What is a Rolex maxi dial?
If you’ve been browsing Rolex watches, you have certainly come across the term ”Maxi dial”. But what does this mean, which Rolex watches have it and when was it introduced?
This is what we are going to look closer at in this article.
What is a Rolex Maxi Dial?
The term Maxi Dial refers to the larger markers, hour, and minute hands-on Rolex watches.
The Maxi Dial is a standard dial version of all modern Rolex sports watches (except Daytona) currently in production and has been so since the discontinuation of the Submariner reference 16610 2010.
The term Maxi dial was first used in 2013 when the Anniversary Submariner reference 16610LV was introduced. Unlike the 16610, the watch has larger markers and hands which improve legibility.
Following this, vintage watch enthusiasts started using the term ”Maxi Dial” to describe certain vintage watches that also feature larger-than-normal luminous hour markers, specifically some Submariner and GMT-Master versions.
Therefore, whilst the term primarily refers to modern Rolex watches, it is also used to describe certain vintage watches.
On the GMT-Master II with Maxi Dial, the GMT hand is also fatter than the non-maxi versions.
Apart from the ceramic Submariner, Sea-Dweller, Deepsea Sea-Dweller, and GMT-Master II, the term Maxi Dial is often mentioned when talking about the anniversary Submariner 16610 because it is the first ”modern” Submariner with applied markers to feature these larger markers and hands.
Rolex models and Maxi Dial
- The GMT-Master II got the new maxi dial when the new ceramic version was introduced in 2007.
- The Submariner got the new maxi dial when the new ceramic version was introduced in 2010 (with the exception of some vintage watches for which the term is also used)
- The Sea-Dweller got the new maxi dial when the first ceramic version was introduced in 2014, the reference 116600.
- The Yacht-Master got the new maxi dial when the reference 16628 was released in 1992.
Some vintage Submariner and GMT-Master versions have what is referred to as a Maxi dial. For the GMT, this is some of the versions of the reference 1675.
Interesting to point out is that all other Maxi Dial versions in the Rolex lines feature maxi hour and minute hands except for the Submariner 16610 which only has the big minute hand. The markers and hour hands are regular-sized.
Rolex Submariner 5513 Maxi Dial
The Rolex Submariner reference 5513 was in production for a long time, and collectors have started to refer certain dial variations of this model as ”Maxi Dial”.
In fact, all of the matte 5513 dials made after 1975-1978 are maxi dials. Note, the information regarding the production period is not as clearly documented as they are today. Some sources state 1975, some 1976, and others 1978. But somewhere around this time period.
This means larger than normal hour markers. Another way to identify a maxi dial 5513 is by looking at the ”SUBMARINER” printing on the dial. On these variants, the Submariner printing is on top of the depth rating, but also wider than the depth rating printing beneath it – following the same as the ”no-date Submariners.” Unlike modern watches, the 5513 has a matte dial and painted markers instead of applied ones.
The production of the 5513 stopped in 1984, which put an end to the Maxi Dial Submariner 5513s as it was replaced by the black gloss dial with white gold surrounds.
When it comes to the 5513, there are five dial variations featuring the Maxi Dial. All of these have the ”SUBMARINER” printing above the depth rating except for the Maxi I dial which has “SUBMARINER” printed below the depth rating. All versions, however, have open 6s in the depth rating.
Maxi dial version 1 of the 5513
The first maxi dial version of the 5513 was introduced around 1975-1978 and the cases of these have an early to mid 5 mil serial to early 6.0 serial.
- This watch has the “=” sign in the depth rating directly above the “A” in “Submariner”.
- The ”S” in “SUBMARINER” is “zig zag S”, almost looking like a ”Z”
Maxi dial version 2 of the 5513
The Maxi II Dial is commonly seen in the 5 mil and early 6 mil stamped cases and was introduced in 1978. This was the first time that “SUBMARINER” would be printed above the depth rating in a matte dial. This dial does not have the serif on the depth rating. The S in ”SUBMARINER” is normal and does not appear to be a reversed ”Z”. Furthermore, the “=” is placed directly below and in the middle of the “A” in “SUBMARINER”
Maxi dial version 3 of the 5513
This version has large tritium hour plots that appear to touch the five-minute hash marks underneath. This is why it has acquired the nickname “lollipop”. This dial variation can be found in the cases stamped in the 5 to 6 mil range. It is believed to have been introduced around 1978.
Maxi dial version 4 of the 5513
The Maxi IV Dial is usually found in cases stamped in the late 6 mil to late 7 mil range and was introduced around 1981.
Maxi dial version 5 of the 5513
The Maxi V Dial is commonly found in cases stamped in the 7 mil to 8 mil range and was in production until around 1984 when the black gloss dial with white gold surrounds was introduced. The features of the Maxi V Dial include some characteristics in common with the Maxi II, III, and IV Dials in that “SUBMARINER” is printed above the depth rating. However, in this dial, the printed “SUBMARINER” text is longer than the depth rating below it.
2 thoughts on “What is a Rolex Maxi Dial? A Complete Guide”
would like to know earliest year for a submariner with all the newest innovations. With blue maxi dial and blue cerachon bezel, what can I expect to pay with box and papers and exc condition. What year did this model start?
If you are looking for this piece, the Submariner 116612LB, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to source it for you.