The initial Oysterquartz models, including the ref. 17013, were launched in 1977, the same year a new generation of mechanical Datejust emerged.
The ref. 160XX series was released to introduce an upgraded Perpetual movement, the Cal. 3035, which brought the high beat 28,800vph frequency to the men’s range for the first time.
Rather than try and reinvent the wheel with the electronic caliber that was to sit inside the quartz Datejust models, the Cal. 5035, Rolex’s engineers based it very much on that traditional mechanism.
So elements like the gear train and pallet assembly from the Cal. 3035 were carried over, and the entire escapement, except for the pulse motor, were identical.
Unusually for Fake Rolex UKthough, the quality of the finishing was far higher than the more industrial style their movements typically receive. The rhodium-plated brass bridges were given beautiful chamfered edges and Côtes de Genève striping—a benefit of having a far lower production run and so more time to lavish on them.
What it all amounted to was one of the most advanced quartz movements yet created. The 3,600vph, 11-jewel caliber was among the first thermocompensated examples, able to regulate the frequency of its crystal’s vibration to offset changes in ambient temperature.
Its technology was also streets ahead of just about anything else being produced, and it was almost unbelievably precise.
Rolex Replicatraditional watches had long worn the ‘Superlative Chronometer’ tag issued by the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. To do so, their mechanisms had to keep to an accuracy of -4/+6 seconds a day. The requirements for quartz were far greater than that, at +/-0.2 seconds a day.
For the first 18 months the brand didn’t submit any of their new models for certification, but after continuing to work on the Cal. 5035 (and the Cal. 5055 in the Day-Date), altering the quartz crystal in the oscillator to a tuning fork shape, the COSC found the movements to be able to keep within +/-0.07 seconds a day.
Even by modern standards it is massively impressive and the movements were so far ahead of their time they are still serviceable by Rolex technicians today.
It makes the Oysterquartz models easily the most accurate watches Rolex has yet produced, and something nigh-on impossible to beat with a conventional movement.