Trying On A 1977 Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz — Plus Zenith And Timex Team Up With Fashionable Non-Watch Partners
It’s just an ideal pairing — my 1980s cricket jumper that I bought in Guildford, together with RJ’s 1977 Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz ref. 17013 in steel and gold. My word, what a perfect vintage set. Whoever still thinks that quartz watches have no soul, please look again. I like the watch because of its edgy shape and, yes, also because it’s the icing on the cake — the cherry on top of my outfit, I mean. And since I put the Oysterquartz on my wrist with style in mind, I might as well stay in the watch/fashion vein. The Zenith × Fusalp and Denham × Timex collaborations are two new partnerships between watch and fashion brands, a continuing and growing trend. In this edition of Coffee Corner Watch Talk, it’s okay to admit you carefully pair your watch and outfit before you head out in the morning. I do anyway.
Don’t expect a lengthy epistle about the history of the Rolex Oysterquartz. You will just have to make do with some quick facts and nice-to-know stuff, plus the pictures Nacho took, of course. What I found very interesting is that the watch’s muscular, edgy looks are very modern. If Rolex were to reintroduce the Oysterquartz in a slightly updated case, it would be an instant competitor in the very competitive segment of luxury sports watches with integrated bracelets. It would be giving the Genta-designed market leaders a run for their money. Speaking of Gérald Genta, the Oysterquartz does look a lot like a Genta design. But is it?
Trying on a 1977 Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz
According to respected Rolex scholar James Dowling, the predecessor of the Oysterquartz was indeed a Gérald Genta design. Dowling believes that it was Genta who was responsible for the Beta 21-powered Rolex ref. 5100 (also known as “the Texan”), the Crown’s first quartz watch. But our own Brandon Baines doesn’t agree, as you can read in his article about Rolex’s “Nautilina”. What is also interesting is that the first Oysterquartz debuted in 1977, and Rolex only stopped producing these watches — which came in several variations but all with an in-house quartz movement — in 2002.
RJ’s Rolex Datejust Oysterquartz ref. 17013 in steel and gold is outfitted with the caliber 5035, a chronometer-certified quartz movement that came out in 1977. The movement includes 11 jewels and a 32khz oscillator, and it took Rolex five long years to develop. There was also a Day-Date version at the top of the Oysterquartz pyramid. All iterations are stunning watches because of their angular-meets-round shape that later served as a source of inspiration for the Tudor North Flag. Furthermore, none of the Oysterquartz models have lost their appeal over time.
And the good thing is, if you also believe that quartz watches have a soul, the vintage Oysterquartz is not as unreachable as a golden oldie Perpetual model. I found a particularly nice two-tone Oysterquartz ref. 17013 with a gold dial on Chrono24 for €5,400, but prices start even lower than that. Could you fall in love with a vintage quartz Rolex?
Zenith × Fusalp: Unisex on skis
The Zenith Defy Classic Skeleton Fusalp comes in two versions. The black ceramic version (€9,700 / US$10,000) is limited to 300 pieces and the white ceramic (€10,700 / US$11,000) iteration will come out in 100 pieces. Fusalp is a high-end French label that produces skiwear for men and women. And the brand’s French origin is made visible by the ring in blue, white, and red around the outside of the dial. Well, a new open dial that allows a view of the Elite automatic high-frequency movement with a power reserve of 50 hours. The design of the dial shows the universes of the two collaborating brands. There’s the signature five-pointed star of Zenith, but it now also shows a snowflake. The dial is full of depth and contrast. Apart from the French colors, there’s also a rose-gold-colored lower open layer that draws attention.
A capsule collection with a trick up its sleeves
The rubber strap of the Zenith Defy Classic Skeleton Fusalp shows elements inspired by the clothing capsule collection designed by Fusalp exclusively for this collaboration. That brings me to the Fusalp-tailored skiwear for men and women that was specifically designed around the new watches. The effortlessly chic highlight might well be the Fusalp × Zenith ski jackets that literally have a trick up their sleeves. The storm cuff of the sleeves features a zippered opening, designed so that you can comfortably wear and view your watch between the outer shell layer and the soft, fine-knit fabric underneath.
This collaborative collection debuts in Zürich during the opening of the new Fusalp boutique in November. For more information about the collaboration, please go to the official Zenith website.
Denham × Timex Waterbury Automatic 42mm: Look Edward, that watch has scissorhands
The black Denham × Timex Waterbury Automatic 42mm (€250 / US$279) is a must-have for all watch and denim fans with the first name Edward. The second collaboration between American watch giant Timex and Dutch artisanal denim maker Denham is a reimagined classic Waterbury watch. I did expect a denim strap like the one I have on my Oris × Momotaro Divers Sixty-Five. Instead, the 42 × 12mm watch does come with an Italian denim pouch with printed lining. But the strap is a leather one with an alligator pattern.
“Very Denham”, of course, are the Super-LumiNova-treated steel hands in the shape of the denim brand’s scissor logo. Is that look too gimmicky? Maybe not for avid Denham wearers, but maybe it is for Momotaro adepts; you be the judge. Inside the watch beats an automatic 21-jewel Miyota 8215 movement with 40 hours of power reserve. You can have a look at this undecorated movement through the transparent case back, which also shows the Denham logo and the brand’s philosophy, “The truth is in the details.” Find out more about the exclusive Denham × Timex Waterbury Automatic 42mm watch online and in stores.
Did you see anything you like that might fit your style? I bet it’s the 1977 Rolex Oysterquartz ref. 17013. In any case, have yourselves a lovely and stylish (watch) week.
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