This is a very rare watch, dating back to the first Comex Submariners produced, with model number 5513 and case back engraved with Rolex crown then ROLEX COMEX and the Comex watch number, in this case 39X. This watch is referred to as a pre-Comex because it is not as recognizable as the later model 5514, on which the dial is signed COMEX.
Comex watches were outfitted with helium release valves, so this 5513 can properly be considered both a Submariner and a Sea-Dweller. These legendary and highly collectable watches pioneered the technology that we are accustomed to today, namely indestructible purpose-built tool watches for the professional diver (for whom the regular Submariner was not sufficient).
What Comex watches have in common, and make them different from all other Rolex watches, is that they were never sold through Rolex retailers. Instead, the watches were bought by the company Comex for their divers and issued to them. When the divers departed the company, they were free to take their watches.
It is believed that no more than 300 of these 5513 pre-Comex watches were made. No one knows how many survive to this day, but they are rare to be sure.
Original stainless steel case is 40mm with thickness of 14mm. Helium escape valve on the 9 o’clock case side. Screw down crown. Original bezel with original insert, which correctly turns in both directions. Case is mint. Serial number 2800XXX dates watch to 1970. Serial number is also engraved in inside case back along with ‘5513’.
Original untouched black dial, considered a maxi dial by some collectors, with uniform and pleasing patina. Original hands.
Rolex automatic winding Caliber 1570 movement with 26 jewels and adjusted to 5 positions and temperature. Movement is clean and running.
Rolex heavy link Oyster bracelet with flip-lock clasp.
Considering that this watch no doubt spent countless hours deep underwater, it is in mint condition. Comex divers were required to return their watches to Rolex every 6 months for service