We love vintage Rolex and the majority of models are a real investment. We have two exceptional examples in store now, a Rolex 5513 Submariner and a 5512 in 'ghost' grey. They are both particularly popular with collectors, so we thought we would look at the difference between the two models.
Rolex launched the 5512 in 1959, which was the first Submariner with crown-guards and three years later Rolex ref. 5513 was released. This was more affordable and it replaced the James Bond Submariner ref. 5508. The 5513 was available from 1962 until 1990, making it one of the longest produced Rolex models.
The 5512 and 5513 were both fitted with a big crown, which actually became standard for the Submariner afterwards. Like the ones we currently have in store, the early Rolex 5512 and 5513 had ‘Gilt’ printing, which means the text was a gold colour. After 1966, Rolex discontinued the use of gilt dials on the on the Submariner and switched to white printing. This is why these gilt models are extremely collectable.
From the photographs, it is very hard to tell the difference between the 5512 and 5513. Both of these rare references are identical in case and bracelet and they both have a gilt dial with no date feature. However there are differences to point out! One major feature is that the 5512 was an officially certified COSC chronometer. This means that the watch was certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. It was tested and given a unique serial number. Due to this, the 5512 dial has text on it to verify the certification. The 5513 was not COSC certified and was cheaper when it was released. Today, this minor difference still is relevant and their prices reflect it.
The 5513 and 5512 also went through minor updates over the long production of each model. For example, both movements changed over the years. It can be hard to find one of these models in pristine, original condition. Most of them have been serviced a few times and you will also find a lot of more modern bracelets on these watches. A replacement bracelet isn’t a bad thing though!
Both watches are very sought after and actually when it comes down to the differences, they are very minimal. A lot of Rolex collectors care more about the aesthetics of a watch, rather than the technical differences. We currently have both models in store. Please feel free to contact us for more information about both incredible vintage timepieces. You really will be investing in a watch of great historical value!