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A rare and "fresh-to-market" Rolex Submariner in stainless steel
Auction Ended
9 Bids
Reserve Met
Auction Ended On
August 4, 2020
Lot 3
Starting Bid: $25,000
Estimate:  $25,000 to $35,000
Manufacturer: Rolex
Year: Circa 1961
Model Name:
Reference: 5512
Case Serial Number:
Condition: Excellent condition.
Material: Stainless Steel
Bracelet: Stainless Steel Oyster Rivet Bracelet.
Item Number: 133120
Movement:        Cal. 1530, 25 jewels.
Signed Case, dial, movement, and bracelet.

Rolex SUBMARINER 5512  

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

Condition Report


Excellent original condition and very clean gloss gilt exclamation point chapter ring dial with creamy yellow hour markers and matching hands. Gloss lacquer is in very good condition with very slight matting around outer edge of dial. All luminous plots remain intact. Minute hand has been colored to match the dial. 


Excellent original condition stainless steel PCG case that has been previously polished with light wear from use. Serial and reference numbers remain crisp and well defined. Inside of caseback is stamped 5512 II.61


Excellent original black "long 5" bezel insert with very minimal wear. 


Original stainless steel oyster rivet bracelet with 12 links and 80 end links. Clasp is dated 2 62. Bracelet has very minimal wear. 

Box and Papers

Bob's presentation box, Certificate of Authenticity, and warranty card.

Catalog Essay:

While the Rolex Submariner was first introduced in 1953 as a watch specifically designed for scuba diving, it would not be until 1959 with the release of the reference 5512 that Rolex’s legendary dive watch would start to take on what would ultimately become its contemporary form. With the arrival of the ref. 5512, the case of the Submariner grew to its now-standard 40mm and crown guards were added to the side of the case to offer better protection for its screw-down winding crown.

Production of Rolex Submariner 5512 lasted until 1978 and during that time, the watch was fitted with a variety of different dials, cases, bezels, and bracelets. Like other Rolex sports watches, the very first examples of the ref. 5512 received glossy gilt dials and cases with pointed crown guards (known as PCG cases); however these traits were discontinued by the mid-1960s, and replaced by matte dials and cases with square crown guards, which would remain in use until the end of the ref. 5512’s production run.

This particular example of a Rolex Submariner ref. 5512 dates back to approximately 1961, making it a very early example of the reference 5512. Just as one would expect to find on a Submariner from the early 1960s, this ref. 5512 features a PCG case and it is fitted with a 2-line gilt dial that pre-dates the arrival of the additional two lines of chronometer-certification text, which is something that is found on all later-era examples of the reference 5512 Submariner.

Additionally the gilt dial of this particular ref. 5512 has both a chapter ring and an exclamation point marking. The ‘exclamation point’ is identified by a small luminous dot below the 6 o’clock marker, and this unique trait only appears on vintage Rolex sports watches from the early 1960s. It is believed that the marking was used to signify that the radiation levels of the luminous material had been adapted to the new Atomic Energy Commission regulations. Fitted with a circa-correct rivet-link Oyster bracelet and a ‘Long 5’ bezel insert that still has its luminous pearl intact, this watch is a remarkably well-preserved example of a rare and historic reference from the Rolex Submariner’s long and illustrious history.


From the son of the original owner:

The watch was purchased by my father after WW2, we suspect sometime in the early 60’s when he was out of the war. My father was a Deepsea diver during WW2 and the Korean war, he visited many parts of the world during his time served. After the war, he became an engineer and settled down with my mother. To commemorate his time in the war he decided to purchase this Rolex Submariner 5512, I believe he told me he paid no more than a few hundred dollars for the piece, which was a good sum of money for the time, but for him it was invaluable. He believed this Submariner being a dive watch was perfectly suited to honor his dives and time spent serving his country. He wore the watch proudly for many years.

My father had always promised to leave me his watch and I have enjoyed wearing it from time to time. Its been kept safely locked in the bank the past 10 years or so.


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

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* 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 S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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