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For all of the iconic timepieces Rolex has produced in over a century of watchmaking, there have been a few noteworthy "misses" - watches that, for one reason or another, failed to capture the imagination and open the checkbooks of the watch buying public at at large.
Out of this small but noteworthy collection of oddball timepieces, our favorite is far and away the Turn-O-Graph. Originally released in the 1950s, the Turn-O-Graph was soon nicknamed the "Thunderbird" after being selected by the US Air Force's precision flying team of the same name for its elite pilots. While the original Turn-O-Graphs were based on the standard Oyster Perpetual Datejust case, the added element of a rotating outer bezel gave it a sportier vibe and slightly larger dimensions, which for some reason never really caught on.
Turn-O-Graphs have come and gone from the Rolex lineup several times, each time with hope that a new generation of buyers would finally see the appeal - and each time the experiment has been relatively short lived. Most recently, Rolex released the reference 116264, produced in the early 2000s. Once again, the model was short-lived and went out of production after only a few years.
As with any great oddball product, the Turn-O-Graph has taken on a following from a growing number of timepiece collectors, and today they are finally beginning to catch on to a larger community of timepiece enthusiasts. While the earliest examples are beginning to catch up in value to their "standard" Datejust siblings, modern pieces such as the one presented here are still relatively undervalued, making the reference 116264 a tremendous opportunity.
This particular piece is a steel cased version and is paired with a white gold outer bezel. Its charcoal colored dial sits as a backdrop to polished steel hour markers and red accents on the seconds hand and date wheel, and the balance of brushed and polished elements is complemented by the Jubilee bracelet with hidden clasp - sharp as hell! We had this piece cleaned up and fully serviced, and it is now ready to go. You'd have to look pretty hard to find a contemporary Rolex this cool in this price range elsewhere!
Steel Oyster Case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Rolex Reference 116264.
Case is in very good condition overall, with only very signs of wear from use. Original charcoal dial is in excellent, unblemished condition with polished steel hour markers and luminescent plots. Original hands are in excellent condition. White gold bezel is in excellent condition. Original signed crown.
Includes original steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet with hidden deployant clasp and two 20mm Nylon Straps by Crown & Buckle.