1980s Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz ref. 17000
Featuring a stylish ’70s case with integrated bracelet, the Oysterquartz is an odd relic of the quartz crisis era, during which even the mighty Rolex experimented with the new quartz technology that was wreaking havoc on the mechanical watch industry.
Instead of going downmarket, Rolex used the Genta-inspired sporty design language of the time and introduced an all-new case style to showcase its new technology – a design choice that was loved by some, hated by others, and undoubtedly an eccentric choice for Rolex.
This particular example, reference 17000, dates from 1980 and features a bright white dial, topped by applied Roman numeral markers rather than the usual printed ones. The real attraction of this timepiece lies in the exceptional condition of the dial and its oyster case.
Equipped with its smooth bezel, signed bracelet and clasp, crown and sapphire crystal, it’s a fine example of one of the strangest periods in Rolex history. Its simplicity is endearing, but its case is extravagant.
Although revisited, it retains all the emblematic appeal of the Datejust, with its perfect proportions, simple dial and robust movement. Both sporty and dressy, the Datejust can be worn with jeans or a suit.