Debuting in 1953 and released to the public the following year, the Rolex Submariner has undoubtedly become one of the most iconic timepieces of all time thanks to its legendary status as Rolex's flagship dive watch. Used extensively by the British Royal Navy and professional diving operations like COMEX, the Submariner set the bar for all dive watches to follow. Featuring a genuinely timeless design that has remained relatively unchanged throughout its history, this Rolex has become the archetypal sports watch. With very few large-scale aesthetic upgrades made to it over the years except for timely advancements like introducing a date function to the collection in the late '60s, and its modern cerachrom bezels, the Submariner is seen as the prototypical dive watch thanks to its consistency. The Submariner has earned its status as a legendary watch, with it today remaining as one of the most sought-after timepieces around.
Often thought of as the quintessential Rolex Submariner, the ref. 5512 is one the longest continually running Submariner references, with almost 20 years of production under its belt. Released in 1959 and discontinued in 1978, the ref. 5512, was the chronometer-certified counterpart for the ref. 5513. Rolex being a far cry from the brand we know and love today, they ran the ref. 5512 and the ref. 5513 together to appeal to as many customers as possible. With its chronometer-certification, the ref. 5512, was more expensive at retail and as such, sold fewer units than the ref. 5513 meaning it is a relatively rare watch even considering its long production run. Like most new releases, when the ref. 5512 was released it included some design changes from the references it replaced. These changes ultimately turned the Submariner into the tool watch we know today. Among these changes were heavier hash markings on the bezel for improved tactility, bevelled lugs for better wear on the wrist and the addition of crown guards to protect the winding crown - all making the Submariner ref. 5512 an improved version of the references it replaced and continuing the Submariner’s journey as the diving industry’s golden standard of dive watch.
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Vetted & Approved
Box and Papers
Est. value range
$15,000 – $25,000
The watch is in overall excellent to near-mint condition. The case has been previously detailed, but shows strong chamfered edges and an thick lugs. There is some superficial wear along the case sides. Original dial and hand luminous has aged to a beautiful custard patina. The folded link fliplock band has 12 links total, and exhibits minimal stretch. It has a "B" date code and is consistent to the age of the watch.
An essential step in the Submariner's journey, the ref. 5512 established chronometer specification as the collection's standard and added crown guards to the case, a now crucial element of its form and function. We particularly love the crisp condition of this example, from the sharp case to the perfectly aged dial.