5513s are dime-a-dozen and that’s a good thing. Rolex’s production today is about equal the entirety of the rest of Switzerland, combined. Desire for vintage models is huge and the 5513 is a perfect Submariner to meet that demand. However, one of the best things about the 5513 generation is that there is depth within the reference. You could seek out a mark 3 Maxi, meters first, or even rail dial. However, if you wanted to get really hardcore, you could opt for this: the 3-6-9 Explorer 5513.
The Explorer-Submariner crossover was first noted in the 1950s with the 6200. Most assume the 6200s with Explorer dials were likely the result of surplus Submariner cases and a lack of dials. Rolex simply met production needs by stealing a few dials from the 1016 line. The trend continued in a few examples of the 5510 and 6538. Most Explorer 5512/3s were marketed in the UK and they are very, very rare. Recent auction results will inform you that this is now a mid-six figure watch. The genuine 5513 Submariner dials are divided into radium and tritium production. From there, collectors divide the rest into nine subcategories. If you’re genuinely interested, you need to do day’s worth of research. Don’t take this watch lightly. It commands a premium and one should research with appropriate diligence before purchase.
The example shown today appears to be sound. The dial is certainly not a service or bad replacement job and all details appear correct. The ‘kissing L’ is a gilt dial where the E and L of Rolex, well, kiss. This style of dial is only on the meters first radium dials for a sub. That would appear to be correct. The same can be said of its relatively sharp PCG case. The chamfered edges are still proud, a bit of treat with a 5513. There are mountains more documented genuine Explorer 5513 examples, so do some cross-referencing if you’re interested. I can’t be asked to. The watch commands a serious premium, ~10-15x a standard 5513. However, it is also more likely to be valuable in the future. This model may very well be a hallmark of Rolex collectors’ madness. But I don’t think there are any signs of that madness diminishing. If that’s the case, this beautiful and rare 5513 is actually a safe bet.
Find this 3-6-9 Explorer 5513 here from Xupes for an undisclosed sum.