Rolex, made for Comex. A very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, gas escape valve, hack feature, maxi dial and bracelet, Cx Pro depth gauge, knife, sheath, wetsuit, mask, flippers, bag, personal log book and various documentation
Prospective buyers should be aware that the import… Read more COMEX The following four lots, 297 - 300, are rare examples of Rolex watches supplied to Comex, or Compagnie Maritime d'Expertise. Dating from the mid-1970s until the early 1990s, these watches epitomize the technical development and the different models made for the diving company. Particularly noteworthy is lot 298, one of the ultra-rare references 5514 supplied by Comex to A.R.A., Armada de la República Argentina (lot 298). Founded in 1961 in Marseille by Henri-Germain Delauze, Comex or Compagnie Maritime d'Expertise pioneered in professional diving in the commercial field, requiring tool watches designed for conducting safe diving operations at greater depths, known as saturation diving. The successful collaboration between Comex and Rolex started in the early 1970s when all divers were progressively equipped with watches especially made for Comex: the improved "Submariner" model meeting the most stringent technical and professional demands of the professional deep-sea diver. Over the years, the watches featuring the legendary Comex name have undergone major technological innovations, the most famous still today remaining the gas escape valve, a crucial feature on diver's watches. Watches supplied to Comex include following references: Ref. 5513 Submariner 660ft=200m: approx. 1971 - 1973 Ref. 5514 Submariner 660ft=200m: approx. 1974 - 1977 (see lots 297 and 298) Ref. 16600 Sea-Dweller 4000f6=1220m: approx. 1972 - 1997 Ref. 1665 Sea-Dweller, 200ft=600m: approx. 1977 - 1982 (see lot 299) Ref. 1680 Submariner Date, 660ft=200m: approx. 1978 - 1979 Ref. 16600 Sea-Dweller 4000ft=1220m: approx. 2003 Ref. 16610 Submariner Date 1000ft=300m: approx. 1986 - 1997 (see lot 300) Ref. 16660 Sea-Dweller 4000ft=1220m: approx. 1980 - 1984 Ref. 16800 Submariner Date 1000ft=300m: approx. 1982 - 1986 Ref. 168000 Submariner Date 1000ft=300 m: approx. 1988 - 1989 "A hydrogen diver just can't survive without his Rolex" - Henri-Germain Delauze The Property of an Important Private Collector
Rolex, made for Comex. A very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, gas escape valve, hack feature, maxi dial and bracelet, Cx Pro depth gauge, knife, sheath, wetsuit, mask, flippers, bag, personal log book and various documentation

SIGNED ROLEX, OYSTER PERPETUAL, 660FT=200M, SUBMARINER, REF. 5514/5513, CASE NO. 5'230'248, COMEX NO. 763, MANUFACTURED IN 1977

Details
Rolex, made for Comex. A very rare stainless steel automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, gas escape valve, hack feature, maxi dial and bracelet, Cx Pro depth gauge, knife, sheath, wetsuit, mask, flippers, bag, personal log book and various documentation
Signed Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, 660ft=200m, Submariner, ref. 5514/5513, case no. 5'230'248, Comex no. 763, manufactured in 1977
Cal. 1520 automatic movement, 26 jewels, black matte dial, luminous dot, baton and dagger numerals, sweep centre seconds, tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case, revolving black bezel calibrated for 60 units, gas escape valve in the band, screw back engraved ROLEX COMEX 763, screw down crown, stainless steel fliplock Rolex Oyster bracelet, case, dial and movement signed
40 mm. diam.
Special notice

Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.

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Lot Essay

With Cx Pro depth gauge, knife and sheath, wetsuit, mask, flippers and bag, first owner's Personal Log Book meticulously listing his various dives while at Comex as well as afterwards, Comex Middle East recommendation letter confirming his employment as workshop manager of the firm from 1 March 1976 to 31 January 1979 and various black and white images showing him on the job. Furthermore delivered with a copy of Rolex UK letter dated 2 August 2010 confirming delivery of the present watch to Comex in 1977, Comex - The Conquest of the Ocean Depths magazine published on occasion of the firm's 20th anniversary and Alain Dunoyer de Segonzac's biography of Henri-Germain Delauze, founder of Comex, Un conquérant sous la Mer - Henri-Germain Delauze with the author's hand-written dedication to Jacqueline Schalit, presumably the editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest France until 2002.

Undeniably one of the most complete Comex ref. 5514 examples ever offered in public, the present watch furthermore impresses by its extremely original overall condition. The most notable feature is its well preserved "Maxi" dial, distinguished by the numerals of much larger size than in the civilian version of reference 5513. Over the years, the luminous material on numerals and hands has taken a charismatic ivory tone, further enhancing its appeal. The extreme conditions under which Comex watches were used often required servicing at Rolex which occasionally included a change of the dial, making those examples still retaining the original version, such as the present 5514, a rare find. Its case has evidently not been subject to careless polishing, underlined by the still well-defined fluting on the lugs and the clear engraving ROLEX COMEX 763 to the case back. Last but not least one should mention the contemporary Rolex Oyster bracelet reference 93150, the correct version for reference 5514.

Reference 5514 is among the rarest and most desirable of all Submariner models, made in an exceedingly small series and sold exclusively to COMEX. It was never available to the public and differs from the regular Submariner by a variety of features, most notably the helium escape valve on the right side of the case.

Highly desirable due to their small production numbers and the fact that they have never been available to the public, examples in such wonderful original condition as the present COMEX 5514, in addition accompanied by a variety of Comex Cx Pro diving equipment, all rarities by themselves, are amongst the most charismatic and fascinating trophies in today's collectors market.

Examples of Rolex COMEX references 5513 and 5514 are illustrated and described in 100 Years of Rolex, 1908-2008 by Franca and Guido Mondani, p. 131. and Rolex Submariner Story by Franca & Guido Mondani and Lele Ravagnani, p. 69, as well as on the cover of the latter.

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