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The Rolex Submariner reference 5513 is a vintage dive watch model that was produced between the early 1960s and late 1980s. The ref. 5513 holds the distinction of being the longest-running Submariner reference ever produced throughout the collection's entire history, and due to its remarkably long production run, surviving examples of Rolex Submariner 5513 watches can be found with a surprising range of variation depending on the year that they were manufactured.
Like other Rolex Submariner watches, the reference 5513 is powered by one of Rolex's own in-house automatic movements. However, unlike modern Submariner watches that are all powered by chronometer-certified movements, the Rolex Submariner 5513 was fitted with a movement that lacked official chronometer status. Still highly accurate, the reference 5513 was initially positioned as a more affordable version of the brand's Submariner dive watch; however in recent years, it has become an incredibly desirable and collectable vintage Rolex model.
The Rolex Submariner was first introduced in 1953 and was one of the world's very first purpose-built dive watches. Designed around Rolex's legendary 'waterproof' Oyster case and 'perpetual' self-winding movement, the Submariner set the standard for all future dive watches, and has been a fixture within the industry ever since.
During the first several years following its initial release, Rolex released a number of different variations of the Submariner; however it was not until the introduction of the reference 5512 in 1959 that Rolex's underwater timepiece would start to take on what would ultimately become its modern iconic form.
Rolex released the reference 5513 Submariner in 1962 and to the average buyer, it was virtually identical to the ref. 5512 that had just been introduced a few years before. Both watches featured 40mm stainless steel cases, self-winding time-only movements, domed acrylic crystals, black luminous dials, black aluminum bezels, and matching steel Oyster bracelets.
Although these two Rolex Submariner watches appeared more-or-less the same on the outside, they were powered by different movements and were accompanied by different retail prices. The ref. 5512 received a COSC-certified movement; however the reference 5513 Submariner was fitted with a similar caliber that lacked chronometer-certification. Despite the ref. 5512 being positioned as the premium version, real-world performance between the two watches was rather similar, and the lower price point of the reference 5513 made it the better-selling Submariner.
By the end of the 1970s, Rolex had discontinued the ref. 5512; however production of the Submariner 5513 lasted all the way up until 1989. During its remarkably long production run, Rolex Submariner reference 5513 watches were produced with a range of variation in regards to the different styles of dials, bezels, hands, crown-guards, and bracelets that were fitted to them.
The reference 5513 Submariner was introduced back in the early days of Rolex sports watches, when the brand was still using glossy gilt dials, and production of this long-running reference lasted well beyond the point when Rolex made the switch to dials with applied, white gold surrounds for the hour markers. This means that the Rolex Submariner 5513's production run spanned the entire matte dial era, and it is this wealth of variation that makes the reference 5513 one of the most diverse and exciting vintage Rolex watches for collectors to study and pursue.
The price of a Rolex Submariner 5513 can range dramatically depending on the era in which it was produced, along with the originality of its components and its overall condition. Rolex Submariner 5513 prices start at about $9,000 for later-era examples, but they can easily reach well into the tens of thousands of dollars for early production examples with rare original dial variations.
|Dial||Production Years (approx)||Price||Materials|
|Gilt Dial||1962-1966||From $34,950||Stainless Steel|
|Matte Dial||1967-1982||From $13,700||Stainless Steel|
|Gloss Dial (applied markers)||1982-1989 (plus service dials)||From $8,495||Stainless Steel|
Many things can influence the price of a vintage Rolex Submariner ref. 5513, but most collectors will argue that the greatest determining factor when it comes to the overall value of Submariner 5513 watches is the type of dial that is fitted to them - which is something that is largely determined by their age. Not counting the ultra-rare and collectable Rolex MilSub and Explorer-style dials that can also be found on reference 5513 watches, there are 3 main generations of dials found on the Submariner 5513, and each one consists of dozens of sub-generations and variations.
