Important Collectors Wristwatches, Po...

Geneva, Nov 14, 2009

LOT 268

Ref. 5517, Military Submariner Rolex, "Oyster Perpetual, Submariner, 660 ft=200 m.?, case No. 3926902, Ref. 5517/5513. Made in 1972 for the British Military. Very fine and rare, center-seconds, self-winding, water-resistant, stainless steel military diver's wristwatch with fixed bar lugs.

CHF 22,000 - 32,000

USD 22,000 - 32,000 / EUR 15,000 - 21,000

Sold: CHF 26,400

C. Three-body, polished and brushed, engraved screwed-down case back and crown, graduated bi-directional revolving black bezel for the decompression times, Triplock winding-crown protected by the crown guard, fixed bars, inside case back engraved with no 3926902. D. Black with painted luminous round, triangular and baton indexes. Luminous steel skeleton hands. M. Cal. 1520, rhodium-plated, 26 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock-absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring, hack mechanism. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 40 mm. Thickness 13 mm.

Click to full view

Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-07


HANDS Replaced


The present model is one of Ref. 5513/5517 that was delivered to the British Military Defence but it was not issued for the Royal Navy. This explains the absence of the outercase back engravings.
The reference 5513 was the first Rolex to become an official British Military issue watch, when it was issued to the divers of the Royal Navy in 1965. The military requested certain modifications; in this case the modifications were so major as to almost constitute a new watch. First, they wanted a new dial featuring a large "T" in a circle under the center post. The high-visibility hands were much larger and of a completely different shape. The hour hand was diamond-shaped, while the minute hand was much wider than on a conventional Submariner and the seconds hand had a unique luminous diamond indicator at the tip. Even the case was different from a standard Submariner. On the military models the spring bars were replaced with solid steel bars welded into the spring bar holes. The case was then polished so the hole was hardly visible. The rear of the case was then engraved with all the military specifications and issue numbers which enabled the quartermaster to identify the watch.