, clasp stamped 2.56, overall length of bracelet approx. 170 mm.
    ACCOMPANIED BY: Rolex Oyster Guaranteed 660ft/200 meters under water anchor and period presentation box

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The present reference 5512 is an attractive example of this rare Submariner model. It features the black dial with "gilt printing" and depth rating in silver and the correct case back stamped III.59.

    For half of a decade, Rolex's sports watches did not have any crown guards. In 1959, Rolex introduced a new generation of Submariner, reference 5512. For the first time, a Rolex enjoyed the benefits of crown guards with square ends in profile.

    During the first years, these crown guards have seen numerous changes and developments until, eventually, finding the definitive shape in a rounded form. Prior to that, the crown guards were pointed, only made during a very short time and today very sought after by collectors. Submariners with pointed crown guards are also nicknamed "cornino".

    The rarest version however are examples with the square crown guards, the very first batch from 1959. According to research, until today only a handful of these ultra-rare variants have been offered at public auction. Interestingly, all of them feature serial numbers in the very low 478'0xx range; the examples we were able to locate are all within a sequence of 20 numbers. One probably mustn't go any further to conclude the extreme rarity of these historical specimen – such as the present example, serial no. 478’007.

    Special Notice

    On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.