Rolex Beta 21 18k Solid Yellow Gold 'Texan' Quartz Ref.5100
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One of Rolex’s more pioneering ventures into horological technology, this Rolex ‘Texan’ Beta 21 Quartz (Reference 5100) makes for a stunning wear with a unique story behind it that explains the watch’s rarity and collectability.
Although all of the original 1000 of the Rolex Beta 21 ‘Texan’ watches were sold before production even began in 1970, their legacy survives to this day in the form of beautifully preserved examples such as this. The watch was Rolex’s maiden venture into quartz movement watches, the Beta 21 movement being the powerhouse behind the unparalleled accuracy (+/- 5 seconds/month) of this timepiece. Many renowned Swiss watch houses including Omega, IWC and Patek Philippe collaborated on the design of the then-revolutionary compact quartz movement that would go on to appear in many Swiss watches in the 1970’s. Rolex’s pioneering design saw advances not only in the back of the watch however; the watch is Rolex’s first to use a sapphire crystal glass, a quick-set date function, a pallet wheel seconds hand and a hacking feature for accuracy whilst setting the watch; this watch was ahead of its competitors at the time and represented a cutting edge advance in horological technology.
The solid 18k yellow gold 39mm case that was designed to house the large Beta 21 movement quickly earned the nickname ‘Texan’ for its bold definition and chunkier dimensions remains in superb condition, with practically no evidence of even cosmetic wear to the naked eye. The faceted yellow gold bezel adds a warm lustre to the watch’s face and, together with the sunburst dial, makes for an aesthetically pleasing texture which catches the eye. Partially encased within the bezel lies Rolex’s first sapphire crystal complete with a date Cyclops above the wheel at 3 O’clock. The crown, with its quick-set date function, is set into the side of the case at the 3 O’clock position as well. This watch includes a full bracelet as well as a spare solid 18k gold link (original to the watch).
In line with the all-gold case, the watch’s dial features a glamorous set of raised gold baton index hour markers with a large Rolex crown at the 12 O’clock position. The hour index markers are divided by further index markers into 2 minute sections which are then further divided into 20-second intervals, creating a sleek, reflective and bold dial with a deep gold glow to it which oozes luxury and is unique to these models.
Having released only 1000 of these watches at the annual Baselworld watch fair in 1970, Rolex has promoted a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness to these watches since their conception, one which definitely lives on. ‘Texans’ are revered among collector’s for their value not only as a beautiful, daring and bold venture into the quartz market but also for the rarity and significance captured by each one of these watches which has survived.
- Model ref: 5100
- Year: 1970
- Warranty length: 12 months
- Box and papers: VWS case
- Movement type, calibre and jewels: Beta 21 (Quartz), 13j
- Case: 18k Solid yellow gold
- Dial: Gold coloured
- Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
- Bracelet: 18k Gold, solid links
- Width (w/o crown): 39mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Wrist size: Full bracelet link set + spare link