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The Turn-O-Graph is perhaps the most unusual and misunderstood of the Oyster Perpetual line, and most certainly one of the coolest!
The line dates to approximately 1955, when the designers at Rolex paired a Datejust case with a rotating bezel more commonly found on sports models. The result was the Turn-O-Graph, later nicknamed the "Thunderbird" after being selected by the US Air Force's Thunderbird aerobatics team for its pilots. Although the model never really caught on with consumers (at least not the way standard Datejust models did), it has become a highly desirable model for vintage collectors and one of our favorites.
This example is one of the best that we’ve come across, thanks to the gorgeous and unusual gold Alpha hands. This hand shape is a rarity for a Rolex, and collectors go crazy for them. The matching gold dial and bezel give the watch a chic sporty look, making it a perfect do-everything Rolex.
We've said it over and over again - the Datejust may just be the perfect watch. Coupling perfect proportions, simple dial layouts, and robust movements, Rolex's most prolific model is an icon of timekeeping that has been in continuous production for decades. Let’s face it, the Datejust is all the watch that just about any of us really need.
The beauty of the Datejust is that it is the ultimate do-anything, go-anywhere watch. One part sporty and one part dressy, the Datejust wears just as well with jeans as it does with a suit, and thanks to the signature Oyster case and tough-as-nails movement, it’s ready for anything that you can throw at it.
In production continuously since 1945, the original Datejust was the world's first wristwatch to incorporate a date disc and aperture at 3 o’clock. The cyclops magnifier over the date window was introduced in 1954, and as we all know became a signature Rolex design cue.
Since then, dates at 3 o’clock has become commonplace, and the Rolex cyclops magnifier bubble has become a hallmark of the brand. Datejusts have proudly been worn by presidents, athletes and movie stars (and probably your grandfather), in a testament to how timeless and versatile the watch truly is.
Where so many watches can be a little too big here, or a little to small there, the Datejust is just right, embracing the wrist with its thin and tapering 36mm case. And while recent horological trends have favored large wristwatches, the age of the giant watch is behind us (thankfully), making more reasonably sized watches, like the original Datejust, a pleasantly stylish option that fits the bill.
There's a magic to the Datejust's simple design, a timelessness that speaks to how true style never dies.
Stainless Steel case is approximately 36 mm (excluding crown). Rolex Reference 1625. Circa 1964.
Overall condition: Case is in excellent original condition with only light signs of normal wear. Original dial is in excellent condition throughout. Gold Turn-O-Graph bezel is in excellent condition. Original Alpha hands are in excellent condition. Original case back and signed crown. Replacement non-magnifying crystal.
Includes one brown leather strap with unsigned steel buckle and two nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.