Rare Rolex Submariner Explorer dial Sold for £230K at Lockdales Yesterday in Ipswich it smashed the previous record for this model. The watch is Rolex Submariner 5513 which is a great watch in itself but Rolex back in the 1960’s added the 9, 6, and 3 to dial and only made a short production run. The owner of the piece said he nearly damaged the watch when it dropped in a cement mixer some time ago but it seem to have survived the fall.
Now 60 years on the watch are collectible as hell, the more original it is the more the watch does at auction these type of pieces always end up in top auction houses around the world to bring the premium when the hammer falls you rarely see one for sale in a top vintage Rolex shop.
The auction house estimated £7000 to £8000 which would be correct for a fantastic condition 5513, but this was the biggest sale to date since opening in 1996! The commission on this sale was £38k a nice days work for Lockdales.
The 5513 has a stunning patina on the metres first dial all matching just perfect, the bezel looks original to the watch and the lugs just look pucker for 60 years of age with the original expandable oyster bracelet. This model is slightly rarer with underline under the “Swiss” at 6 o clock. The watch had bidders in the room from all over the world in total over 100 bidders online for the watch in the end a collector from Italy won the auction to take home the stunning Rolex Submariner explorer dial.
This Rolex around the 1960,s would have been around £70 to purchase and today’s equivalent of £1000, that was great investment piece for the owner god knows what the hammer price would be with box and papers with the original sales receipt!
The Paul Newman Daytona is coming up for sale shortly and will break world records as the most expensive watch to date.
Talking Watches With Jeff Stein one the big names in Heuer collecting and the man to go to with advice on the Heuer’s. Heuer was pre Tag Heuer before they changed the name. Heuer’s where vintage pieces some of the stars Paul Newman and Steve McQueen wore these and last 10 years have rocketed in price. Vintage market crazy at the moment and no exception to Vintage Heuer. Jeff Stein has a ridiculous amount of watches! I loved the Blue dial Monaco Steve McQueen big square lump of metal! Check out the video by Hodinkee:
Radium Testing on Vintage Watches, a neat video catch up on Hodinkee where they do some radium testing on some timepieces. Radium was used early on in wrist watch making for the hour markers or numbers as nothing else was available at the time for the luminosity on seeing the time while diving or at night times. The radium used is small amounts of radiation but glows really bright and the life span of radium is half like at 1600 years!!
All watch makers went to tritium radium mixture about mid 1960,s due to not using Radioactive material for obvious reasons. They then applied tritium to all the dials up until 1999 which had only .25 radium used, hence “Swiss T25” on the dials, then finally switched to super bright luminovo which is currently in use by all the to watch brands.
A lot of the older Rolex dials had “Swiss” at the bottom and were radium, then they went “Swiss T25” with Rolex or Omega “T Swiss Made T” which stands for tritium. In current days “Swiss Made” at the bottom from 1999 was the cut off for tritium use. Tritium has a life span of around 12.5 years so most of the vintage watches past mid 1960,s up to 1999 do not glow at all and usually have a lovely aged patina a key selling point with vintage.
The tester is a really good piece of kit for the vintage watch buyer as most of the old time pieces have had a re dial or been re-lumed which is no no for the true vintage watch hunter, but like every thing vintage comes down to affordability. Some of the classic vintage pieces are very pricey also very hard to find the full sets with great provenance which is another key factor as well as the lume.
Check out the video!!