by John Field
has been some talk on the forum recently about the last run of gilt
gloss dials for the Rolex Submariner aka the "Bart Simpson" dial.
While this may be a bit pedestrian for some of the vintage collectors here, I thought it might be helpful to compare the "Bart Simpson" gilt gloss dial to the more classic gilt gloss dial that immediately preceded it. I must confess that I learned something myself.
Photos used with permission from Andrew Shear.
The "Bart Simpson" dial, so named because of the odd shaped coronet resembling the odd shape of Bart Simpson's head, is considered by collectors to be the last run of gilt gloss dials for the 5512 and 5513 before the change to the matte dials. As such, 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.
Starting from the top of the dial, its easy to spot the coronet for which the dial is named. But, I don't want to stop there because I think it's important for collectors to know the other nuances about the dial to make sure that the dial has not been altered/repaired/restored etc.
So here goes:
....The "L" in Rolex is all the way to the left of center and underneath the coronet
....The "P" in Perpetual is directly under the extended part of the serif on the "L"
....When considering the depth rating and the text below it, the 2 and the 0 are
directly over the S and the U in Submariner, the 6's are open, and the horizontal
marks of the "f" and "t" are aligned.
I have seen examples of the more classic coronet seen below in the very
late 1.0 mil serial range, it is typically seen in the 1.1 to 1.3 mil
serial range prior to the "Bart Simpson". Please allow that there is
some overlap during the transition of this dial to the "Bart Simpson"
dial. It is also common to see this dial with an underline in the serial
range that correspond to 1963.
Again starting from the top of the dial it is evident that this coronet is shaped with, shall I say cleaner lines than the "Bart Simpson"?
Other differences are as follows: ....While the "L" in Rolex is to the left of center and underneath the coronet, the "P" in Perpetual is farther to the left and underneath the "L" in Rolex. ....The shape of the letter "S" in Submariner is distinctly different on this dial than the "Bart Simpson" dial. ....The horizontal marks on the "f" and "t" in the depth rating are not aligned as they are on the "Bart Simpson” dial