Finds Vintage

Wabi-Sabi Gilt 5512 Submariner


I think what appeals to me so strongly in a tropical watch is that it’s a massive middle finger to the idea of putting a watch in a safe and waiting for appreciation. I like watches to be used as intended—embracing the effects as a consequence of a life well spent (this is also why I have a mild alcohol dependence). Some of you, I know, hate the tropical watch trend. It’s knackered, defective, and faulty . . .I’ve heard it all. But I defy any of you to tell me that this 5512 is not more beautiful for its ageing: the very definition of wabi-sabi. It’s not particularly rare. The two-line gilt 5512 is certainly a collected reference, but not like patent-pending-1665 rare. It would take something special to feature one. This is, in my view, is just that.


The 5512/5513 was the blueprint for all modern subs. Sure there are 6538s and Turn-O-Graphs, but I really feel that the modern DNA begins with the pointed crown guard case. A true sub silhouette needs crown guards for me. Bond collectors aside, I don’t know what else you’d be looking for in an early gilt sub. It’s memorable, entirely unique, and has been lovingly worn daily. If this doesn’t turn you on, this probably isn’t your site.


You wont find another 5512 with an evenly brown-burgundy-purple dial and perfectly matched bezel. Not to mention with full lume present and yellowed. Even the gilt is completely intact. There is a light spidering across the dial which you often see in this generation. Some find spidering attractive, others not. The PCG case is strong with full shape. It’s on a correct riveted oyster 6636 bracelet. This one has everything but the box and papers, though I don’t think anyone who wants this piece would really care.

Find this 5512 here from Bulang & Sons for an undisclosed sum.

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