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Old 28 April 2018, 05:27 AM   #1
phillip ridley
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Father to son 1966, 5513

Usually I hear about how lucky one was to locate a beautiful piece like this, but in this situation how a father passes his daily wearer to his son. I am sure the owner will post the story on this thread.

This watch was stored away for many years until the owner decided to look into having it serviced. When the watch arrived, it was missing original hands, bracelet, dry and dirty. Were able to source NOS hands, 66' stamp 7206 bracelet and get the watch running to Rolex specs. One other thing I noticed about this watch, was the dial. In certain angles, you will see how a portion of the dial has started to fade to a light tropic color. Overall, a really cool piece to be passed down from one generation to another.
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Last edited by phillip ridley; 28 April 2018 at 06:12 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 28 April 2018, 05:47 AM   #2
gsg
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Wow, what a jackpot with the hands! How did you manage to find a set so closely matching the dial in color? These are not relumed, correct?
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Old 28 April 2018, 05:48 AM   #3
SgWatchBaron
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Excellent watch. Excellent dial. Lovely matching patina on the hands. However, the hands are definitely not period, as they are a later curved set.
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Old 28 April 2018, 06:12 AM   #4
phillip ridley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgWatchBaron View Post
Excellent watch. Excellent dial. Lovely matching patina on the hands. However, the hands are definitely not period, as they are a later curved set.
Correct, thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 28 April 2018, 06:17 AM   #5
albaserver
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Great watch! Love it... Congrats.
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Old 28 April 2018, 06:50 AM   #6
sensui
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Very nice.
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Old 28 April 2018, 06:58 AM   #7
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History of this 5513

I would like to thank Phillip for his enthusiasm over my father Markís 1966 Meters First Gilt-Glossy Rolex Submariner 5513. If you are interested in the history of this piece read on. If not there are plenty of pictures.

This watch has always held strong sentimental value as one of the few things I have to remember my father by. Phillipís interest in the history of the watch and the factors that lead the dial to age has motivated me take a step back and look at the watch more objectively. While this watch sparked my interest in watch collecting I have never felt totally at ease wearing it. It has been in my possession going on 30 years but it still does not feel like my watch. In my mind it will forever be my fathers. The story of this watch is also the story of my fatherís final years of life. The changes in the dial and patina are a result of the trials he put this watch through.

From 1966 through my fatherís death in 1973 this watch enjoyed the hard use a Rolex Submariner is made to endure. The dial has taken on a dark chocolate brown hue and the tritium lume has aged into a deep creamy yellow. This watch was produced during a period when Rolex used a paint/lacquer on the dial with the potential for unpredictable aging. It seems that extreme UV exposure followed by years of complete darkness triggered some of the watches with this paint/lacquer on the dial to change, each in their own way. Over the past decade I have noticed the dial becoming brown and expect this to continue. Happily, the color change is very even.

The story of this watch begins with my Grandfather. After returning from serving his country in Europe during WW2 my grandfather settled into becoming a Jeweler in NYC. He was one of the early tenants of the Jewelers Exchange on 47th street. My father was born in 1947 and at the age of 17 left home to join the Airforce. He was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu and in Japan. He returned home to Long Island after a few years of service and joined the Merchant Marines working around the NY area.

Rolex serial number 138XXXX , a gilt-glossy dialed 5513 that was to become my fathers was produced first quarter of 1966. This would have made it one of the late production gilt-glossy dialed 5513ís before they transitioned to the much more common matte dial. I do not know why my Grandfather gave his 19yo son this watch nor the specific occasion. Perhaps he felt this was one of the few watches that could keep up with my fatherís activities. There were not many options for waterproof watches at that time and the Submariners reputation as a durable workhorse was already being minted.

In 1967 with the 5513 on his wrist Mark traveled west to Laguna beach to surf and enjoy everything else happening in California during the late 60ís. In 1968 he moved back to the Hawaiian Islands.

His occupations over the following 6 years included:
Diver for black coral on Maui
Salvage diver on Maui
Paniolo on the Big Island. (Hawaiian cowboy running cattle)
Deck mate of University of Hawaii research ship

Mark worked to afford his play. One activity was big wave surfing on the North Shore of Oahu during the winter season. The late 60ís were the early years for big wave surfing. In talking to his friends who were there with him, Mark was known to venture out on the bigger days when most would keep to the safety of the shoreline.

