Underestimated Luxury Watches: The Rolex Turn-O-Graph

In this version of our range check the underestimate watch, let’s take a look at the Turn-O-Graph. It has long been overshadowed by more representative stable partners, but in recent years (paradoxically) it has gained a certain reputation precisely because it has long been at a disadvantage in the Rolex replica lineup. Collectors with drawers full of familiar crown watches eventually turned their attention to lower-key, anonymous products and snapped up a marginalized watch from what is arguably the world’s best-selling and most popular luxury watchmaker with a genuinely novel value that sets them apart.
Introduced in 1953, The Turn-O-Graph was the first Rolex watch with a rotating ring. In fact, the concept had been around for decades, with the original patent granted to Philip Van Horn Weems, an American naval officer, and inventor, in 1929. Since the mid-1930s, the concept has been effectively applied to the replica watches of many pilots. Rolex itself created a prototype with this feature in 1937, called Xerography, which is the brand’s only ever counter chronograph.
Turn-O-Graph has always been a useful component for a variety of applications, with its novel bezels relegated almost immediately to second-tier status because of (another irony) poor scheduling. During Rolex’s true golden age, it was bad luck that also saw some legendary names such as submarine, GMT-Master, explorer, and date.
While it may have beaten out the first two ideas of spinning around, both the dive watch and the traveler’s watch have a distinct identity, which is missing from Turn-O-Graph. Even more unfair is that the first model is almost identical to the submariner in appearance.  rolex
As a tool watch, its performance was surpassed by Sub and the GMT, and it was not as elaborate or sophisticated as the President.
The ref. 6202’s contest ended in late 1954 with only about 1000 pieces. They include a small number of honeycomb dials, as well as steel and gold dials, making them the brand’s first Rolesor sport replica watch. Its replacement, ref. 6309, marks a complete departure from the Submariner -style book that became part of the Datejust family.
Internally, the first Cal. 743 was replaced with the Cal. A260 to drive these features. Interestingly, however, there is no name for Turn-O-Graph. That said, the bezels- now a new type of decorative painting known as “engine turn” – can still be rotated and marked every 5 and 10 minutes, instead of every minute as before.
In the era before digital timing, the turn-o-graph innovative spin loop was the easiest and fastest way to measure elapsed time, so it was expected that it would eventually be used in military applications. Soon after, a ref. 6309 found itself on the wrist of a pilot from the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, nicknamed Thunderbirds. Because minute and second timing were crucial to the world’s first supersonic aerobatic team, the Turn-O-Graph was quickly adopted by the unit and became their official timing tool.