Other features such as crown-guard shape, bezel, hands, bracelet, overall condition, and certainly provenance can also significantly influence the value of reference 5513 Submariner watches. However, in the majority of instances it is often the dial that is the key detail responsible for one Submariner 5513 watch being worth several times the price of a different example from the same reference.
Additionally, condition is another key factor that can play a significant role in determining the price of a Rolex Submariner 5513 watch. As they were regarded as high-end timing tools for divers rather than luxury items while they were in production, many reference 5513 watches saw rigorous underwater use and were lost, damaged, or destroyed over the years. Very few reference 5513 Rolex Submariner watches have managed to survive all these years and still be in mint condition, which means that such examples are worth a significant premium whenever they surface on the open market.
Lastly, due to the hard lives that many Rolex Submariner 5513 watches lived, many have had their original components replaced over the years due to water ingress or impact damage. Rolex will replace worn/damaged components with their most current or updated equivalents, which means that an early-production example that receives water damage will have its original gilt dial replaced with a 'service dial' that will be of a later style. While both dials are genuine Rolex components, the difference in value between a Submariner 5513 watch with a service dial and one with an original gilt dial from the early 1960s can be well over $10,000.
The very first Rolex Submariner 5513 watches featured cases with crown-guards that were virtually identical to the ref. 5512 watches that Rolex was producing around this time. Known among collectors as 'Pointed Crown Guard' or 'PCG' Submariner 5513 watches, these variations are easily identifiable by the shape of the crown guards, which terminate to angular points, rather than the rounded crown guards that can be spotted on later-era ref. 5513 Submariner watches. Produced for only a very short time at the very beginning of the reference 5513's production run, all Pointed Crown Guard Submariner 5513 watches were originally fitted with gilt dials, although some examples can be found with later-era styles of dials due to requiring replacements at some point in their respective histories.
Among all the variations of the reference 5513 Submariner, it is the 'Explorer-Dial' ones that are the most unique, and often the most valuable. Instantly recognizable due to their prominent 3-6-9 Arabic Numerals that take the place of the standard rectangular luminous markers at those locations, these vintage Submariner watches represent the last generation of Rolex's iconic dive watch to be fitted with Explorer-style dials.
One special type of gilt dial that was only produced for about a year or so during the mid 1960s is the 'Underline Dial' and these unique vintage dials can be found across watches from Rolex sports range that were produced during this transitional point in the brand's history. Characterized by a small horizontal line below the 'Submariner' name, it is believed that these 'Underline Dials' were marked with this subtle indicator to signify that they featured less radioactive tritium-based lume - although Rolex has yet to officially confirm this theory.
Another incredibly rare variation of gilt dial found on the reference 5513 Submariner is the 'Double Swiss Underline Dial' which was only fitted to Rolex Submariner watches for a short period of time in 1963. Like other Underline Dials, the Double Swiss Underline features a small horizontal line; however the line is placed below the 'Oyster Perpetual' text on the upper half of the dial. Additionally, at the very bottom of the dial, there will be two different 'Swiss' signatures - one located inside the chapter ring, and one that appears just below it along the very outer edge of the dial.
Near the end of the gilt dial era, the design for Rolex Submariner dials was beginning to settle into itself, and a greater degree of consistency can be found across the various examples. Still incredibly rare and only produced for a short period of time during the mid-1960s, these gilt dials are characterized by their golden text and open chapter rings. What makes their chapter rings 'open' is the fact that their minute tracks are not connected by a solid ring around the periphery of the dial. Additionally it was during this period of time that Rolex changed the movement used inside the reference 5513, replacing the Caliber 1530 with the Cal. 1520, which offered similar overall performance but was less expensive to manufacture.
