Sunday, November 1, 2009

Some particulars about the double silver print variation 5508 dial.

A brief background on the thin cased 5508 non crown guard seems to be in order. The 5508 Submariner replaced the similar in appearance 6536 and 6536-1 with 1030 caliber. But for a short time these thin cased models were produced at the same time. A ball park production figure for the 5508 Submariner would be from late 1957 to 62. The foremost advantage which the 5508 model shared over the 6536 examples was that it housed the updated 1530 caliber. For a collector or watchmaker this 1530 caliber made it easier to maintain then the harder to find 1030 caliber parts.

The topic for this segment, will be about a very early chocolate color dial change 5508 model.

From my research this double silver rounded bottom coronet 5508 dial was a particularly an early one. I am not unfamiliar to this type of dial. I also owned an early 6536 thicker cased 1030 caliber Submariner with this style of dial. Being an early thicker cased 6536 with this type of rounded crown and double silver print dial made me wonder if at that time I had an early variant. Unfortunately, I sold the 6536 almost nine years ago not understanding rarity of this dial.

Being a low and early production dial I have seen a few more similar dial coronet configuration in my travels, one on an early 6542 GMT and a couple other early 5508 Subs. The 6542 and 5508's bore early serial # as well. All these models so far had sub 38xxxx serial numbers. Logically from what I have observed, this early 5508 two silver line dial was placed in early Sport's models for a few short years.

The early two silver line dial model (361xxx) serial has the very popular and desirable color change dial feature as well. It has turned to a nice medium chocolate color.

I will be focusing on a particularly early serial 361xxx non crown guard Submariner model. This 5508 SWISS gilt gloss dial with double silver print dial rounded bottom coronate, is quite a rare variation in the 5508 dial line up. See picture below for the dial coronate variation.

One will notice the more rounded dial coronate bottom and longer crown arms. The gold print fonts such as letters "R" non serif and "O" are unique on this 5508 variation

This depiction below is a dial coronate from the more ubiquitous 5508 dial with a flatter crown bottom and a lower crown arm ends. The letters "R" with serif and "O" are with gold print as well.

In the photo below we see the depth rating and the word Submariner both in sliver print, instead of the gold and sliver combination.

This feature of having silver print on these fonts are not common to 5508 dials. Below in the photo we see the more common SWISS dialed 5508 with a silver depth rating and gold Submariner font.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The matte dialed 5513

This post is a small summary regarding the 5513 round crown guard model for now, and not an in depth perspective of the 5513 model. I will omit the military, double named dials, and other special versions of the matte 5513 model. I will add more info on these adaptations as time passes.

The Rolex non date Submariner is arguable the one of the most iconic Rolex model in the world. But for most Submariner vintage collectors their first vintage purchase was a 5513 non date round guard Submariner model. The term round crown guard originates from the crown guard basically being round at the top area near the crown seat, rather then ending up in a point or peck as on the first version of 5513 cases.

The more affordable examples from the 5513 model line are the matte dialed round crown guard versions appearing towards the mid 1960's. This was a transition period from the gloss gold gilt dial era to the matte versions.

The first and more desirable matte dial version was the 200m/660ft version (1965-71), then followed by the more generic and ubiquitous 660ft/200m dial. As with many Rolex dials the 200m/660ft and 660ft/200m dials were being produced at same time for a few years. The final years of the 5513 production run housed a gloss dial with gold makers.

The calibers used for the 5513 were the 1530 and 1520. The slow beat (non submitted for chronometer testing) 1530 caliber ironically was shared with in the early 1960's with the 5512 Submariner, then around 1964-65 the a non hacking 1520 caliber transitioned onto the scene. From my research the non hacking 1520 caliber was made only a few short years before being replaced by the hacking 1520 caliber around 1967-8 or so. The hacking 1520 caliber would remain the caliber for the 5513 till the end of production well into the 1980's.

An early 200m/660ft dail matte version of the 5513

I do own a 660ft/200m dial in a military format

a view of the case back and 1520 caliber.

Here we have a Swiss gloss gilt dialed 5513 pointed guard from 1963 equipped with a 1530 caliber. More on the early 5513 in a few weeks.

The Submariner reference # 5512

Before we commence our review of te 5512 model. I would like to point out the rare 5512 circa 1959 with the rare early 1st gen Swiss outer chapter ghost coronet silver and gold gilt font four line dialed early 1 generation watches. This early swiss type of dial does not have the usual flat coronet found on later 2 gen Swiss outer chapter ring dials. The seperation between the four lines, top two being of gold gilt, and the bottom two of silver gilt print is unique to this dial. Below we have two early Subs one being an early 5508 with ghost face coronet dial and the other an eraly 5512 with the same type of dial. This type of coronet was so named because it resembles a ghost face.
The thicker case is based on the square guard first gen 5512 with non chronometer rated two line dial. A very rare transitional 5512 is and an important part of the Sub's evolution. I just love the 5512, and wear everyone in my watch rotation. My favorites are the gold gilt gloss dialed editions.

