“Iconic” is a great understatement when used to describe the Rolex Turn O Graph watches, which are a large part of the brand’s rich history that spans all the way back to 1953. Of course, today, Rolex has a diverse line-up of watch options that match so many different occasions and needs. For many consumers, the watches from Rolex are considered truly the best of the best. Indeed, the Turn O Graph watch is certainly one of the reasons Rolex has risen to the status that it enjoys to this day.
Rolex Turn O Graph Watches: A Historic Luxury Icon
In the realm of watches, it’s quite rare to hear of a luxury watch that’s so reliable and so functional that it’s earned the acclaim of the military forces of an entire nation. The Rolex Turn O Graph is one of the oldest watches in the Rolex brand and it’s also the first tool watch that was created with a rotating bezel for measuring time and calculating time intervals. It can take a little bit of studying to fully master how its additional functions work, but it can be of great help whenever you need to have a timer with you at all times. In terms of design, being one of the earlier models in Rolex does mean that they mainly sport a more classic and no-nonsense design. This is probably why the design fell out of favor for a few decades in the market until it made its big comeback in the early 2000s.
The Rolex Turn O Graph got so much recognition for its top-tier build quality by the United States army and it became a gift of sorts to soldiers for outstanding service later on. The watch has earned so much love for its functionality and simple but elegant design that when it was reissued, it had even started to bear the name of Rolex Turn O Graph Thunderbird, which was named after the corps. However, Rolex stopped making the Turn O Graph in 2011, which means the remaining pieces available in the market today are the last of its kind.
Prices at a Glance: The Most Popular Rolex Turn O Graph Watches
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph Rose Gold Watch White Gold Bezel
Gold and steel case, Sapphire crystal, Automatic movement, 3135 Caliber, 48h power reserve, 10 ATM water resistance
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph 116261 Weib Index ZB / Jubilee Band
Gold and steel case, Sapphire crystal, Automatic movement, 3135 caliber, 10 ATM water resistance, Rose gold bezel
Vintage Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph Blue Dial 16264
Steel case, Sapphire crystal, Automatic movement, Blue dial, 1995 year of production
How much is a Rolex Turn O Graph watch?
Prices for the Rolex Turn O Graph watches are at a very unique position in the watch collector’s world because it goes beyond the surface knowledge for most retail buyers — which is to just buy it at face value. When it comes to the Turn O Graph, there are also factors to consider, such as resale value and vintage pieces. It’s been a good decade since the company has discontinued Rolex Turn O Graph watches for men and women, which is why a brand new piece can be incredibly hard to find. Although there are stillbrand new pieces on sale, more often than not, the Turn O Graph will be sold pre-owned at a much lower price compared to its brand new counterpart, which can go for upwards of $10,000 USD to $12,000 USD.
For pieces like the Rolex Turn O Graph, the design is pretty much standard where they feature a movable bezel that serves two very specific functions. First, the watch can be used to measure a certain interval of time, while the second is to use it as a timer for almost any purpose imaginable so long as it is measured under an hour. This specific function is exactly why the watch has been so heavily loved by the United States army. The features of the Turn O Graph remain stable throughout the years, which have retained the movable bezel and the only real variation between models is the materials used on the bracelet as well as the colors on the dial. The reason why the Turn O Graph is so well-received as a timeless classic is because the design hasn’t changed since it was first released in the ‘50s right up until it was formally discontinued in 2011.
Despite the sources for brand new pieces to be incredibly scarce, the opposite can be said for the market of pre-owned Rolex Turn O Graph watches for men and women. On average, you can find ones that are still in good condition that are sold at about $6000 USD to $8000 USD. When it comes to variety, there’s a surprising amount of variety among the Turn O Graphs, too, and it’s been found that the most popular timepieces include the Rolex Turn O Graph Blue Dial, which is truly one of the brand’s signature colors as well as the more elusive Rolex Turn O Graph Rose Gold watch, which makes use of a more subtle and relaxed pink-toned gold in contrast to their signature yellow gold options.
