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    Bob's Watches
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A rare and "fresh-to-market" Rolex Submariner in stainless steel
Auction Ended
2 Bids
Reserve Met
Auction Ended On
November 23, 2020
Lot 2
Starting Bid: $29,000
Estimate:  $30,000 to $35,000
Manufacturer: Rolex
Year: Circa 1966
Model Name:
Reference: 5512
Case Serial Number: 1,3XX,XXX
Condition: Excellent condition.
Material: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 40mm
Bracelet: Stainless Steel Oyster Rivet 
Item Number: 136174
Movement:        Cal. 1570, 26 jewels.
Signed Case, dial, movement, and bracelet.

The watch has been checked for proper functionality
Bob's Watches does not charge a buyer'

s premium and no shipping costs in US. View International Shipping Info here.

VINTAGE ROLEX SUBMAriner REF 5512 "STeve mcqueen" w/ glossy gilt dial, cosc papers Circa 1966

Bob's does NOT charge a buyer's premium – what you bid is what you pay.

Condition Report


Excellent original glossy gilt 4-line dial with two top lines of gilt text and two bottom lines of silver text, featuring creamy lume plots and matching hands. The surface remains very glossy. The 12 and 6 o'clock lume plots are each missing a small amount of luminous material. All lume glows brightly when exposed to UV and falls off gradually at the same rate. 


Excellent original stainless steel case that has previously been polished and shows light wear from use. Inner caseback is stamped 5513 1.66. Serial and reference numbers are crisp and well defined. 


Excellent original fat font long 5 bezel insert which has lightly faded and shows some wear from use. 


Excellent original later stainless steel 78360 oyster bracelet with 11 links. Bracelet shows very slight wear from use. 

Box and Papers

Rolex box and Rolex COSC papers. 

Catalog Essay:

Legendary Hollywood actor Steve McQueen is known throughout the watch-collecting world for a number of different timepieces that he famously wore in his various films. However, the watch that the “King of Cool” actually chose to wear in his personal life is none other than the classic and iconic stainless steel Rolex Submariner.

In addition to appearing in films such as The Towering Inferno (1974) and The Hunter (1980), McQueen’s personal Rolex Submariner reference 5512 can be spotted on his wrist in numerous photos of the actor from the era. That exact watch surfaced back in 2009, and when Steve McQueen’s very own Rolex Submariner 5512 sold at an auction later that year, it fetched $234,000 (keep in mind that back then, the average price of a reference 5512 was a mere fraction of what it is today).

First introduced in 1959 and remaining in production for more than twenty years, the reference 5512 was the model that first introduced crown-guards to the Rolex Submariner collection. Similar in appearance to the reference 5513 that was offered alongside it, the ref. 5512 was the chronometer-certified version of the classic no-date Submariner. Positioned as a more premium option with Rolex’s catalog, significantly fewer examples of the Submariner 5512 were sold, and it was discontinued almost a full decade before Rolex ceased production of the more common ref. 5513. Consequently, the reference 5512 is now considered to be the significantly more collectible model between these two vintage Rolex Submariner watches.

One of the most exciting aspects about the Rolex Submariner 5512 is the range of small variations that can be found among the original dials on these vintage dive watches. Rolex initially fitted the Submariner 5512 with glossy gilt dials like the one found in this particular example from 1966, which are characterized by their gloss surfaces and golden-colored text. In 1967, Rolex discontinued this style of dial entirely and even replaced gilt dials with later-era matte dials during routine servicing. Consequently, surviving examples of reference 5512 watches with their original glossy gilt dials are becoming increasingly more difficult to find.

The personal watch of choice for Hollywood legend Steve McQueen and a top target for many vintage collectors, the Rolex Submariner 5512 is an undeniable classic within the world of horology. As the model that first established the Submariner’ now-iconic design, this particular reference 5512 features a beautiful glossy gilt dial with silver chronometer certification text, and it is completed by an original circa-appropriate bezel insert and a later-era 78360 Oyster bracelet. An excellent example of the purpose-built tool watch that is often considered by many to be the quintessential vintage Submariner, this reference 5512 makes an excellent addition to any serious Rolex collection. 


MOVEMENT: Movement is functioning. This vintage Rolex Submariner comes with Bob's Watches one year warranty.

Auction Terms & Conditions | Bob's Watches | (800) 494-3708 | Bond # 72BSBHE9842

* The money you spend bidding on items you receive at auction is not tax deductible. Please consult your accountant for all tax related questions or deduction qualifications and bid accordingly.


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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, or any other brand listed. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster, etc are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation. All brands including Brequet, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega, etc are trademarks of their respective owners.

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