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A Brief Review of Rolex Turn-O-Graph

A Brief Review of Rolex Turn-O-Graph

The Rolex Turn-O-Graph was launched in 1953 as an adventure watch. Although it was discontinued in the early 1960s due to the immense success of the Submariner and GMT as sport watches that overshadowed this model, it is a fantastic vintage model worth collecting. Today, a similar model still manufactured is the new Oyster Perpetual Datejust Turn-O-Graph.

The Oyster Perpetual Datejust Turn-O-Graph Today

This model displays the date at the 3 o'clock position and features a bi-directional bezel to measure periods of elapsed time. Like other current Rolex models, this model is self-winding and waterproof to a level of 330 feet. Available with a standard case size of 36mm, all current Datejust Turn-O-Graph models feature a two-tone (also known as Rolesor--a combination of steel with either 18k yellow gold, white gold, or everose gold) body. Although the Jubilee bracelet is more common, you also have the choice of going for the Oyster bracelet. The rotating fluted "Turn-O-Graph" bezel is a popular feature in these models. As for dial, you have multiple options such as slate dial, white dial, black dial, and silver dial.

The Earliest Version Of Rolex Turn-O-Graph

The first model numbered as 6202 featured an A.296 movement. Since it was marketed as an adventure watch, it was equipped with a depth rating to 165 feet. If you are lucky enough, you may come across this model with 165 feet engraved on it. This is because very few versions of this model actually bore it, and such a watch has become very collectible. Available with a case size of 40mm, the first model had the name "Turn-O-Graph" labeled on it just below the 12, but in very small print. Subsequently, this was changed into a larger and more prominent font, but this time just above the 6. The most attractive feature of this model was its black rotating bezel measuring the elapsed time. In fact, it was the first Rolex model featuring a rotating bezel--a key innovation noted by history buffs and collectors. While the ten-minute marks on the bezel were of a rounded profile, the minute divisions were of tiny circular shape, all around the bezel. This model also featured a black dial complimenting its black bezel. The dial sported a versatile look with round luminous markers on all the hours with the exception of 3, 6, and 9, which were marked with rectangular indices, while an inverted triangle was used at the 12 o'clock position--a characteristic that has become quite popular today. Subsequently, many other Rolex models carry an inverted triangle on their dials. In the earliest version of the Turn-O-Graph, the hands were pencil shaped. One unique thing about the second hand was a small luminous circle at the tip. Some models in the early 1950s also had the writing "Officially Certified Chronometer" positioned just above the number 6.

The Initial Changes in the Model

By the mid 1950s, Rolex Turn-O-Graph had undergone certain significant changes. The A.296 movement was replaced by the improved A.260 movement. Mercedes style hands were introduced in place of the old styled pencil hands.

The popularity of other Rolex sport watches might have made the Turn-O-Graph models less popular. Today, collectors look for the stylish Oyster Perpetual Datejust featuring the Turn-O-Graph bezel, which is currently produced by Rolex.