Fine Watches / Rolex. A rare stainless steel Military automatic wristwatch issued to the Royal Navy Military Submariner, Ref 5513/5517, Circa 1975
Sold for £195,600 inc. premium
Submit your item online for a free auction estimate.How to sell
Our Watches specialists can help you find a similar item at an auction or via a private sale.Find your local specialist
Head of Department
Rolex made the 'MilSub' as a direct order for the British Military through the Ministry of Defence. These were made with specific enhancements that set them apart from their civilian equivalent. The reference 5513 was the first of these to be customised for Military use by making the spring bars solid and friction welded into place negating the possibility of the spring bar being pulled out. As such all Military Submariners have NATO straps as the more normal straps or bracelets cannot be fitted to the solid lugs. The hands were replaced with the aptly named Sword hands to enhance legibility with Tritium luminosity signified by the T in a circle on the dial.
The case backs are engraved on the interior with the serial number and also on the outside case back with the Ministry of Defence issue number. The military numbers on the back of this particular watch refer to it being issued in 1977.
There are 3 series of the Royal Navy Military Submariner:
2.Double Ref:5513/5517 (5513 on case and back; 5517 on a lug) as with the present lot
As these watches were "tool watches" in the truest sense of the word, they were often repaired with service parts and in many cases heavily damaged during their years of use. The current lot is a prime example of this with its lack of bezel which the current owner, a professional diver, recalls losing on a dive in the 1990s. The current owner is the second person to own this watch having purchased it from the original Navy diver in the early 1980s.