Now Rolex has decided to upgrade the iconic Submariner no-date ref. 14060 to the new ref. 114060M, it’s time to look back at one of its ancestors. This is a vintage Submariner ref. 5513 with a gilt dial from 1964.
The Submariner 5512 (chronometer certified) and 5513 were the first Submariner models with crown-guards, changing the oyster case forever. These were also the last Submariner models with the gilt printed dials.
In 1959 Rolex launched the 5512, which was the first Submariner with crown-guards and three years later the more affordable ref. 5513 was released and it replaced the (now famous) James Bond Submariner ref. 5508. The 5513 was available from 1962 through 1990, making it one the longest continuous produced references in Rolex history.
The 5512 and 5513 were both fitted with a big crown, something that became standard for the Submariner line thereafter. Early dials from the 5512 and 5513 had what is called ‘Gilt’ printing, which means the color of the text was gold. Around 1965 or 1966 Rolex discontinued the use of gilt/silver gilt dials on the Submariner watches and switched to white printing.
‘Shoulders’ or crown-guards were added to the crown side of the case to provide protection for the crown. In early examples, dating back to roughly 1964 or so, these shoulders were pyramid-shaped and are now called ‘pointy crown-guards’ making these models even more desirable. Later Submariners featured the more rounded shoulders/crown-guards.
The Submariner 5512 was equipped with different calibers, being calibers 1520, 1530, 1560 and 1570, and this reference had the text “superlative chronometer – officially certified” on the dial. The Submariner ref. 5513 used calibers 1520 and 1530, however with the certified chronometer writing on the dial.
This difference can easily be spotted on the dial; the 5512 with chronometer certified movement has 4 lines of text, the 5513 with chronometer certification has just 2 lines of text on the lower half of the dial. When Rolex launched the ‘modern’ Submariner 14060 it came without chronometer certified movement and indeed, 2 lines of text.
I think Rolex launched the chronometer certified version of the 14060, with 4 lines of text, in 2007 or maybe early 2008. Last week Rolex finally upgraded the 14060M to the new case with ceramic bezel, that is already used for all other modern Submariners. I’ll be looking out to see the new Submariner ref. 114060M in the stores, however spotting one of these vintage Subs is also always a pleasure.Especially when they are in such a pristine condition.
Thanx to Thirtyfivemill.com for letting me use his gorgeous photos again!
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor of Monochrome Watches.