Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz
The Day-Date Oysterquartz is the quartz-powered alternative to the conventional Day-Date. This watch has one the most elegant quartz calibers ever. Thanks to its integrated band, the timepiece manages to wed Day-Date chic with 70s charm.
Classic Rolex With a Quartz Caliber
The Day-Date Oysterquartz is one of the few Rolex models equipped with a quartz movement. The timepiece made its debut in 1977 and remained in the Genevan luxury watch manufacturer's catalog until the early 2000s.
For the most part, Rolex employed the same dial design and bezel as the mechanical Day-Date. But with its 36-mm tonneau-shaped case and integrated band, this watch is worlds apart from its mechanical sibling. For this model, Rolex borrowed heavily from other 1970s sports watches, in particular the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and IWC Ingenieur.
Just like the standard Day-Date editions, Rolex issues the Oysterquartz only in precious metals – in this case, 18-karat yellow or white gold. Some references are even decorated with diamonds or other gemstones.
The real star of the Day-Date Oysterquartz, however, is behind the scenes: the in-house caliber 5055, which is chronometer-certified and recognized as one of the best, most innovative quartz movements ever developed.
Reasons to Buy a Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz
- Precise, innovative quartz movement with day-date function
- Combines the Day-Date look with that of 1970s sports models
- Available in yellow or white gold
- Perfect unisex watch at 36 mm
How much does a Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz cost?
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, dial, bezel|
|19168 Octopus||180,000 USD||Yellow gold, gold, baguette-cut diamonds|
|19019||30,000 USD||White gold, champagne, fluted|
|19028||29,700 USD||Yellow gold, black, pyramid-shaped|
|19048||25,900 USD||Yellow gold, gold, diamond-set|
|19018||17,300 USD||Yellow gold, wood dial, fluted|
|19018||15,400 USD||Yellow gold, white, fluted|
Price Overview: Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz
Rolex produced myriad editions of the Day-Date Oysterquartz over the course its nearly 25-year production run. The price spectrum is thus broad, and ranges from around 12,600 to well over 150,000 USD. At the lower end of that range, you'll find simple yellow gold models with the reference number 19018, while rarer white gold editions with the reference number 19019 cost between 23,000 and 30,000 USD.
Prices for watches with the ref. 19028 with a pyramid pattern on the bezel and bracelet sit at approximately 30,000 USD.
You can expect to make a significant leap upward in expenditure if the bezel, dial, and/or bracelet are set with diamonds or other gems. The ref. 19168 on an Octopus bracelet is the front-runner here, demanding prices of up to 180,000 USD. The watch sports diamonds on the dial, bezel, and individual bracelet links.
The Day-Date Oysterquartz 19018/19019 in Detail
Timepieces with the reference numbers 19018 (yellow gold) and 19019 (white gold) are the most common Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz variants. Thanks to features like a fluted bezel and a clean dial with fully written-out days of the week at 12 and the date at 3 o'clock, these watches are immediately recognizable as Day-Date models. However, the tonneau-shaped, slightly angular case and integrated bracelet make it clear that this is no "ordinary" Day-Date.
It's rumored that the case design of the Day-Date Oysterquartz originates from the pen of star designer Gérald Genta. Given its indisputable resemblance to the Royal Oak and Co., the rumor isn't entirely unjustified. However, the connection has never been confirmed. The Day-Date Oysterquartz also wasn't the first watch to feature this case design. Rolex had utilized this shape two years earlier for the Oyster Perpetual ref. 1530 and Datejust ref. 1630. However, both these watches were produced in such small numbers and for so short a time that they were quickly forgotten.
The Oysterquartz refs. 19018 and 19019 come with an array of different dial colors. If you prefer something classic, take a look at the sunburst dials in black, white, champagne, or blue. If you want something more exotic, you may fancy a watch with a wooden dial, for which Rolex employs mahogany, walnut, or birch, among others.
Prices for the 19018 and 19019
Yellow gold models with the reference number 19018 tend to be somewhat more affordable than their white gold counterparts with the reference number 19019. A 19018 with a white dial costs approximately 12,600 USD on Chrono24, while the white gold variant will set you back about 15,400 USD.
With other dial colors, the yellow gold edition costs around 17,300 USD, while the white gold model requires an investment of between 23,000 and 30,000 USD.
Oysterquartz Ref. 19028 With a Pyramid Bezel
The Day-Date Oysterquartz 19028 is essentially identical to the 19018, but with a slight twist: The bezel is not fluted but features a pyramid pattern instead. This pattern is carried over onto the middle links of the bracelet, thereby lending the watch a unique look.
Just like the 19018, the Day-Date Oysterquartz 19028 is available with a black, white, or champagne-colored sunburst dial, but adds textured and gold to the range of dial options.
Depending on the model, a Day-Date Oysterquartz 19028 in good condition costs between 24,800 and 29,900 USD.
Day-Date Oysterquartz with Diamonds
Nine of Rolex's twelve Day-Date Oysterquartz references shine in a very special way: They're refined with diamonds. This how the reference number 19038, for example, immediately sets itself apart from the 19028. The former features diamond hour markers, and there are twelve more diamonds on the pyramid-patterned bezel that correspond to the diamond hour markers on the dial. The price point for this watch sits at around 10,000 USD.
Timepieces with the reference number 19048 are the diamond-studded variants of the ref. 19018, replete with diamond indices and a diamond-encrusted bezel. Plan to spend approximately 26,000 USD on this watch.
The real star of the line is the so-called “Octopus” ref. 19168. This Day-Date Oysterquartz model features baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel, as well as a baguette-cut gem on every middle link of the bracelet. There is also a brilliant-cut gem with a conical setting on each of the outer links. The Day-Date Oysterquartz Octopus is extremely rare and highly-coveted by collectors, making it by far one of the most valuable watches in the collection. In September 2022, prices for this timepiece ranged from 120,000 to 180,000 USD on Chrono24.
The Oysterquartz Caliber: In a League of Its Own
The Day-Date Oysterquartz is powered by the caliber 5055 from 1977. Together with its twin, the caliber 5035 (which only features a date function), this is the first and only quartz movement developed and produced by Rolex. Using the legendary Swiss quartz caliber Beta 21 as a guide, it took engineers at Rolex five whole years to build the movement. The Beta 21 was developed in 1972 by the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), a consortium made up of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Omega, IWC, Rolex, and others. Rolex incorporated the movement into the reference 5100, known as "The Texan," but neither the watch nor the movement met with much success, and they were discontinued shortly after release.
One of the disadvantages of the Beta 21 was its size. To accommodate the movement, "The Texan" required a rather globular 40-mm case, which was not only enormous for a watch of that era, but also a far cry from the elegance of the then typical Rolex Oyster case. That's why Rolex developed the caliber 5055 based on the automatic caliber 3055, the movement inside the "normal" Day-Date. Simply put, Rolex replaced the barrel with a battery and the balance wheel with a quartz crystal and stepping motor combination. The gear train and pallet fork, however, remained more or less untouched. In addition, a temperature sensor was added to keep the frequency of the quartz crystal constant during sharp temperature changes, thus ensuring optimum performance. The movement therefore functions as a chronometer at almost all temperatures, a fact confirmed by the Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, the COSC. For a quartz watch, this means a maximum deviation of +/- 0.2 seconds per day.
As with all Rolex calibers, the bridges and plates on the 5055 are finished with Geneva stripes and other decorative elements. This lends the caliber an elegance not seen in other quartz movements. Unfortunately, as typical of Rolex watches, the movement is hidden from view by a metal case back.