While Rolex is best known for its mechanical timepieces, the company produced quartz movements as well. Contrary to common belief, quartz movements by Rolex were not an "afterthought" induced by the market evolution. As a matter of fact, Rolex had been working on quartz movements well before 1970, the year that saw the first Rolex quartz watch. The earliest forays of the company into this field date as back as the early 1950s with a first patent granted in 1952. Rolex subsequently decided to join other prominent watch manufacturers in the development of the Beta 21 calibre, released in 1970, but then opted to pursue an in-house quartz movement, which was embodied in 1977, after five years of research and design, in a Datejust version (cal. 5035) as well as in a Day-Date version (cal. 5055), exemplified by the present lot. Both of these quartz calibres are recognized as among the most beautifully finished quartz movements ever produced by any manufacturer, rivaling even modern competitors in terms of movement elegance and beauty. The two versions were discontinued in 2001, with the last examples being sold in 2003. Since then, Rolex has not produced any other Oysterquartz timepieces.
The present ref. 19018 represents the rare occasion for the Rolex connoisseur to become the owner of an extremely well preserved Oysterquartz specimen, furthermore blessed by the highly attractive black lacquer dial enhanced by the diamond indexes.