Rolex Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner reference 5513 from 1966 with a gilt dial aka “Bart Simpson”

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner reference 5513 from 1966 with a gilt dial aka “Bart Simpson”

Brand: Rolex
Model: Oyster Perpetual Submariner
Reference: 5513
Gender: male/uni-sex
Year: 1966
Material: stainless steel
Dial Color: black
Dimensions: 40mm
Watch Movement: automatic
Bracelet/Strap: stainless steel
Box/Paper: WRIST ICONS watch pouch if ordered at WRIST ICONS
Condition: EXCELLENT

The Rolex Bart Simpson 5513 has only been produced in 1965 and 1966. This is a really rare and beloved specific type of Submariner due to the transitional tritium gilt dial in combination with the coronet styled similar to Bart Simpson’s haircut.

Now let’s get a bit deeper into this watch. It’s a 1966 Rolex 5513 with a gorgeous faded Long 5 MK2 bezel and it comes on a riveted Oyster bracelet marked 66/3. I particularly like the vintage look and feel of this beautiful rugged diver. This is vintage at its best. These Bart Subson ;-) dials are particularly vulnerable to "crazing" a funky aging of the lacquer, but which can give a great natural vintage look to a watch.

Please do not under estimate the power of p...., patina. Patina is the stuff that makes us collectors go crazy. It’s the stuff that turns watch collectors into animals beyond human. Hunting night and day, searching for the patina prom Queen and grails. In that world this Bart Simpson can be your KING or gilt daddy. This is the last version of the Rolex Submariner gilt dials with tritium on the hour markers. The watch is used but not abused, some even might say it’s pre-loved with the right kind of respect. Not bad for a 54 year old piece of tool!  

So what is a gilt dial?

Rolex produced the 5513 reference meters first for only a very short period with a gilt dial. The gilt dial sub was only produced from 1962 until 1967. Now begin with the question

what exactly is a “gilt” dial, and why is it so highly coveted? As some may know, the very definition of the word gilt is “covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint”. It is important to understand the technique how a gilt dial was actually made. The gilt writing on Rolex dials was in fact done first and afterwards a lacquer coating was placed on top of the dial.

So how are these gilt dials exactly produced?

The gold colour on a gilt dial is not ink, but the underlying metal, revealed in negative relief. To produce these dial you have to follow these steps:

  • 1-make a brass dial
  • 2-polish the brass dial
  • 3-the dial can then also be gold, silver or copper plated
  • 4-the desired design — text, name, logo, markers — is printed or stamped with a special clear coating which is soluble, non-conductive ink.
  • 5-paint is galvanically applied to the dial; the applied clear coating prevents this paint from binding to those parts of the dial. This is done in a galvanic tank in an electrical process similar to gold plating. The colour is most commonly black, but it doesn’t have to be, the same process can be used to create any coloured dial.
  • 6-to reveal the dial design the plate is ‘washed’, removing the soluble ink and allowing the bare metal to shine through.
  • 7-to add extra text, the process can be repeated if further layers of colour are desired for the final design
  • 8-lastly, a clear lacquer coating is added to the dial to give it a “glossy”, shiny finish

Needless to say this is a very laborious and intensive process.

Some characteristics of the transitional Simpson dial:

Due to Rolex’s previous inconsistencies in dial printing techniques, the coronet seemed to slowly evolve depending on which year a dial was produced in, and who was manufacturing the dials. I like to think of this as somewhat of a blessing in disguise, as it’s given us compelling dials like what we now know as the Bart Simpson. Essentially, these examples made predominantly in 1966 featured a considerably more short and stout version of the coronet that seems to resemble the head and hair of the mischievous cartoon character, Bart Simpson.

How to recognize a Rolex 5513 Bart Simpson:

  • 1-“Meters first” displaying the depth capability in meters (200m) before the equivalent depth in feet (660ft).
  • 2-Steel hands. These watches also were among the very last Subs made with gilt dials and during this transitional period most of them came with steel hands.
  • 3-The "L" in Rolex is all the way to the left of center and underneath the coronet
  • 4-The "P" in Perpetual is directly under the extended part of the serif on the "L" in Rolex.
  • 5-When you look at the depth rating and the text below it,
      • a-the 2 and the 0 are directly over the S and the U in Submariner,
      • b-the 6's are open,
      • c-and the horizontal marks of the "f" and "t" are aligned.

Bart Simpson and patina

As stated earlier, Rolex discontinued the gilt dial on the 5513 in 1967, so that makes Bart Simpson dials somewhat of a transitional reference within a reference. This can be further seen through the use of steel hands. Additionally, you’ve probably seen Simpson dials before with a bumpy, near-matte surface. If gilt dials were made with a glossy finish, then why is this you ask? Well, when these dials had completed the printing stage of production, they were then finished with a thin coating of clear lacquer. In their early years, they would’ve had a mirror-like surface to the dial, but after years of sunbathing and deep-sea endeavours, several examples have aged to acquire an interesting granular surface. All of these factors make for an incredibly interesting sub-reference.