Mark was an avid offshore fisherman and was sponsored by Shakespeare fishing rods. In addition to fishing the Hawaiian Islands he fished his home waters off of Long Island as well as Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Markís younger brother Michael tell stories of how if the fishing wasnít working out and the seas were high Mark would run his center console as hard as he could until Michael would get sea-sick and have to jump overboard to alleviate the nausea.

All of these activities were while wearing this watch which are a testament to the engineering and the durability of the Rolex Submariner. I doubt he ever had the watch serviced or gave any care to keeping it safe. The Submariner was designed as a tool watch and he used it as such.

In December of 1973 Mark was killed in a rollover Jeep accident while wearing the watch. The roll-bar of his Jeep collapsed crushing him under the car. Markís Submariner survived and his girlfriend put his 5513 in a shoe box for the next 15 years until it she gave it to me when I turned 18. Its existence was unknown to me and it was a great surprise to receive the watch. Prior to that all I had of my fathers was his hunting knife.

Markís watch came to me on a dry-rotted leather strap still covered in his blood from the day of the accident. I remember discarding the leather strap and cleaning off the watch. We took the watch for service where they lubricated the movement and polished the plexi which was badly gauged and scratched up. The jeweler sourced a 93150 Oyster bracelet which Markís watch was mounted to. I recall him recommending this choice over the year correct rivet model.

Markís Rolex has now traveled though 3 generations of my family. It was on my fatherís wrist when I was born. I wore it to High School, College, and Medical School graduations. It was on my wrist for my important life milestones including my wedding and the birth of my daughter. However, it mostly was stored away safely in a dark place letting the dial age as it has.

One fun adventure Markís 5513 has joined me on was the photoshoot for Porsche Excellence Magazine on a 1973 911 hotrod that I restored. While driving the photographer snapped a picture from inside the car that was unplanned but really welcome when I discovered how it captured Markís watch on my wrist.

My thanks to Phillip Ridley for his expert service and for educating me on how uniquely this 5513 has aged. His service and communication were first class. Phillip was able to source a year correct 1966 stamped Swiss 7206 bracelet as well as install a vintage correct color matched bezel pearl. The original T19 crystal wouldnít pressure test 15 years ago so a service crystal was mounted back then. Phillip fitted a correct T19 which domes more than the service ones. Additionally, NOS color matched tritium hands were sourced from a seller in England and the match to the dial is better than I could have hoped.

Someday when I am gone my daughter will take over caring for this special piece of my family history. I have already told her it will be hers. It is special that a Meters First Tropical Gilt-Glossy Dialed Rolex 5513 gets to link us. In part I have put these thoughts and memories down as a memoir to my daughter so that she can read this someday. Thank you for taking the time to hear about Markís 5513. The process of writing this has given me opportunity to think about my father, this Rolex and all of the related circumstances.

I'm open to questions and comments on the watch.

I will post pictures of history of the watch separately.
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:02 AM   #8
NOPDK
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Pictures of Mark with watch

From a picture from 66/67 when he first received the watch to pictures with me as a child with Mark and the watch on his wrist.
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:03 AM   #9
NOPDK
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Mark surfing north shore of Oahu

with the 5513 on his wrist
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:13 AM   #10
NOPDK
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Pictures of Mark with watch

Picture of me at 3yo with Dolores who kept watch safe for me all of those years.

Picture of Mark with his dog Hunter and watch on wrist on sailboat which he lived on for a period of time when he first got back to Hawaii.

Mark with watch on wrist and my uncle Michael in their air force uniforms teasing me with one of my toys. There is a great 8mm family movie of the shenanigans.

Mark ready to go surfing
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:17 AM   #11
NOPDK
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Pictures of Mark with watch

Me with watch on my wrist at 18yo with my grandmother. Taken soon after Dolores gave the watch to me.

Picture of watch before H.S. Prom.

Picture of watch at college graduation

Picture of watch at Medical school graduation
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:21 AM   #12
NOPDK
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Porsche excellence photoshoot

1973 911 R Gruppe hotrod
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:27 AM   #13
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Great story and canít wait to see more. Thanks for sharing with us.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:29 AM   #14
NOPDK
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Picture of my daughter

wearing the watch around 5 years ago. I think it will look great on her wrist.

