Surfer From Oz Discovers Vintage Rolex Submariner 5513 On Pacific Ocean Seabed
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Surfer From Oz Discovers Vintage Rolex Submariner 5513 On Pacific Ocean Seabed

Surfer From Oz Discovers Vintage Rolex Submariner 5513 On Pacific Ocean Seabed


  • Australian surfer Matt Cuddihy needed no Rolex waitlist to bag himself a rare vintage watch recently while snorkelling in Noosa, Australia.
  • Currently in the Top 100 longboard surfers, he discovered a vintage Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 which although covered in debris was still ticking along.
  • Lodged between rocks, the watch was also discovered alongside seven surfboard fins. 
  • This follows a previous lost Rolex Submariner watch from 2016 near British Columbia that flew into the Pacific Ocean as a result of the watch flying off a fishing rod due to the bracelet snagging. It was eventually recovered 14 months later.


Surf’s Up


The ocean can sometimes be a perilous place. There can be all manner of objects and things lying around on the sea-bed. I mean hasn’t Jaws taught us anything? But how about laying your eyes on a vintage Rolex Submariner watch? Surely not?


Source: Adevarul

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That’s precisely what happened to surfer Matt Cuddihy. A genteel paddle one day turned into a horological find when he discovered a vintage Rolex Submariner stuck under some rocks at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Jackpot. 

Whether you are a novelty nerd or not, Rolex is synonymous with luxury watchmaking, responsible for some of the most iconic watches of all time. From the iconic Daytona (check out our new Le Mans Cosmograph Daytona article here) to the Datejust, Yacht-Master, GMT-Master II and of course the legendary Submariner, this Australian surfer totally lucked out on his adventures in Noosa. 

Submariner ref. 5513, Source:

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Considered one of the most popular coastal hotspots in Queensland, Australia, you would be seething if one of these watches ended up on the seabed. Yet, this timepiece was still fully functioning believe it or not despite being covered in gunk and nautical debris.


Talking Timepieces


Source: Instagram/Matt Cuddihy


So what did Matt Cuddihy actually say upon his luxury find?

“I was just snorkelling around the same areas I normally go to in Noosa, and there seemed to be a bit of sand that had shifted and exposed more rocks than normal. I found seven surfboard fins wedged between rocks. Looking over, I noticed a Rolex Submariner with its band caught under a rock. The glass was partially frosted over from the sand moving around it for so long,”

Talk about perfect timing! He explains further;

 ““It was just another beautiful day in Noosa, and for many years, I have been snorkelling around the points when there is no surf. Mostly just looking at fish and visiting the local turtles, I started noticing an influx of things that shouldn’t be there. So now I try to snorkel once a week with a mesh bag and fill it with garbage that ends up wedged in the rocks. Mostly surfboard fins and fishing lures. I took a photo with my GoPro, and I instantly laughed and thought it must have been a Bali knock-off,” he said.

But this was no 5 dollar backstreet job. Far from it. He then posted images of the Rolex on his Instagram account straight away and said he received a total of  “28 messages about the watch and none about the fins”. By the way, surfboard fins only cost around £150 if you intend to look for any more of these oh so popular dive watches.


Matt Cuddihy, Source: Matt Cuddihy


And despite the fact it had been there for quite some time, he couldn’t wait to do a show and tell all; 

“When I bought it in from the ocean, I washed it in some fresh water, and a lot of the sand, salt, and organisms came off. It smelt pretty bad and had some major corrosion to the bezel but the second hand was still moving. The crown is jammed, so it technically still tells the time – but not in my time zone.” He added

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Nice job Matt. Especially as vintage Submariners remain highly desirable among collectors who are looking to buy a Rolex. Now, the Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 has several recognisable elements for watch lovers such as acrylic crystal, non-COSC certified movement and 200 metres of water resistance. This is in contrast to more contemporary watches which boast 300 metres. 

You just never know if you don’t take the plunge! Plus, don’t even get us started on the patina on this tremendous timepiece that horophiles will no doubt salivate over.


What Are The Main Differences Between Ref. 5512 and Ref 5513?


