Ode to the Oysterquartz

Ode to the Oysterquartz

So who is foolish enough to pay Rolex prices for a battery-powered engine? We would for the Oysterquartz in the right condition.

The Rolex Oysterquartz, which emerged in 1972 ended production in 2001, has a very unique look. The integrated case makes it standout and, of course, the lack of the sweeping seconds hand will have some not-so-knowledgeable folks wondering if you are wearing a fake.

Rolex Oysterquartz

Photo credit: Revolution.Watch

The Oysterquartz has an assortment of looks from two-tone, smooth or fluted bezel, a blue-dialed version and, of course the classic stainless steel with black dial. There’s even a white gold Day-Date version. While the Oysterquartz can’t compete with the extreme accuracy of modern High Accuracy Quartz watches from the likes of Citizen or Grand Seiko, it makes up for it in the charm department.

It wears similarly to a Datejust and we have a very good source, a watchmaker at Rolex Service Center, who tells us that Rolex will still service an Oysterquartz and has parts available for it. Some internet rumors say otherwise.

What’s great about a nice quartz watch is that you never have to worry about it winding down and it’s going to keep much better time than any mechanical watch. And when it does need a battery change a good watchmaker can easily do the job. Some people learn how to do battery changes themselves, which is another option.

A quick check of Bob’s Watches showed that Oysterquartz watches in good used condition can be had for just over $5K at the time of publication. This makes it one of the more affordable pre-owned Rolex options out there during a period of time where Rolex prices are through the roof.

Integrated cases are also a key selling point of the Oysterquartz. Given the current price points, it remains a (crazy to say) value in the integrated case steel sport watch category. Even if you can get your hands on a Royal Oak, it’s going to cost you a lot more. Of course you can go into a lower tier and pick up a Tudor North Flag, which is underrated, or one of those Bell & Ross BR05, which many will say looks like a Royal Oak/Nautilus clone. In our opinion, the Oysterquartz stands out on its own merits. There’s just nothing else that has that look that casual observes may think is a standard Datejust. (Note: There is an automatic Rolex ref. 1630 that uses the Oysterquartz style case.)

So if you are looking to own a piece of Rolex history, like integrated case designs and appreciate what a quality quartz movement can offer, the Oysterquartz is an ideal older Rolex match for you.

Check out our leather Watch Portfolio to store your collection.

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