Lot #2959

Rolex Submariner 5512 Gilt Tropical Dial Box and Papers

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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.

Loupe This Scorecard


V 8.5


Vetted & Approved


Double box set, chronometer certificate, guarantee papers, original brochure

Est. value range

$40,000 – $60,000

The Details




40mm x 12mm




Automatic cal. 1570




Stainless steel Jubille bracelet






Stainless steel


Watch, box, papers and COSC certificate

Dial Color

Golden brown (Tropicalized)


Boasting an exceptional gilt meters first dial, this example's once-black display has aged to include a stunning golden brown color evenly throughout its surface, giving this watch a thoroughly unique look.


This example, with its unique dial and faded bezel insert, is offered on a Jubilee bracelet, which gives it an even more unusual presence on the wrist that will get any collector excited.


This reading was taken (crown down) with a ONEOF Accuracy Boutique Edition timing machine at time of cataloging. It is provided as a courtesy only, and shall not be construed as a warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please refer to our terms and conditions of sale for more information.


Watch is in excellent overall condition. The case shows consistent surface wear, with light scratches and marks throughout. The lugs are thick and full, with a sharp chamfered edge. Bezel teeth are still sharp and well defined, with some wear and marks. The bezel insert is faded and shows various scratches and marks. The original four line gilt dial is excellent. The dial has aged to a very pleasing brown color, with a slight more effect with a darker edge. The surface finish is no longer mirror like, but has taken a consistent almost eggshell-like texture. The luminous dogs are fully intact and have aged to a pleasing cream tone. The hands show some light oxidation, and are a slightly lighter tone than the dial luminous. The watch comes on its original USA jubilee bracelet with 19 total links. It shows moderate stretch and fits an approx 7 1/4" wrist. The watch is accompanied by a period correct double box set, as well as its original chronometer certificate, punched guarantee booklet, as well as original brochure.

Our Perspective

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 this example's tropical gilt meters first dial, faded bezel and Jubilee bracelet.

Eric Ku