Importantes Montres de Collection

Geneva, May 15, 2011

LOT 384

Rolex - Ref. 5514 ? COMEX ? No Gas Valve Rolex, Oyster Perpetual, "Submariner 660 ft = 200m", case No. 4092961, Ref. 5514/5513. Made for COMEX in 1974. Fine and very rare, center seconds, self-winding, waterresistant, stainless steel diver's wristwatch with a stainless steel Rolex Fliplock Oyster bracelet. Accompanied by a COMEX knife, flashlight, depth gauge, and paperwork including dive logs and identification.

CHF 70,000 - 120,000

USD 75,000 - 130,000 / EUR 55,000 - 90,000

Sold: CHF 170,500

C. Three-body, polished and brushed, screwed-down case back and crown, graduated bidirectional revolving black bezel for the decompression times, Triplock windingcrown protected by the crown guard, case back engraved "ROLEX COMEX." D. Black with 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, selfcompensating flat balance spring, hack mechanism. Dial, case and movement signed. Diam. 40 mm. Thickness 14 mm. Approx. overall length 205 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3-8


Slightly scratched

Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original


The ref. 5514 is considered by collectors and enthusiasts as the essential "must have" COMEX model due to its unique reference number. The ref. 5514 was never sold to the public and remained a model reserved solely for the underwater operations specialists COMEX. The present watch is extremely rare and highly desirable because it is the only known ref. 5514 produced without the Helium Escape Valve. We believe that it was among the first watches delivered to COMEX, and therefore,was part of a very small experimental series which did not feature the gas escape valve. This watch was fully serviced by Rolex in 2003..
COMEX (COmpagnie Maritime d?EXpertise) A French company specialized in deep sea exploration that made great advances in saturation diving in the 1960's and 70's. At the time COMEX divers wore Rolex Submariners, ref. 5513. These were rated to 200 meters, sufficient for most dives. However, during the 10-day decompression period following saturation dives, the watch crystals tended to explode due to pressure from helium that had built up in the watch. To rectify this, Rolex invented the gas escape valve (Swiss patent 492246). This simple spring-loaded one-way valve was first fitted to the standard Submariner 5513, which was then given the Ref. 5514. Further research led to the first ?Sea-Dweller, Submariner 2000?, Ref. 1665, in 1971.