I like completely fucked watches. As the collector mantra goes ‘condition is everything’. Yet, I think there’s something so honestly charming about a watch which has been worn without regard and the patina which ensues. Additionally, I think it comforts me subconsciously. A watch with abusive wear across all of its components decreases the probability of a franken-watch build, if only slightly. I know many of you will now completely disregard my opinions on condition because of this; I’m alright with that. If you’re buying to invest, condition really is everything. If you’re buying to enjoy, allow me to make a case for the less-pristine with this Bart Simpson Submariner.
The Rolex coronet has appeared on dials with so many variations it’s almost remarkable that they’re all approximating the same design. The frog-footed 1655 may get much of the spotlight for alteration, but this gilt dial is the king of Rolex oddity. The coronet at 12 has quite short points, creating a an effect not dissimilar to the hair on Bart Simpson’s head. The Rolex community likes an apt nickname and this Submariner is no exception. The gilt dial also has a few other charms, for example the crosses on its ‘t’ and ‘f’ in the depth line are even. These are also some of the final production gilt subs, where they were now using steel hands. The watch also has a lacquer application that creates some crazy patina, which seems especially true in this example.
The gilt dial you see here may appear rough, and it in fact is. The spotting and discoloration is the result of many hours in the sun and in the cold, with UV exposure daily. Its gilt track is still visible, as is the Swiss T < 25 line, only just. Its Simpson coronet is extremely discolored, but in a way that I find kind of charming. The exterior doesn’t seem to have a surface that hasn’t been knocked. However, it is knocked evenly. Surprisingly, its bezel pearl has not fallen out and is matched. Every surface of this watch is unique because of the life it has lived and it is still running strong. I would be proud to give it another couple of decades of hard use.
Find this Bart Simpson 5513 here from Wrist Icons for 27950 USD.