Originally launched in 1958, the Rolex Submariner ref. 5512 was manufactured until 1978 whereas the Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 was unveiled four years later in 1962. As for production, it was discontinued but not until 1989. Due to the extensive production run, there were a number of different Submariner watches made over this prolonged period. 

However, as per the fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989 saw a new beginning emerge thanks to reference 14060 that was almost a like for like of the ref. 5513 but now enjoyed a calibre 3000 movement housed inside these watches. Don’t miss our exclusive review of the 41mm no date Rolex Submariner ref. 14060 here.

When it comes to the differences between ref.5512 and ref. 5513 they do look the same…on the face of it. Identical Oyster bracelet, bezel and even the same dial colour but with some noticeable yet understated differences. 

Reference 5512 shows double the lines of text (4 vs 2) compared to ref. 5513. Ref 5512 only displays the word “Submariner" and the water resistance rating. And of course ref 5512 is COSC certified whilst ref. 5513 does not possess this distinct feature. 

What avid timelords are more interested in is the lume and how it has aged as well as abrasions or any marks which will determine the value of a Submariner watch.

Features on how to value your watch on Chrono Hunter;


Does Reference 5512 or Reference 5513 Hold More Value?



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As desirability goes, the Submariner is still one of the best rolex watches for investment. However, in this case ref. 5512 holds more value because it is more exclusive as there are fewer watches of this nature, in contrast to ref. 5513 which had a longer production run until 1989…11 years less.

Yet, you can still buy a Rolex Submariner 5513 on the secondary market which Chrono Hunter would be delighted to assist with. After all, where else can you receive multiple offers on Rolex watches from a trusted network of luxury watch retailers! A great potential investment watch, talk to us here to begin your horological purchase or sale.

Previously measuring 40mm, ref. 5512 was larger and had crown guards that could be seen on both sides of the crown which you can see in many contemporary Submariners. Meanwhile, the depth rating on the dial stating 660ft = 200m was only introduced in 1967. And then there’s the lume which was composed of tritium which results in a beautiful, unique patina that avid horophiles go just nuts for.




Well, gent’s The Tale of the Lost Submariner. Sounds like something you’d only find in fairy tales…or perhaps the hottest show in London’s West End.

Though this time, this is certainly no fable! And it’s not the only occasion Aussie surfer Matt Cuddihy has uncovered a watch as he has also found an Apple smartwatch gathering dust among the coral and oceanic waters. Presently the newly found Submariner is residing with one of the surfer’s buddies who is a Rolex timepiece collector;

“He is getting it evaluated and checked out by some people that actually know what they are looking at.” he declared. 

In essence, Cuddihy has an empowering message that he intends to deliver to everyone aside from the timekeeping universe - clean the ocean. By raising awareness of what he finds on the seabed, he wants to show how important it is to maintain a pollution free ocean and take time out to appreciate the great outdoors. 

What we should praise (get ready Fatboy Slim) is ref. 5513 is without doubt the archetypal Rolex Submariner which opens up new opportunities for Rolex buyers as there are more in abundance. Plus it has the signature vintage aesthetics to boot including acrylic crystal and gilt dial. It doesn’t matter which reference you opt for, you are buying into arguably the legendary story of Rolex’s dive watch heritage that has stood the test of time for over half a century. 


Fancy a dip? Who knows what you might bring up to the surface next time? Though do keep the old swim shorts or tights!

Looking to buy a Rolex Submariner? Think now is the perfect time to sell your Rolex vintage watch? Whether purchase or sale, talk to Chrono Hunter and let us provide you with the best possible prices on all manner of Rolex watches. Contact us here to find out more and to save money the smart way. Benefit from our trusted network of luxury watch retailers and accept an offer which is right for you. Download our dedicated app today on either Apple or Android platforms and enjoy peerless service and stellar Trustpilot reviews showing we are your essential source when you decide to buy a watch or sell a watch.


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Further Reading: 

Is The Rolex Submariner A Good Investment?

Review: The Rolex Submariner 116610LV Hulk


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