Condition report

This stunning example of the Rolex Submariner 5513 reference comes with a  rare "Bart Simpson" Gilt Dial is in really good honest vintage condition. It has all the good part, such as period correct bracelet and bezel what makes this a great looking vintage piece.

This Submariner has a stunning and rare gilt meters first “Bart Simpson” Rolex coronet dial. The dial that has a beautifully even gloss black paint with uniform crazing of the lacquer but no cracking, and full and intact lume plots with an excellent matching hand set. Super dome plexi crystal, under which the dial markers are warm and creamy with sharp and bold gilt text, a truly original and well preserved dial that classes this example in the premium range for condition.

If you’re looking for an honest and no questions example, this is it, a true rarity as these rarely become available in this condition. Check the high res pics, even more stunning in the flesh, and no disappointments.

  • Dial: Original beautiful Bart Simpson gilt dial. The dial has a really nice even patina with a kind of creamy colour tritium. The lacquer of this dial has a beautiful even and consistent crazing of the lacquer on top of the black galvanized painted brass gilt dial
  • Hands: Original Tritium steel hands. The creamy patina of the hands match the patina of the hour markers perfectly.
  • Case: case has been polished before. The lugs are still thick & even showing bevels.. lugs and crown guards that has been well preserved and looked after. Reference & serial numbers are fully legible. Case shows wear but very reasonable for its age (Please see pictures). Inside case and movement is sharp and ultra clean with no corrosion, beautifully aged. Correct original single coronet double lock crown (without later 3 dots). Serial number in the correct range with clear numbers between lugs and correct inner caseback stamp dating it to third Quarter - 111/1966. , The serial number range for the dial is typically in the 1.4 to 1.5 mil range, with examples also being seen a little earlier and a bit later in the 1.3 mil and 1.6 mil serial number range as well
  • Bezel: really nice LONG 5 bezel. The LONG 5 bezel is the earliest bezel without the red triangle faded from black to grey. This bezel was only produced for a very short time in the mid 1960s. The bezel has its original tritium pearl. The key tell on this one is the long five feature in the 50 marker.  It is the interior of the five that is elongated vertically rather than in the MK1 which is square..
  • Bracelet: excellent Rolex riveted 7206/80 bracelet with ‘Patented’ (SIC) inscription and correct matching end links with minimal stretch also for its age. Bracelet has some stretch and wear but is in really great wearable condition.
  • Movement: Bought serviced. Just checked by our watchmaker.. Running perfectly with a one year service warranty. The watch carries the self-winding automatic 1520 movement polished decorations and circular Côtes de Genève finishing. The movement features 26 jewels and a bi-directional central rotor, beating at 19,800 A/h, with a power reserve of 42-hours. The movement is clean, and during the time of testing the watch was fully functional.
  • Accessories: None.
  • Notes: Absolutely stunning example of a super desirable Rolex Submariner 5513 with an attractive dial, original hand, original bezel and original riveted bracelet. Very hard to find these in this condition.

Overall, the Rolex Submariner 5513 is noteworthy, both for its design and execution. This Rolex Submariner 5513 is remarkably well preserved. 

As with all of our pre-owned watches this watch comes with a full 12 month warranty with ourselves that will be invoked from the day of purchase. Viewings can be arranged at our office by appointment.

This particular watch has just undergone a full service. This work was carried out by our Rolex authorized watchmaker using Rolex parts.

As with all of our pre-owned watches this watch comes with a full 12 month warranty with ourselves that will be invoked from the day of purchase.

If you put it on your wrist, you feel you have locked and Wrist Icon!

  • Brand: Rolex
  • Model: Submariner
  • Serial number: 15144**
  • Reference: 5513
  • Year: Circa 1966
  • caliber: Automatic 1520 movement w/date
  • Case: It has a stainless steel case with screw down case back. waterproof screw-down crown, rotatable time-lapse diver's bezel, acrylic crystal.            Excellent case with reasonable wear from use. Inner caseback has printed III 66
  • Bezel and insert: comes with a lightly faded fat font LONG 5 Mark II bezel insert ( first fat font after the red triangle MARK I. It is a sharp original bezel with original "Hooked 5" insert with Tritium dot present.
  • Dimensions: 40 mm diameter;
  • Crystal: Plexiglass
  • Dial: trasnmitional gilt meters first bart Simpson dial with warm creamy tritium hour markers.
  • Caliber: automatic-winding caliber 1520
  • Bracelet/Strap: stainless steel Rolex 7206/80 period correct rivited folded oyster bracelet with a Rolex signed  flip lock buckle. It wears really good, Bracelet dated to 4 66(3th quarter 1966) and has 11 links + the original PATENTED diver extension. Bracelet has been polished and the Rolex crown on the clasp is nice & fully working
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Box/Papers: only watch


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