The dials of early Rolex Submariner watches featured a number of different variations of the iconic Rolex coronet logo. While the overall design remained the same (a five-pointed crown with an open bottom), a shockingly diverse range of variation exists among the different Rolex coronets found on vintage Submariner watches. One of the more well known styles that can be found vintage models that were produced near the end of the gilt dial era are the 'Bart Simpson' variations which feature a thicker crown design with shorter points. The general shape resembles the head of the famous Simpsons character, and its golden yellow color only adds to the resemblance.
Around 1967, Rolex stopped using gilt dials and switched to matte dials. While the gilt dials featured glossy black surfaces with golden text (due to the galvanic printing process that was used in their production), matte dials featured a softer, almost textured black surface with white printed markings. As these dials all featured tritium for their luminescence, they include the 'Swiss – T
While the reference 5517 is the military-only version of the Rolex Submariner, there are also ref. 5513 Rolex MilSub watches (and also 5513/5517 double signed versions) that were issued to members to various members of the armed services. Often considered to be the 'Holy Grails' of vintage Submariner collecting, these MilSubs are incredibly rare, and many of the ones that were originally produced were either lost or destroyed during service. Many Rolex MilSub watches were altered after service, and so surviving examples can be found with a range of slightly different features. The hallmark traits are the Circle-T logo on the dial, sword-shaped hands, a fully demarcated bezel insert, and fixed bars between the lugs (rather than spring-bars) - and if your MilSub has all of these features, then you might just be the proud owner of one of the most collectable vintage Rolex watches in the world.
Just a few years after introducing matte dials to the Submariner collection, Rolex slightly switched up their style so that the units for the depth rating would be reversed. The earliest style of Submariner matte dials featured the meters measurement of the depth rating first (hence their 'Meters-First' nickname), while the revised style swapped positioning to feature the feet measurement first - lending to their 'Feet-First' nickname. Still featuring luminous tritium hour markers, this style of matte dial remained in production all the way up until the early 1980s and represents the last truly vintage-looking version of the reference 5513 Rolex Submariner.
Production of the reference 5513 Submariner lasted the entire matte dial era, and for a number of years during the 1980s Rolex Submariner 5513 watches were fitted with gloss black dials with white text and applied, white gold hour markers - similar to the style of dial that can be found on the Rolex Submariner watches produced throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. It is important to note that this style of dial is the same one that Rolex uses as the service dials for the reference 5513 watches that it repairs and services. Consequently, a number of Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 watches that originally left the factory with either gilt dials or matte dials now have this later-era style of dial due to requiring a replacement at some point during their history. It is also worth noting that more modern service dials will feature photoluminescent hour markers, rather than tritium like the ones that were originally fitted to reference 5513 Submariner watches during the 1980s.
As one of the most famous vintage Rolex watches available, the reference 5513 Submariner is a popular favorite among many serious Rolex collectors. Consequently, you can spot Submariner 5513 watches on the wrists of a number of celebrities and other noteworthy individuals.
The term \”Rolex 5513\” means Rolex Submariner, ref. 5513. This implies that the watch is a vintage Rolex Submariner reference that was produced between 1962 and 1989 under the 5513 reference number. The reference 5513 is the longest-produced model from the Rolex Submariner's history, and the diversity found within the collection makes it a consistent favorite among the top vintage Rolex models for collectors to pursue.
A Maxi Dial on a Rolex 5513 is a specific type of a matte dial for the reference 5513 Submariner that is characterized by slightly larger tritium luminous hour markers. Maxi dials started being fitted to ref. 5513 watches around 1976 and continued to be used up until the end of the matte dial era in the early 1980s. With that in mind the “Maxi Dial” term can also be used to describe the dials of modern Rolex sports watches that have larger hands and hour markers framed with white gold surrounds.
A Rolex Submariner from 1974 can be worth an incredibly wide range of values, depending on its provenance, originality, and overall condition. Like other Rolex watches, the total value is determined by a variety of different factors. A Rolex Submariner from 1974 in less than pristine shape with numerous replacement components can be worth as little as $7,000, while a mint-condition model still with its original box and paperwork can be worth more than $28,000.