Square Crown Guard Rolex 5512
One may spend an entire lifetime learning about vintage Rolex. The variation is of infinite depth. The very earliest Submariners, big crown and small, lacked crown guards. We will all be familiar with that fact, courtesy of Sean Connery. However, when crown guards made debut on the Submariner, Rolex being Rolex, they evolved. Collectors will be aware of ‘PCG’ or early pointed crown guards (sometimes known as cornino) cases. Enthusiasts may be familiar with eagle beak crown guards, produced for just over a year with a distinct pointed edge. However, before either and for one year only, the style of crown guards was far more rectilinear.
Historic significance is a matter of perspective, but this slight distinction of the manner in which the crown guards present marks this case as amongst the very earliest 1959 production cases with a guarded crown. It seems near laughable in 2022 to consider this protection a technical innovation, but in 1959 it was. Divers complained with the 6200, 6204, 6205, 6536, and 6538 that hard bashes would break the crown stem, possibly even causing water entry. A solution was needed.
As we all known, the guarded design cemented itself in the iconic Submariner silhouette. It is widely reported that Rolex made fewer than 100 examples of these early SCG cases, with some saying fewer than 50. The latter eagle beak crown guards evolved from ergonomic considerations and were quickly considered more attractive. All SCG cases were sold with red triangle bezels, original examples as such as this are exceedingly rare (usually auction darlings). Understatement is perhaps no longer possible with a Submariner, now a widely recognized symbol of . . .something. However, if ever a Submariner were able to fly under the radar, surely is this wolf in sheep’s clothing; 5512/3 at a glance, vanishingly rare collector and enthusiast grail upon examination.
This example sports a very strong case from crown guards to lug bevel. Its rivet bracelet is of the same year as the case serial. The gilt two line dial is also remarkably well-preserved and seemingly a complete time capsule. Its red triangle bezel has aged to a mid-purple ghost tone, a beautiful contrast to the deep yellow lume tones. It comes as a naked watch from a well known private collector who goes by @louishui_777 on Instagram.
Find this SCG 5512 here on Chrono24 for 193300 USD.