The Rolex 5513: A Watch You May Or May Not Know January 31, 2019 – Posted in: Uncategorized
Rolex 1967 Submariner, reference 5513…what a fascinating timepiece.
The Rolex model 5513 was an adjunct to the existing Submariner line. The model 5512, which was a chronometer certified model (with the same case as the 5513) housed a 26 jewel caliber 1560, non-hacking movement. Later models would sport caliber 1570 which is the no-date variant of the caliber 1575 found in the date models of this time. Unfortunately, the 26 jewel movement was considered a luxury watch and exacted a correspondingly higher tax when imported into the U.S.A. The workaround for Rolex was to offer a model 5513 with a caliber 1520 which was only 17 jewels to bypass the higher luxury tax. Rolex went one step further and began utilizing the additional writing on the 5512 dial (Superlative Chronometer, Officially Certified) to denote that it was a chronometer certified movement. Interestingly, the 5512, when containing caliber 1560 or 1570 was chronometer certified, it just wasn’t denoted on the dial until the production of the 5513. The 5513, not being chronometer certified and only 17 jewels, had a much more sparse dial. The first several years of the model had the depth rating denoted as (200m=660 feet) but was subsequently changed to (660ft = 200m). It was thought that due to the fact that the watch originally had a European audience, the metric was emphasized and therefore listed first. After the US market became more popular, the “Feet” designation was listed first. The watch has always been considered one of the Rolex line’s workhorse “Tool” watches and lost some popularity as more people favored the date models. However, in recent years the purity of the model has survived and now this particular model commands almost ridiculous prices. This model sold for around $200 when new in 1967 and you would be hard-pressed to find this corresponding model for no less than over 100 times this amount!!