Rolex Quartz Reference 5100 aka "Texano" - A Casual Journey Through Rolex's Quartz Revolution

Rolex Day-Date Reference 18038: A Glimpse into UAE's Horological Heritage Reading Rolex Quartz Reference 5100 aka "Texano" - A Casual Journey Through Rolex's Quartz Revolution 5 minutes Next Momentum x The Collector's Corner: Icons of the Past

In a world where the word "quartz" often attracts a few crooked looks, envision a moment in history when this term was the most coveted one could only dream about.

Let's dive into the intriguing story of the Rolex Quartz Ref. 5100 "Texano" – a watch that once made the term "quartz" the coolest thing ever. Imagine a time when rocking this on your wrist wasn't about budget statements; it was a VIP ticket, something an affluent Texas oil tycoon would flaunt.Rolex Texano White Gold and Yellow Gold Now, let's explore the captivating history of this unique Rolex timepiece, ready to steal the spotlight again and again.

A revolutionary moment

Let's get back to a game-changing moment in watch history – the birth of the Texano. This is not your everyday watch; it has its roots in a time that was anything but ordinary. Mechanical watches, driven by a 17th-century invention called the balance spring, were ruling the scene until the late 60s, when quartz stepped in changing the game.Rolex Texano 5100 Beta 21Now, imagine the Centre Electronique Horologer (CEH), a group of 20 Swiss watchmakers, including the legendary Rolex. They got inspired by Bulova's Accutron, but the road to revolution wasn't smooth. The Alpha Project faced doubts about the resilience of a quartz crystal in a wristwatch. No problem for the CEH engineers, though – they went on a journey that led to the birth of the Beta-21, a game-changing quartz oscillator unveiled on December 19, 1967.Rolex Beta 21 MovementWhile Seiko's "Quartz Astron" claims the first publicly marketed quartz watch title in 1969, it was the Beta-21 that stole the spotlight at the 1970 Basel Fair. Picture this – over 20 Swiss different maisons, displaying distinctive and funky 70s designs, all sharing a common feature: the first-ever Swiss-Made quartz movement. Forget today's perception of quartz watches; back then, Beta-21-driven timepieces were exclusive, commanding prices that even surpassed a medium-sized car. We are talking about technological artistry at its finest.

The Texano's Overture

The Rolex Ref. 5100, known as "the Texano”, was something new, something opulent and something for the rich. Rolex Beta 21 Texano 51000When it was launched in 1972 was the most expensive Rolex watch in the catalogue, featuring a massive 40mm solid gold case and uniquely design bracelet, which was ahead of its time with the futuristic design. Moreover, it earned a distinction as the first Rolex to feature a sapphire crystal.Rolex Beta 12 Texano 5100 Yellow Gold This timepiece, with its substantial case housing the revolutionary Beta-21 movement, defied trends, becoming a symbol of status and sophistication. It boasted unparalleled accuracy of +/-0.003 sec/day, far away from the typical COSC certification limits. Owning a Texano wasn't just an acquisition; it was owning a technology masterpiece. The production run lasted until 1972 when Rolex decided to develop an independent Quartz movement which then resulted in the Oysterquartz.Rolex Oysterquartz Pyramid

The rarest of all: White Gold

Our first spotlight is on the Rolex Quartz Ref. 5100 "Texano" in white gold. Among an overall production of 1000 pieces in yellow and white gold, the white gold version was produced in just 100 pieces. Rolex Beta 21 Texano White GoldThis makes this version one of the rarest Rolex watches of all time. Its substantial white gold case not only encapsulates the innovative Beta-21 movement but also bears witness to the evolution of Rolex craftsmanship.Rolex Beta 21 Texano 5100 White GoldAs we delve into its history, it's essential to note that the Texano in white gold represents more than a timepiece; it's the ultimate status symbol. Breaking away from the ordinary, this chunky yet elegant creation features a 40mm super-sharp white gold case equipped with a state of the art Quartz movement, a synthetic Sapphire crystal and a quick set date.Rolex Texano Case A nod to luxury and precision, it still bears the sticker on the case back. Rolex Beta 21 Texano 5100 casebackIt is accompanied by Rolex Service Papers and can be safely considered a true collector's delight.

The Yellow Gold Classic: Embracing Timeless Elegance

Shifting our attention to the second star of the show, we are happy to present another Rolex Quartz Ref. 5100 "Texano" present in our collection, this time in yellow gold, perfect to fit larger, Texan Billionaires’ wrists.Rolex Beta 21 Texano 5100 Yellow GoldThis opulent watch was exorbitantly expensive, not only due to the massive gold case and bracelet, but also because of the groundbreaking Quartz technology of the time. Additionally, new features like the sapphire glass and the quickset date further contributed to its luxurious appeal.Rolex Beta 21 Texano 5100If you’re looking for a piece of modern history on your wrist, this is the perfect way to wear the iconic Beta-21 movement within a case that exudes warmth and timeless elegance. Rolex Beta 21 Yellow Gold CaseAccording to public information, only the first 300 examples (in yellow and white gold) were equipped with this 1st Generation bracelet, which in this case remains long and features a clasp dated 02/71.Rolex Beta 21 Texano 5100It was discontinued in 1972 due to a lack of demand, although the initial launch pieces had sold out before the official launch in 1970.

Our Curated Collection In The Heart of Dubai

If you are in the UAE, we invite you to visit our new boutique at ICD Brookfield Place. Here, you can view these two Rolex 5100 watches before they depart for their new future collections.Rolex Beta 21 TexanoAs you witness these timepieces in person, you're not just observing watches; you're stepping into a chapter of horological evolution. Do you know what happened after Rolex discontinued the Texano?Rolex Oysterquartz Pyramid Click here and read our latest article about Rolex Oysterquartz and two super-rare specimens from our collection.


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