Although the common trend for pre-owned pieces are generally much lower than the brand new ones that are still available in the market, the prices are sure to close in their gap eventually and they will surpass their purchase value for those looking to invest in luxury watches.
Vintage Rolex Turn O Graph Watch: Is it a Good Investment?
The Rolex Turn O Graph is definitely slowly making its way into the status of a good Rolex vintage watch, especially after being officially discontinued in 2011. Most older models from its beginning era are still at the lower price ranges, save for the pieces that are of a special edition or have some sort of specific historical value. For the most part, vintage Rolex Turn O Graphs can still be purchased at relatively low prices that range from about $5,000 USD to $7,000 USD. It’s always a good rule of thumb to remember that the resale value is most likely going to dip before it actually starts to go up.
In a nutshell, the vintage Rolex Turn O Graph is a pretty solid investment if you’ve got the time to spare or perhaps the luck to snag yourself a piece that was made earlier than the 1990s.
The History Behind The Rolex Turn O Graph
The Rolex Turn O Graph is definitely one of the most underrated pieces in the extensive catalogue of Rolex luxury watches. It also has one of the most interesting backgrounds to it that most luxury watches can’t really say they’ve achieved for themselves. The Rolex Turn O Graph watches for men were first launched in the early 1950s and not only did they boast the company’s signature immaculate build quality, but it also featured a rotating bezel which was quite the innovation at the time. They added a whole new functionality to what most would just be considered to be used for telling the time.
The rotating bezel is used to measure intervals of time as well as be used as a timer for various events. It put a whole new meaning to the concept of being smart with the time, which is why it was used by the United States army for a good long while due to its simplicity and unwavering build quality. It also earned a lot of love and respect by becoming one of the first well-known Pilot watches, thanks to its rotating bezel function which became the crowning glory of the Turn O Graph.
However, as the brand started coming up with more varied designs that took on a lot more widespread popularity, the Turn O Graph’s own prestige shrank and its loyal circles became a very select and very specific group of consumers. In terms of design, the Turn O Graph was given the respect it deserved by completely being able to maintain its key features without any added nonsense. It is one of the rare pieces that could say that it stayed true to its roots seventy years ago. The Rolex Turn O Graph watch has remained to have the design features that composed of a steel casing, a calendar, and its rotating bezel.
5 Reasons To Buy A Rolex Turn O Graph Watch
1. The Rolex Turn O Graph watch is a piece of history.
One of the most unique qualities of this watch collection is that it’s earned the nod of the United States army, which has used it to award soldiers for outstanding performance. This watch has been used by people who’ve defended the freedom of others.
2. A vintage Rolex Turn O Graph watch is always a great investment.
For watch collectors and investors, this watch is in a unique position to be sold at a premium in the future and you should totally take advantage of its low resale prices today.
3. The rotating bezel is a function that is hard to find.
The rotating bezel is a complex feature but is one that will pay off when you finally get the hang of it. It’s a reliable tool for various situations and the original design can only be found in the Rolex Turn O Graph.
4. It falls under the more affordable watches of Rolex.
This is definitely one of those get-it-while-it’s-hot situations where although the Turn O Graphs are discontinued, there’s still quite a big market for sellers of pre-owned pieces at relatively affordable prices – especially in the realm of Rolex watches which typically cost an arm and a leg.
5. They aren’t going to be made ever again.
Despite Rolex’s best efforts, the Turn O Graphs are discontinued for good and they’re never going to be made again. The future pieces from Rolex are never going to have the features that made the Turn O Graph so distinct and why they had their very specific following. Owning a Turn O Graph now is a good chance of having something that is one of a kind.
Rolex Turn O Graph: A Classic and Understated Choice
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a history buff and you’re also into collecting watches, the Rolex Turn O Graphs are probably one of the best fits for your collection. It’s a watch that screams the classic and understated prestige that is the Rolex brand and if kept in good condition through the years could be worth even more at a resale value. All in all, getting a Turn O Graph is a great choice on all fronts and it’s never going to be a purchase you’ll regret.