I think I have a real problem; I’ve started to like all the little nuances that exist in Rolex collecting. I enjoy spotting a rail, floating Tiffany Cosmograph, underline, or exclamation point dial. I know it’s sick. Today I’m writing to feature a lovely example of the late 5513 with white gold surrounds that sports a particular patina. Spider dials, unlike the aforementioned, are not a specific form of text printing. Spider dials are given their name by the spiderweb-like hairline fractures that form in the dial’s lacquer over time. Dial lacquering is something of an art; yet for a period of time in the 70s and 80s, even the almighty Rolex got it a bit wrong. In the decades since, many of these lacquers have developed a Spider patina. Some collectors seek these out. Others see it for what it is: a fault. The division in opinion is analogous to tropical patination. That said, I like it. So here’s a beautiful one.
The 5513 is a Rolex collector’s entry into the addiction. The quintessential acrylic crystal Submariner, it offers huge amounts of charm for the money. The reference also spans a huge range of value. Early gilt jobs will attract a huge premium while these latter white gold indice variants tend to fall on the lower side. Then there are pre-comex 5513s, meters first 5513s, and explorers dial 5513s. The Polerouter is possibly the only other model that comes to mind with such a vast diversity within a single generation. Collectors enjoy nuance. This spider dial presents it, in addition to the usual vintage Rolex tool watch charm.
This example is really a strong one. The dial is lightly spidered with tritium that has aged to an even cream across the handset, dial, and still-present bezel pearl. Its case is proud, all on a tight, original bracelet. The watch was recently serviced and tested to depth by Bob Ridley in Texas. The watch does not include papers or box.
Find this Spider Dial 5513 here on r/watchexchange for 13700 USD.