Pointed or with the round crown guard, as long as it is a 5512 it gets my attention.
I love the look of the dial and the very accurate 1530, 1560, and 1570 calibers.
What I found to be very interesting to me was, that the 5512 was a truly small production model by Rolex.

I have always ascertained that the 5512 was a hard model to sell to customers. I say this because it looks almost exactly as the less expensive 5513 to the eyes of a new customer in that era. I bet it was hard to justify the extra cost from upgrading from a 5513 to the 5512 to the perspective client

The sales pitch must have been difficult to administer, two extra lines on the dial and a more precise caliber seems like a hard sell to me.

But apparently customers agreed with my assessment, and my belief was that the 5513 outsold the 5512 (unofficially) 5 to 1.

Be as it may, unpopular models are sought after by collectors. The 1019, 1655, and 1530 to name a few have a large following.

Some of my 5512 collection below.

The pointed guard gloss "SWISS" four line gold and white print 5512 is in my opinion the must desirable 5512's to collect.

What I observed was that a similar gloss gold gilt print dial was also in the line up. The gloss gold print Swiss-T< 25 with gold and white dial print. Believe it or not from what I have reserched on this dial, it is less commonly found then thought. It may be as rare as it's Gloss Swiss brother. I say this because I have seen far less numbers Swiss- T<25 1560="" 1963="" 1966="" 5512="" and="" as="" at="" auctions="" between="" both="" caliber.="" collectors.="" crown="" dealers="" dials.="" dials="" experances="" fall="" found="" from="" gloss="" guard="" in="" just="" my="" obervation="" of="" other="" ownership="" pointed="" production="" range="" research="" rolex="" rounded="" s.="" shows="" strong="" swiss-="" swiss="" t="" the="" these="" to="" vintage="" watch="" watches="" where="" with="" years="">The 5512 'Bart Simpson' coronet dialed Sub was produced between the years 1965 to maybe 1967.
Some collectors say the start date to be 1964. But maybe to early, at lest for me.
Small production run for only two to three years or so.
They can be found in pointed and round guard cases and on 5512-3 dials so far.
I have not seen any Bart coronet GMT or 1016 dials yet.
I believe they are more collectable because of the limited run. These Bart dials also have a tendency to turn brown with the right or should I say bad environment of humidly case leakage.

Let us take a glance at the first pointed guard 5512 case.

Besides the first 5512 square crown guard, I believe the second desirable case to collect would be the first generation 5512 pointed crown guard variant. From my research not all early 5512 crown guards have the same shape. The early release 1959 or so 5512's had a more define side angled peak to the crown guard shape. I noticed even back in the day on my early 5512 which I purchased ten years ago that this crown guard was not a run of the mill pointed guard. But back then when vintage Rolex was not mainstream yet, I did not have the research tools and other examples from other collectors or from dealers to put this puzzle together.

When one compares the second generation 5512 pointed crown guard case to the first generation, one can see in my opinion a lack of defined sharper side peak side area. It also appears to me that the second generation crown guard sticks out a little farther in covering the side crown field area. While the first generation crown guard comes at a steeper angle and sticks out less.

The first generation pointed guard 5512 case with this unique crown guard shape seems to have been produced around the 5xxxxx range with possibly only III 59 case backs. As with very early 5512's, the reference and serial numbers were placed at the top of the middle case area unlike the latter bottom number case placement.

I have only seen a small amount of this 5512 crown guard variation over time by way of collectors and watch dealers. Unfortunately many of these early 5512's had bad case polishes and the definition was not as crisp as it once was.
Recently I noticed an expose about the early 5512 square and first generation crown guard in the 2009 Italian watch magazine named OM.

I conducted a comparison photo of my early 5512 to the 5512 picture displayed in the magazine article.

One conjecture that really caught my attention was that allegedly a few early square guard 5512 were filled down to a pointed configuration to make it easier for divers to set the crown. Could this explain the sharp angles of the first generation pointed guard?

Be as it may, I found the early 5512 case crown guard research interesting and on going, while the OM magazine is NOT a Rolex factory resource verification tool. This article did add some new perspective of why maybe we have different 5512 case shapes over the years. OM is a pleasure reading magazine so take what is written in perspective, as many articles are just conjecture of people think and not 100% correct.

It appears that the early 5512 case design was truly unique..
Istacked a 1963 5512 over my 1959 5512. Looks to me that the lug on the 1959 case (bottom one) is thicker then the 5512 1963 top case lug. Also notice the more prominent curve on the 1959 case lug. The 1963 has more of a slant to it.
See the photo blow..interesting perspective on case design evolution.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

1675 double Swiss and EARLY GMT'S with pointed guards study..

