Rolex Turn-O-Graph 'Thunderbirds'

Rolex Turn-O-Graph 'Thunderbirds'

 1960 Rolex Thunderbird Datejust

A watch worn by death-defying, daredevil pilots.

First and foremost, it’s hard to believe this ad is almost 60 years old.

Its a reasonable assumption that when a watch is being advertised, it means that said watch is available for sale. Then again, this is Rolex we're talking about- and as the old adage goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

So what’s the deal? The story goes that in 1959 Rolex presented 18k gold Datejusts with a rotating “Turn-O-Graph” bezel to members of the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds - The world’s first supersonic precision demonstration flying team.

It’s unclear how many (if any) were made available to the consumer public with the team’s insignia printed on the dial, but it appears that Rolex chose to use an actual pilot-issued Thunderbird Datejust for their advertising campaign.

Rolex has spend decades building the impression that their watches are the real deal- the timepieces chosen by the most extreme people for the most extreme environments. By advertising with a timepiece targeting such rarified air as the Thunderbirds, Rolex sought to inspire the average consumer with dreams of daring adventures and ambitious acts.

For what is advertisement if not a call to inspire us to dream?

Framed with entire ad page floating, mounted on dark grey background. Solid wood black frame.

About our collaboration with Ad Patina

We're thrilled to be collaborating with our longtime friends at Ad Patina to bring you an exclusive selection of rare vintage watch advertisements curated specifically for Analog/Shift!

Scouring the world for forgotten marketing treasures, Ad Patina's raison de être very much mimics our own - to hunt down these wonderful bits of history, preserve and restore them as needed, and share them with an enthusiastic community.

These documents of horological history have entered the watch collecting conversation as the ultimate accompanying accessory, and have found themselves framed in homes and offices around the world. Every one of these wonderful pieces is a genuine, vintage advertisement that has been professionally mounted and framed with UV resistant glass to ensure years of enjoyment to come - no reprints or reproductions here!

Much like a traditional piece of art - a painting or photograph - an original watch advertisement can be appreciated for its design as well as for its power to evoke nostalgia.

Something we vintage watch enthusiasts know all about!



Framed Dimensions: 13" W x 16" L -- 33cm W x 40.6cm L

Ads are professionally framed with UV-resistant glass and acid-free materials for preservation.

Frames come with wire on back for easy hanging. Felt pads are also affixed to back of frame to protect your walls from getting scratched.

All vintage advertisement orders ship from Ad Patina HQ in Chicago

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