Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date Ref. 19018 - Birchwood Dial
The First Rule of Rolex: Rolexes Don’t Tick. (except when they do?)
It used to be that they way you knew a fake Rolex from a real one, was that Rolexes didn’t tick. They were known for that gentle perpetual sweeping motion. Surely a brand as vaunted as Rolex would never make a battery powered watch. Wrong.
The 1970s were an interesting time for the watch industry. The Great Quartz Crisis from Japan offered the world better quality watches, that were more accurate, more reliable, and eventually more affordable. A bit of the kiss of death for mechanical watchmaking at the time - even the best of automatic watches will still lose accuracy overtime - something a quartz watch never has to contend with. Many of the great Swiss watch brands disappeared during this time. Brands like Universal Geneve, Gallet, Zodiac, and even Blancpain were wiped away some to disappear for decades. Rolex responded with their own version of the quartz watch - they called it the Oysterquartz. Housed in a more style-forward angular sports case that was desired in the 1970s and using an in-house quartz movement … this is a real battery powered Rolex watch!
These are extremely rare - as they did not stay in the lineup for long. By the middle of the 1980s, the Swiss watch industry was able to pivot and re-establish itself as a luxury product worthy of higher prices that could justify the cost and complexity of making a mechanical watch. So this Oysterquartz is massively important in the history of Rolex representing the only time in its century of business that it was ever under siege in a truly threatening way.
The present example is an upmarket and very “of-its-time” OysterQuartz Day-Date with an exceedingly rare birch dial. You read that right, a BIRCH dial - not the more common burlwood that you see. When comparing this dial to to burlwood you will notice that it has much lighter color which allows for the graining to really shine through in both natural, and direct light. Furthermore the condition of the case is excellent with a well sized bracelet. If you’re going to do 80s, then go full 1980s!
*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting
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From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.
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