ROLEX OYSTER QUARTZ 'POWER KING' LUEL MAGAZINE APR. 2015
It goes without saying that Rolex has one of the most loyal customer groups in the world of marketing, which has made only a handful of Rolex models become discontinued. Oysterquartz models, run by battery-powered quartz movements, are one of those handful few that disappeared into history without proper attention from the market despite its performance and design.
When we look into the history of Swiss-made quartz watches, "Beta 21" comes up as the very first quartz movement developed in 1970 jointly by 20 Swiss brands under the umbrella of Swiss Watch Association. From Patek Phillip to Bulova, different brands began to release watches carrying the same heart into the market.
As the new era of quartz watches opened up, mass production of movements made it possible to lower manufacturing cost, while prices of the watches themselves remained pretty much unchanged. Customers was not quite complaining about it either, but rather satisfied with the quartz movements for their precise time-keeping functionality.
PATEK PHILLIPE REF.3597-3 with BATA 21
Oysterquartz models first appeared on the official Rolex catalog in 1977 and retired in 2003. It was the first and last quartz watch from the Oyster line-up. As quartz-based Rolex models were intended for a niche market they did not attract much attention from the market - customers saw little need to choose a quartz watch from Rolex over hundreds of other brands making quartz watches.
But inside of the Oysterquartz is a whole different story. Its 50XX Calibre Series, developed 100% by Rolex's design and technology, was characterized by its long battery life and movement capacity comparable to the Perpetual automatic movement. In addition, 50XX revealed full-bodied mechanical beauty thanks to the 'Geneva Stripe' finishing.
Cal.5055 for Datejust
To top it all, 50XX was qualified with COSC which made it nothing short of one of the best quartz movements of that time, something far from plastic-based quartz movements like Ronda.
In the domestic market (In Korea )Oysterquartz watches are underrated as 'electronic Rolex' and available in the second hand market for relatively reasonable prices.
But collectors beware: there is a risk of changing the entire movement if it becomes broken.
NOSTIME VINTAGE WATCHES