Vintage Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 With Explorer Underline Dial

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Vintage Rolex Submariner "Explorer Underline" (Reference #5513)
For those unfamiliar with vintage Rolex watches, the model shown above may look a little confusing. A Submariner with Arabic numerals? Combining characteristics of two popular Rolex professional watches, the vintage Submariner Reference 5513 features a graduated bezel with a dial display reminiscent of the Explorer model. This rare configuration will be auctioned by Christie's in Geneva, Switzerland on May 15th, 2017 as part of their 'Rare Watches and a Rolex Afternoon' auction. 

This rare stainless steel Sub was introduced around 1963 and features a tropical dial with an underline below the model name, just above 6 o'clock. The rationale behind adding a small underline on the dial has never been confirmed by the watchmaker. But regardless of its purpose, the rarity of such a dial configuration, including the Arabic numerals at 3,6, and 9, gives this vintage model an estimated value of $120,000 - $200,000 USD.

Vintage Rolex Submariner "Explorer Underline" (Reference #5513) Close Up
It features a screw-back steel case that measures 35mm in diameter, with pointed crown guards and a riveted Oyster bracelet in stainless steel. Its 60-minute graduated scale is imprinted on the black bezel, as is characteristic of Submariner models. The Mercedes-shaped hour hand and markers have aged to a tan color that compliments the tropical dial coloring. This wristwatch features a depth rating of 200 meters and is powered by a Calibre 1030 with 26 jewels. 

While legacy and rarity certainly play an important role in the value of this vintage Rolex, its unique aesthetic should not be overlooked. The Explorer model is loved by watch enthusiasts with minimalist design preferences and the symmetrical dial of this Submariner configuration speaks to those tastes while offering the functionality of a diver's watch. Check out all of the wristwatch models up for auction in Geneva next month by visiting christies.com

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