Evolution of the Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust
When the Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust was introduced in 1977, the 5035 movements were not sent to COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Swiss official chronometer testing institute certifying movements in accuracy and precision). When Rolex did a change to the shape of the quartz crystal, the movement was also ready to be sent to COSC. The Oysterquartz Datejusts manufactured during the years of 1977 and 1978 carry the un-certified 5035 movement and all Oysterquartz Datejusts from approximately 1979 until the end of production 2001 carry the certified 5035 movement.
The un-certified 5035 movement was only fitted in the 17000 and 17013 Datejust watches, since the 17014 was introduced in the mid-80's when the 5035 had been certified for some years.
With an un-certified movement, the text Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified cannot be written on the dial. Consequently, the early Oysterquartz Datejust wathes have a dial lacking the Chronometer text. These dials only have the three lines Rolex, Datejust, Oysterquartz and are called Mark I dials or three-liners among Oysterquartz collectors.
Rolex Oysterquartz 1700 with Certified Chronometer text indicating it is of the second generation Oysterquartz watches with a COSC certified 5035 movement.
Rolex Oysterquartz 1700 without Certified Chronometer text indicating it is of the first generation Oysterquartz watches without the COSC certified 5035 movement.
The early 17000 Oyster bracelets (the reference of the bracelet is the same number as the reference of the watch) were held together with pins and not screws. After a few years, the 17000 bracelets were upgraded to instead have links attached to eachother with screws, which simplifies shortening/lengthening of the bracelet as well as gives a more durable construction. 17000 bracelets fitted on later wathes have reference 17000B. After examining a large number of 17000 Oysterquartz watches, it is clear that there is no correlation between pins/screws and 17000/17000B. This means that there are bracelets with reference 17000B having pins instead of screws.
It is quite interesting that the bracelet with reference 96660, that was fitted on the Rolex Date 1530 (the automatic Rolex introduced before the Oysterquartz which had the same apperance of case and bracelet as the 17000) did have screws. This means that Rolex "downgraded" the oyster bracelet to have pins during a few years, to later re-introduce the screws again.
The 17013 jubilée bracelet, fitted on the 17013 Oysterquarz, and the 17010 jubilée bracelet, fitted on the 17014 Oysterquartz both have screws and never had pins and all Oysterquartz bracelets for the Datejust are always brushed vertically on all links.
Rolex Oysterquartz 17000 carrying diagonal brushing on the case and vertical bruising on lugs and bracelet.
Evolution of the Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date
When the Day-Date was introduced in 1977 the movement was certified by COSC from the start and there was no change to the 5055 movement during the Oysterquartz Day-Date's lifetime.
Rolex has, or at least had, a tradition of offering a very wide range of dials to the Day-Date wathes, and the range of dials available for the Oysterquartz Day-Date is not as wide as for the automatic sibling, but significantly wider than for the Oysterquartz Datejust including African mahogany, walnut, all kinds of gems, textured dials etcetera.
Rolex Oysterquartz 19018 with walnut dial. This particular piece is equipped with Khanjar daggers of Oman.