The classic 18038 Day-Date is an institution of luxury which stands outside of time, totally ageless, as an object of discreet taste. The Oysterquartz Day-Date is the sibling who wears pink floral print shirts to Michelin-star restaurants in the heart of Paris, the sibling who orders a double of Lagavulin neat from a craft cocktail bar. It’s alternative, a little brash, quirky, and probably a considerable margin more fun with an open mind. Not to everyone’s tastes by any stretch, but a great time to be had for a select few.
At the dawn of the quartz crisis, Rolex sought to develop their own movement far superior to the early ref. 5100 Beta 21 efforts. In 1977, their brainchild calibre debuted with a new angular integrated case design; the Oysterquartz. It featured a degree of over-engineering that really asks for an analogy to Mercedes of that era. Incredible finishing (truly, google it), ability to self-regulate for ambient temperature, 11 jewels, and eventual COSC certification. The Oysterquartz was available as both a Datejust and this halo-product Day-Date with calibre 5055.
Much like mechanical Day-Date analogues, a wide variety of metals, dials, bracelets, and details exist. This 19019 sports a champagne dial and 36mm case with the three-link style bracelet all in white gold (English Day wheel no less), one of the most desirable iterations out there. Fewer than 25000 Oysterquartz were ever produced and mostly in steel/yellow gold. Quality quartz movements have slowly re-entered the good graces of many more open-minded collectors recently, and this Day-Date makes a strong case. For a watch which wears far more boldly than its mechanical counterpart, the Oysterquartz does have a fantastic measure of style all its own.
This example is in remarkable condition. The case is full with strong transitions between the brushed and polished facets. We also observe a perfect dial, with a light cream tritium application. Its claps barely displays wear. It comes with a box but without papers from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this 19019 Oysterquartz here from Watches London for 25000 GBP.