Also some pictures of watch before Phillip recently serviced it. The hands on it in these pictures were gold color matched painted hands. The new hands we sourced are color matched OEM tritium hands.
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Old 28 April 2018, 12:44 PM   #15
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Awesome story, beautiful daughter, fantastic watch. Your dad would certainly be very proud! I really enjoyed the read and realize it must have been very difficult to share such personal details. This will definitely be a priceless memoir for your daughter and a great supplement to the gorgeous timepiece. In the meantime, wear the shit out of it and always enjoy it in good health. BTW, beautiful '73 911. Keep living the dream brother.
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Old 28 April 2018, 04:45 PM   #16
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Hi , Thankyou for sharing this awesome story , Priceless memories and what a Watch , I can understand how important this watch is too you priceless , Keep it safe and enjoy it remember its to be worn , Thankyou to P.Ridley as well

My Favourite post in a very long time
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Old 28 April 2018, 07:12 PM   #17
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You are a splitting image of Mark!

Your story makes me sob. Despite your dad's unfortunate and untimely passing, you carried on his legacy by doing well in life and enjoying the finer things in life.

Thanks for sharing the story of Mark. I hope he is in a better place and in peace.

Keep the photos coming!
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Old 28 April 2018, 09:07 PM   #18
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Enjoying my morning coffee reading this fantastic thread. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 28 April 2018, 09:16 PM   #19
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I love these stories! You look just like your dad too! I’m sure he’s looking down smiling that you’re keeping it in the family while your living to its fullest! All the best
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Old 28 April 2018, 10:37 PM   #20
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Great watch and amazing story. Such an awesome time capsule and reminder of all these life stories. Thank you for sharing!

Ben
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Old 28 April 2018, 10:44 PM   #21
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Thanks for this very moving story - I hope this watch will stay in your family for a long time!
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Old 28 April 2018, 10:51 PM   #22
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this is amazing. these stories are so beautiful and the reason why I have become such a big fan of vintage watches.

one day my child shall have my watch as well.
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:04 PM   #23
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Great story. The watch looks so nice now. I, too, have my father's watch and there are pictures of him wearing it when holding me as a baby or playing when I was a child. Cool links to the past, for sure.
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:16 PM   #24
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Father to son 1966, 5513

What a phenomenal story and such powerful pictures to go along with it!!

Thank you and Phillip for bringing this to light.

This is why the TRF community is so special, because of its people and their stories. The watches over time happen to be incidental.
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:30 PM   #25
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Wow that is a great read getting the watch 15 years later. Your daughter im sure will cherish it and pass it along when the time is right .. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28 April 2018, 11:34 PM   #26
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Thank you for sharing this story with us.

This is one of the best threads on TRF
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Old 29 April 2018, 12:46 AM   #27
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Great thread! Thanks for the read -congrats and condolences.
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Old 29 April 2018, 01:11 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsg View Post
Wow, what a jackpot with the hands! How did you manage to find a set so closely matching the dial in color? These are not relumed, correct?

I have the original hands which have perfect lume but the metal portion has bubbled and oxidized. 15 years ago I sourced gold hands which were painted and color matched to dial. With this service with Phillip I wanted to make the watch as correct as possible. Phillip sourced the year matched bracelet and crystal for me. For the hands I located a seller in England selling a set of NOS hands and from the scans the color looked close. I sent the funds and crossed my fingers they were real and matched. They are indeed tritium NOS hands and by luck the color is spot on. Was surprised and thrilled how well they worked out.

When I inherited the watch in 1988 there was no pearl in the bezel. I wanted a vintage correct pearl and was able to source one from Vitaly who posts often on the forum. He was great to purchase from and pearl worked out great as well.
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Old 29 April 2018, 05:43 AM   #29
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[QUOTE=NOPDK;8527003]I would like to thank Phillip for his enthusiasm over my father Markís 1966 Meters First Gilt-Glossy Rolex Submariner 5513. If you are interested in the history of this piece read on. If not there are plenty of pictures.

I'm seriously pleased for you, what an inheritance to have,

I purchased a 5513 dated 1968, Mine has a 1520 Calibre movement, the photos of yours doesn't indicate whether its a 1520 or a 1530 Calibre, was Phillip able to advise to which it is? as for the restoration work, wow.. I'm very impressed, be proud
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Old 29 April 2018, 05:45 AM   #30
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x2

Quote:
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Thank you for sharing this story with us.

This is one of the best threads on TRF
In total agreement,
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