Rolex. A Stainless Steel Wristwatch with Non-Serif Dial
Cal. 1520 automatic jewelled movement, matte black dial, luminous baton and dot numerals and triangle at 12, luminous Mercedes hands, outer minute divisions, center seconds, stainless steel circular case, screw down crown with crown guards, screw back, case, dial, and movement signed
The first Rolex Submariner model underwent a number of rigorous field tests, finally becoming available to the public in 1954. All featured a self-winding movement, and were depth rated to either 100m or 200m. In 1959, Rolex introduced the reference 5512, with crown guards and increased case size to 40mm.
In 1962, Rolex introduced the Submariner reference 5513 to the market, which would remain in production through the mid-1980’s. Although it lacked any complications, it was and still is sought after for its symmetrical dial design. It is instantly recognizable for this balanced dial layout and two-lines of text.
Over the course of its twenty-plus-year production run, the dial changed slightly, first starting with a black glossy dial and gilt text, and later in 1966 to a matte dial with white printing. The depth rating indicated meters first, “200m=660ft” but later changed to have the feet indicated first. The present example features the feet indicated first, and is also what is known as a “Non-Serif” dial, indicated by details such as the bar on the middle line of the "E" in the "Rolex" signature. Today, for many the appeal of a vintage Rolex is in the aesthetics – on the present watch, details like the contrast of the warm orange tone of the luminous numerals and hands with the matte black dial and white text are attractive and what make this example stand out.