In my opinion one of the most significant Swiss GMT 1675's in the model's timeline is the double Swiss 1675.

Let us look at it this way, without an underline on the 3 x Swiss GMT and added Swiss-T<25>Now for me the underline makes it further from the being a reluming symbol then ever. As we have seen and proven on Patek's and early non sport's model.
So far I have seen about four 3x Swiss GMT with this dial variation ranging form 10xxxxx to 11xxxxx serial numbers. One has to look at a micro close up of this are GMT dial to see that it has an Swiss in gold font just under the white Swiss. Very neat. The white Swiss print, silver Swiss->T 25, and two gold gilt print for the rest of the dial. Three different print colors. Wild!

What makes this dial so significant is the indisputable evidence of the actual years and timeline when the Swiss dials changed over to Swiss-T< 25. Thus by logic Rolex switched from radium to tritium. So in my opinion the underline dial was definitively not a symbol for the radium to tritium lum change over, but for the centering of the dial print.

The missing link GMT below without the underline but with Swiss in gold white AND in gold while displaying the Swiss- T<25

As with the unique Bonhams 3-6-9 the 3 x Swiss GMT, Rolex did advertise the new lum material but by not an underline symbol, more like a specifically clear undeniable symbol such as the Swiss-T<25

One will find in this segment a general overview of the GMT pointed guard model. I did not bring forth extreme particulars in order to help the newer collector to better understand this specific GMT model. So I omitted close up scans and amply explaining the nuances of dials, case backs, calibers, and variations within this model line.

Besides the 6542 no crown guard GMT, the early 1675 pointed guard is next sought after of the GMT from a long line of GMT lineage.

The pointed guard nomenclature adverts to the crown area guard, which is part of the case. This area was added to protect the crown as on the Submariner models from impacts that would possibly compromise the crown's waterproof status. The 1675 GMT had two types of crown guard designs during it's production run. The fist generation being the pointed guard version, so called because of it's pointed peck design and the later being a square crown guard design. Both versions were produced a number of years at the same time.

A side view of a 1675 pointed guard case

The pointed guard came into production around 1959 and ended production around 1966. All pointed guard models which I have seen housed the GMT 1560 slower beat caliber.

The GMT 1560 slower beat caliber in the picture below.

The early case back..

The fast beat 1570 GMT caliber was housed by the newer square guard 1675.
The early 1675 pointed guard versions received a black gloss "Swiss" marked dial with outer chapter ring and gold gilt font dial with a small 24 hour hand.

By 1964 the gloss gold gilt dial and small 24 hour hand were still the standard, but with no outer chapter ring and now the Swiss-T<25 added.="" br="" mark="" was="">

The 1675 pointed guard series received from the Rolex factory an expansion and non expansion oyster bracelet or in the mid 1960's a SS Jubilee bracelet.

The 1675 GMT black matte with white fonts and gold gilt dials were both available on the next generation 1675 square guard GMT..but the matte dial was not found on the 1675 pointed guard model.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some interesting information regarding the 1680 red 660Ft= 200m dialed Submariner

I believe more time and research has been given to the 200m=660Ft red dialed 1680 variant then has the later two other types of red dials.
In reality the Rolex produced 660Ft= 200m red dial versions are the more ubiquitous Submariners which most collectors own.

I have been collecting, selling, and observing the Red dialed 1680 Sub for many years now. Until recently, I realized that the closed "6" version of the 660 Ft =200 m seems to be produced in far less numbers the open "6" variant. My belief is, that the closed "6" red dial version was produced around the 37xxxxx and up serial number range.
The open and closed "6" dials were obviously placed in the 1680 Submariners but far fewer closed "6" red dials were made. The classical understanding was that closed "6" red dial replaced the open "6" around that 37xxxx serial range. But my belief is that both open and closed "6" dials were made simultaneously until towards the end of the red dial production run.

In regards to the production time period of the open and closed "6" 660 Ft =200 m dials, the open "6" red dials from what I have observed dated back to 1969 or so. A far longer production run then the closed 660 Ft =200 m dialed had. But when the closed "6" red dial came onto the red dial timeline around the 37xxxxx serial the open "6" was also being produced.

In my travels I have observed more open "6" 660 Ft =200 m dials then the closed the"6" brother in watches. Logically given the smaller production window of the closed "6" 660 Ft =200 m dial and the introduction of the all white font 1680 dial towards the 40xxxxx serial number range, the closed "6" might be more rarer of a dial the we think.

Besides the configuration of the numbers on these two dials, the fonts also have some subtle difference. The red paint covering the white fonts texture and application are different as well. Compare the two images and see if one can pick out the little nuances between the two dials. Below

from the AAKVIPER collection an open "6" red dial example.

and a closed "6" red dial from my AAKVIPER collection

some more watches with red fonts on the dial from the AAKVIPER COLLECTION.

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