Throw back Thursday – The Golden Era of Gilt Dial Rolex

by bulang - Jun 11 2015

This week’s Throw Back Thursday is a classic piece from Bernhard’s ‘100 Percent Rolex’ blog about his love of Gilt Submariners! Enjoy…

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The Golden Era of Vintage Rolex

I love these watches. So often we see people chase ‘grails’ of the vintage Rolex world. I have done it, been there. Have owned almost all the grails i wished for. But after 6 years of roller-coaster and a more ‘mature’ look on our hobby i stepped away from the ‘reference’ rush. And i am more and more focused on sexy watches. With character. This is hell of a beauty….

Well when you look at grail-references… and finding them in great quality our hobby get’s rarer every day… and more expansive. But when you are in a ‘lower’ budget… what can you get these days.

Matte 5513/5512/1680/1675 are still icons and fantastic watches. Basic of every vintage collector. But then when you go up in sports… you can go like 1665 Seadweller, 1655 Explorer or Day-Date. Or you go gilt dial Submariner.

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These are so fantastic watches and so much sex for the money. You can find the submariners in reference 5512 from the late ’50th. And believe me.. it’s a world on it’s own! Quite some different configurations. Like different crown guards, dial versions… etc. Real cool. And beginning of the ’60th the reference 5513 came along. First also with pointed crown guards and a dial with a minutetrack around the markers. Then you get all the underline, white SWISS, double SWISS, exclemation mark… etc years… and later you find those gilt dials as shown. This one is from 1964 and is the perfect illustration of the Golden Era of Gilt Dial Rolex sports watches.

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As said… the 5512 and 5513 gilt subs are a science on it’s own. So many versions. And so much fun.
For me the gilt 5513 is the best watch for the money in the lower-to-medium range of collectors watches. They have such a great look on your wrist and are so warm. And with a dial like this one… there is nothing more to wish for. As soon light hits it.. it flashes right into your eys and makes you smile. So fresh.. so warm.. so vintage blast.

I like the combination of the superdomed plexi with the case and a thin bracelet. As Rolex design created them. The case really stands out from the rest. Right in your face. Not like the 80th/90th combination where the 93150 bracelet is so fat it seems like one bunch of metal with a dial melted into it.

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Nice case. Look at those markers.. i love them! And the inlay is so cool. purple/brownish!

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Gilt means gold print of the logo, depth and minute markers. You can see how the lacquer is applied on top of the gold. In some of the 5512 gilt prints like my brown dial you see the depth in silver is applied on top of the gloss lacquer.
Here is the image of the reference 5512 with the silver on top and the earlier minute track dial.

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And the 5513 with the later gilt dial.

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Sometimes i feel.. what more do we search for. And when you search one.. get the best one you can find. As more and more quality has become the guideline.
But as always… a watch has to make you smile.

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