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What's the difference between a 5512 and 5513...

September 14 2007 at 7:30 AM
Jason Latif  (no login)
from IP address

...assuming both are late 60's watches? Apart from the model number!! Why do 5512's tend to be more expensive?

From scans, I can't tell - perhaps I'm being stupid?? [That's a rhetorical question - no need to respond ]


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(no login)

Agreed, or look at the 1680 red vers 1680 white dial....

September 14 2007, 7:51 AM 

because of one red line font being the difference the red 1680 is almost double the $ of a white dial 1680.
cheers A

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Re: What's the difference between a 5512 and 5513...

September 14 2007, 8:45 AM 

Based on my limited knowledge, the 5512 (the chronometer version of the 5513; otherwise identical, excepting the sometimes annotated dial) was produced in smaller numbers.

Of course, relative rarity has almost nothing to do with current-day collector pricing. Take, for example, the IWC MK XI of which many thousands were produced and compare it to the far superior JLC MK XI which was produced in two batches for a total number of ~2700 units: hyping by IWC has boosted the prices of their model to stratospheric levels compared to the JLC. I suspect a more-or-less analogous situation for the 5512 vs. the 5513.

With the usual disclaimers,

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Peter M
(Login PeteM1965)
VRF Member

Difference between 5512 and 5513

September 14 2007, 10:35 AM 

The 5512 was a chronometer movement the 5513 was not. But this doesn't mean that 5513 are not capable of Chronometer standards.

As far as desirability goes, there were much fewer 5512s produced than 5513. Since Rolex doesn't release production numbers one can only guess at the actual amounts produced. But if you figure pricing that put the 5512 closer in price to the 1680, which offered a date, than to the 5513. There was little justification to buy a 5512. Either save the money and buy a 5513, or spend a little more and get the 1680.

Maybe somebody can fill in the prices here with an old pricelist?


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(Login tomvox1)
VRF Dial Archive Curator

The 5512 is a more intriguing watch for the collector, IMO...

September 14 2007, 2:19 PM 

It was the first Rolex Submariner with crown guards. It is chronometer rated, the 5513 is not.
And the 5512 was considerably more expensive in its day and produced in significantly fewer numbers...

(Photo by wolfgang from the Archive)

Note that the catalog text mentions a $55 premium (approximately +31%) for the chronometer 5512 (not pictured) over the price of the non-chronometer 5513 pictured.

Additionally the 5512 was produced for many fewer years than the 5513:

5512 Production: ca. 1959-78 = 19 years
5513 Production: ca. 1962-90 = 28 years

Early 5512 & 3s shared the same movement (cal. 1530) but as improvements were made to the 15xx movements, such as microstella regulation and a Breguet overcoiled hairspring, Rolex developed a cheaper all-purpose caliber for their non-chronometer watches (i.e. those that would never be submitted for testing), the cal. 1520. The cal. 1520 has conventional "stick" regulation and a flat hairspring and this is the caliber found almost exclusively in the 5513 from the mid-late 1960s until the end of its production during the "L" series, ca. 1990.

Meanwhile, the 5512 was fitted with the cal. 1570, considered one of the greatest mass-produced automatic movements ever made, from the mid-late 1960s until the end of its production, ca. 1978. Obviously, it was always chronometer tested & certified.

Lastly, the 5512 has several more dial variations than the 5513, particularly in the gilt/gloss era. Check out the Archive to see what I'm talking about.

Some examples of both models to illustrate a few contrasts between the two references:

1961 5512:

1964 5513:

Early 1970s 5512 & 5513:

Obviously, personal taste will play a part in whether you feel a 5512 is worth a premium over a like 5513. But to me, the 5512 is a real collector's watch well worth seeking out.

P.S. The 5512 is also the true Steve McQueen Rolex...

...if that kind of thing floats your boat.

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Jason Latif
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Thank you all for your most helpful replies!! :-) [nt]

September 14 2007, 3:52 PM 


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