The Models

 

Evolution of the Rolex Oysterquartz Datejust

Movement

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. 

 

Dial

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. 

 

Datejust

17000, 17013, 17014

 

Day-Date

19018, 19019, 19028, 19038, 19048, 19049, 19058, 19068, 19078, 19148, 19168

 

Bracelet

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.

Evolution of the Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date

Movement

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.

 

Dial

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. 

 

Case

While the Oysterquartz Datejust case lived unchanged from the birth in 1977 until the end in 2001, the case of the Oysterquartz Day-Date  went through significant changes in both brushing and shape.

 

Between year 1977 and 1985/1986 the brushing of the Oysterquartz Day-Date case was horizontal and the case had bevels. 

 

 

1985/1986 until 2001, the brushing of the case was vertical and there were no bevels on the case. Also the angle where the case meets the bracelet was slightly rounded. During 1985/1986 the Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date was stamped with a 9-million serial number.

 

Bracelet

The evolution of the Oysterquartz Day-Date bracelet follows the evolution of the case, meaning a bracelet on a horizontally brushed Oysterquartz Day-Date is also brushed horizontally, whereas a bracelet on a vetically brushed Oysterquartz Day-Date is vertically brushed.

Case

The apperance of the Datejust case has been the same during the entire lifetime with diagonal/concentric brushing of the lugs, vertical brushing of the area where the bracelet meets the case, polished sides of the case and polished bevels. 

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