Launched in 1953 and discontinued in 1960, the Rolex Turn-O-Graph had a fairly short period of time in which it was available on the markets. This wasn’t due to any technical problems, however; it had merely been overshadowed by the immense success of the Rolex Submariner and other similar models.
When the Turn-O-Graph was initially released, it was marketed as an adventure watch. The earliest model featured an A.296 movement and had a depth rating of 165 feet, though a collector would be lucky to find a vintage Turn-O-Graph with the depth rating engraved on it. The name of the watch was originally engraved in very fine print below the 12 but was eventually engraved in more prominent writing above the 6. The original Rolex Turn-O-Graph was the first timepiece to ever feature a beautiful rotating bezel to measure the elapsed time, another attribute that makes it highly sought after by collectors across the world. Its dial exhibited a versatile appearance with round, luminous markers on all the hours except for the 3, 6, and 9, while a triangle marked the 12 o’clock position.
Soon after its release, the movement of the vintage Turn-O-Graph was replaced by the more precise A.260 movement and the pencil style hands were replaced by the popular Mercedes style hands. These improvements significantly increased the selling rate of the beautiful wristwatch. Sadly, the introduction of sports watches decreased the popularity of the Rolex Turn-O-Graph and even its improved subsequent models.
The modern version of this model, known today as the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Turn-O-Graph, is similar to the discontinued vintage model, though a few advancements had been made. The current model displays the date at the 3 o’clock position. Similar to other current Rolex models, the Turn-O-Graph now has a depth rating of 330 feet and is self-winding. It also features a standard 36mm case and a beautiful Rolesor body—a body that is a combination of steel and either yellow gold, white gold, or everose gold. Consumers can also choose between a Jubilee bracelet and an Oyster bracelet, though the majority of customers choose the Jubilee. Buyers can also choose between a slate dial, black dial, white dial, and silver dial. A rotating fluted bezel is a common feature for the modern model.
Today, collectors are constantly on the hunt for the vintage and stylish Oyster Perpetual Datejust with the Turn-O-Graph bezel, often going to great lengths just to acquire such a magnificent and charming timepiece.
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