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‘Watch in the Box’ Video Series: Episode 9

Paul Altieri

It’s time for a new installment of Watch in the Box! Episode 9 is out now!

Each week, countless packages arrive at our Newport Beach headquarters from all around the globe, and inside each box is a different luxury watch.  Join us for the latest episode of our Watch in the Box video series, where we pull aside one of the incoming boxes and open it up on camera, so that you can be part of the big reveal.

used OysterQuartz Rolex watches

Watch in the Box: Episode 9

If you are not already familiar with our Watch in the Box video series, be sure to visit our YouTube page, so you can watch all of the previous episodes and get caught up before watching the latest installment below.

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We receive thousands of pre-owned watches here at our Newport Beach headquarters, and for many of the boxes that come through our doors, we never know exactly what will be inside. The 9th episode of our Watch in the Box video series brings us a rare used Rolex model: the OysterQuartz Day-Date, which is powered by a quartz movement and features a unique angular case and an integrated bracelet. Very reminiscent of the era in which it was produced, the ref. 19018 Day-Date OysterQuartz is a notable addition to any vintage Rolex collection.

The OysterQuartz model was developed during what many collectors refer to as the “Quartz Crisis” of the 1970s. During this time, quartz watches were taking the industry by storm and threatened to topple many successful Swiss watchmaking companies. In an attempt to adapt to the latest watchmaking trend, Rolex developed the OysterQuartz line, which includes Date, Datejust, and Day-Date variations.

To distinguish their battery-powered line from the rest of their range, Rolex equipped the OysterQuartz with a contemporary case with more sharply-angled lugs and a sleek, integrated-style bracelet. The dial remains the same and more-or-less resembles a traditional Date, Datejust, or Day-Date timepiece.

The ref. 19018 that we have here today is a rare example of the line. The OysterQuartz itself is harder to come by on the secondary market with only about 25,000 pieces produced total throughout its roughly 25-year production run. Rolex produced even fewer of the solid 18k Day-Date variant, making it even rarer today.

In addition to featuring the line’s signature case and bracelet, the ref. 19018 is also characterized by a ticking seconds hand, which is usually a tale-tell sign of a counterfeit Rolex. However, the ref. 19018 (like all other OysterQuartz watches) is powered by a quartz movement, making the ticking hand both correct and commonplace.

The Rolex Day-Date is the brand’s signature flagship status symbol watch and has only ever been offered in precious metals. Its design always includes a precious metal finish (either solid gold or platinum) and a movement with a day and date complication.

The OysterQuartz variation follows the same design ethos by offering a satin and polished yellow gold finish and a similar dial. The case maintains a 36mm diameter, but now features a much more angular design, and the bracelet has a structure that appears to be integrated but actually includes a hidden 20mm spring bar. This feature allows the wearer to pop the bracelet off and replace it with a different bracelet of their choosing, giving them the best of both worlds.

At the time of its release, the OysterQuartz represented the latest in Rolex watchmaking technology and was considered a cutting edge luxury watch. While Rolex no longer manufactures any watches with quartz movements, the OysterQuartz line represents an important turning point in the brand’s history and has become highly sought-after by avid pre-owned Rolex collectors today.

Paul Altieri

Ripley is the Senior Editor at Bob's Watches. As a Los Angeles native with an interest in all things mechanical, Ripley has had a love for watches since a young age, when his mother gave him a children's Swatch to help teach him how to read the time. While most of his days are now occupied by the world of vintage and luxury timepieces, Ripley can often be found exploring the United States National Parks or running and hiking outside with his dog, Ziggy.