• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1417

    Rare Watches Including Nautilus 40 Part II

    14 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 109

    Rolex. A very rare and attractive stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, hack feature and military markings, made for the British Royal Navy


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. A very rare and attractive stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, hack feature and military markings, made for the British Royal Navy
    Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 660ft=200m, Submariner, Ref. 5513, case no. 3’927’133, circa 1974
    MOVEMENT: automatic, cal. 1530, 25 jewels
    DIAL: black with encircled “T”, luminous dot, baton and dagger numerals, luminous hands, outer minute division, sweep centre seconds
    CASE: stainless steel tonneau-shaped, screw back with military markings, inside stamped with serial number and I.72, screw down crown, revolving black bezel calibrated to 60 units, lugs with fixed bars, 40 mm. diam
    SIGNED: case, dial and movement
    ACCOMPANIED BY: Rolex Service Card dated 02.09.2015 stamped by German retailer Wempe and Wempe service invoice confirming a 24 months guarantee as of 4 September 2015

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    The present “Milsub” is a highly attractive representative of the rare and much sought after model. Recently serviced by Rolex it is delivered with the relevant Service Card dated September 2015 and is still under guarantee.

    This "Milsub" reference 5513 impresses with an untouched dial, the different shades of ivory of the highly attractive discoloration of the luminous material to numerals and hands rendering it a very unique appearance. The case is likewise preserved in very good overall condition, it has never been exposed to careless polishing, underlined by its full body and well defined angles to the facets of the lugs. Both the reference and serial numbers finely engraved between the lugs are clearly legible and repeated to the inside of the back cover, as the connoisseur would expect. The bezel is the correct version featuring minute markings, unique for the military Submariner series.

    The Military version of the Submariner ref. 5513 was adapted following the specifications requested by the British Ministry of Defence. The watches had to be fitted with fixed bar lugs with a diameter of at least 2 mm. The dials had to be easily readable and were therefore equipped with the larger "sword" hands. They also had to show the international symbol for Tritium, the encircled "T". The hack feature allowing the precise setting of the time was another specific request. The models furthermore had a unique bezel with sixty minute marks rather than only the first fifteen minutes. The outside of the case backs were marked with the military broad arrow sign, Ministry of Defence issue numbers and unit number. Furthermore the inside of the case backs repeated the serial number which is commonly only found between the lugs.

    The outside of the case back of the present watch is engraved with the following markings:

    0552 for British Ministry of Defence, 923-7697 for the NATO code, the Broad Arrow characterizing all watches owned by the British Army, the issue number 552 and issue year 76.