Rolex Two-Tone Datejust Turn-O-Graph "Thunderbird" - 1986

Rolex Two-Tone Datejust Turn-O-Graph "Thunderbird" - 1986

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 particular example dates to 1986 and features the iconic Rolex steel and gold two-tone coloration pattern which is once again becoming tremendously popular.  With a sharp case and nearly flawless dial, handset, and rotating bezel, this is a supremely desirable example of a rare (and in our opinion, undervalued) vintage Oyster Perpetual.  Just.  Killer.

For more information on the history of the "Thunderbird", check out this piece we did for DreamChrono, HERE.


Two-Tone Steel and Gold Oyster case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown).  Rolex reference 16253.

Overall condition: Case is in excellent condition over all, with fat, (very!) sharp lugs and no noteworthy blemishes.  The dial, hands, and bezel are entirely original and in nearly-new condition.  Original signed crown.

Includes one 20mm leather strap and two premium nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

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