Rolex OysterQuartz



You know the easiest way to tell if a Rolex is fake? If the second hand ticks.

No, Mr.authority on vintage Rolex. This is the OysterQuartz -you're wrong and it's awesome.

Let's talk about quartz and what I think is, the bad wrap it gets. Quartz watches are powered by battery, they're hyper accurate and often times, they're extremely inexpensive – they were marketed as the future of time telling. Due to their accuracy, futuristic narrative and relative affordability, they reached enormous retail success – they changed the wristwatch world. For the mechanical houses, It was catastrophic. Everyone From small guys to top shelf – were suffocated, many into failure. They were too expensive, old school and inaccurate – they were no longer the choice of the public.

In 88, Swiss watch houses employed less than a third the people they did not even 2 decades before.

So yes, the incredible success of the quartz movement caused much pain in the mechanical world. But not all that ticks is evil, let's dive in.

This Rolex OysterQuartz, a reference 17000 is a prime example of the goodness I speak of. Manufactured in 1978, just a year after the introduction of the reference, it's an early one.

Its powered by the 5035 caliber, a movement that took Rolex nearly five years to fully develop. It includes 11 jewels and a 32khz oscillator and its existence was praised – one of the few truly high quality quartz movements to date.

Let's jump into my favorite element here: the design. It's angular, decisive and as sharp as the ticking it does. It takes fundamental cues from Gentas Royal Oak but its executed in a very fresh Rolex way.

And since this example is so incredibly crispy, minty and fresh (damn, that sounds like a toothpaste slogan) that remarkable design has remained clear, unmolested. I've only held a handful of OysterQuartz'es and this example, not to pat myself on the back, stands above them all.

And how about that dial? An untouched, unstained, bright white Buckley dial accented by powdery custard Tritium lume. Holy cow.

In the 25 years the OysterQuartz line was in production, less than 25000 examples are said to have been produced. By Rolex standards, considering they produce about 700,000 watches per year, that's a very small number.

Quartz didn't almost kill the mechanical watch industry, consumers did. They knew what they wanted and no matter how much I disagree, their money was green and I can't hate them for not sharing my passion for craftsmanship. But to look on the bright side, without that technological advancement, this never would have happened. This razor sharp, oddball, extremely well but vintage Rolex never would have been a thing and I never would have been able to say this: I am incredibly proud to own it, and even more so proud to be officially offering it for sale at the watch shop at T&H!

Technical Specs:
Maker: Rolex
Model: OysterQuartz
Case Diameter: 36 millimeters
Lug Width: 20 millimeters
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Condition: Great condition, no serious nicks or scratches
Dial Condition: Good condition, regular fading
Bracelet: Original Rolex bracelet
Movement: Quartz