Many enthusiasts and Rolex collectors today are refining their collection with esoteric unique pieces. One of the staples of any Rolex collection is a Rolex Submariner. Many of the purists prefer a Submariner from its earliest inception, the mid to late 1950s. Those Rolexes are simply impossible to find usually and frankly very expensive (upwards into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.) The 5512 and 5513 models are more attainable and very popular because of their easier access by a collector. But what is the difference between each model?
They both are identical in case and bracelet. Both use the exact same hand set and have a gilt dial and do not have a date feature. Both are so incredibly from the outside that in simple passing no one could tell the difference. 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, which is the institute responsible for certifying the accuracy and precision of wristwatches in Switzerland. Each movement certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) is vigorsly tested and given a unique serial number by COSC. The watch is tested via temperature, positioning and over fifteen days. Each watch must pass this list of requirements:
Average daily rate: -4/+6
Mean variation in rates: 2
Greatest variation in rates: 5
Difference between rates in H & V positions: -6/+8
Largest variation in rates: 10
Thermal variation: ± 0.6
Rate resumption: ± 5
Due to this incredible level of testing, the 5512 dial has two additional line of text on it to verifiy is COSC certification. Just below the “Submariner” text on the lower half of the dial it is written out “Superlative Chronometer” followed by “Officially Certified.” The 5513 was not COSC certified and was about $50-$60 less when the watches were offfered in the 1960’s. Today, this minor difference carries about a 50% increase in price between the 5512 and 5513 due to this unique feature.
The 5513 and 5512 also went through minor updates over the twenty to thirty years of production of each model. The movements changed to higher tolerance movements (the 5513 was in production from 1962-1989 and had the Cal. 1520 & 1530 movements and the 5512 was in production from 1959-1978 and used the Cal. 1530, 1560, and 1570 movements).
Both watches are simply stunning and are incredibly desired by collectors and the world. Both Rolex Submariners are unique in only small ways but that is Rolex, minor differences than all of the rest – proving perfection through small levels of tolerance.