“What a classic sub and it doesn’t break the bank.” This was my response to Spoiled Brit, a fashion and watch “Brit” on Twitter who posted a picture of his 5513 Rolex sub with a handsome Hodinkee Horween watchstrap. I really admired his watch and still do. The 5513 is a clean, simple Rolex, a piece that has gained the respect of watch enthusiasts more than any other. This is a piece that a collector needs to have, seriously. In a well-balanced collection, you need something with complications, a beater watch, a sports watch, a vintage watch, and, of course, a dress watch. But before you go out and accumulate this collection, the first thing you need on your wrist is the 5513. I would not recommend going diving with an early 5513, but when you get into the later, less expensive models, they are usually much more resistant to the harsh saltwater of the ocean. The last time I knew of someone going diving with a vintage Rolex was a guy from a Rolex forum. In the end, he ended up losing his prized possession in the North
You can get these vintage 5513’s for anywhere from $4,000-$10,000 USD. Unlike my usual recommendation--to spend as little money as possible because anyone who asks for more than $______ is ripping you off--I have to say that you are better off spending between $6,000-$8,000 than $4,000. The reason: replacement bezels, crystals, parts, etc. When you are buying a 5513, you want an all-original 5513. Some come with “Spider Dials” (cracked dials that look cool) or Tropical Dials (aged dials that have been exposed to water and long periods under the sun). These problem watches are actually more sought after. For more info on these watches and for names of reputable dealers/stores, send us an email or give us a call.
Luke Rottman (Executive Editor: thewatchadviser.com)