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Old 9 May 2020, 05:53 AM   #1
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Turn-O-Graph references

I realized I was a bit fuzzy on Turn-O-Graph chronology so I put this together. If I've forgotten anything or gotten the timelines slightly off let me know!

Turn-O-Graph timeline:

1952-1953: Ref. 6202 debuts, the first Turn-O-Graph. While the steel model resembles the soon-to-be-released Submariner, the two-tone model has a gold bezel that most associate with the later "Thunderbird" models. A few 6202's are named "Monometer."

1953-1956: Ref. 6309 ditches the Sub-style bezel in favor of the gold "Thunderbird" one. Full gold is now an option, as is a left-hand crown.

1956-1959: Ref. 6609 is "basically the same as 6309 but with updated 1065 movement (based on the cal. 1030 but with date)" according to adam78. This is the model that sparked the nickname "Thunderbird" because Rolex famously gifted some to the USAF Thunderbirds.

1957: Ref. 6602, a rare Datejust model called the "Transcontinental," is the only Rolex ever made with a 12-hour rotating bezel afaik. My apologies to eyeisman who posted this one here years ago; I was dismissive and assumed it was fake. Some assume 6609 is the correct model number because there is also the entirely different 6602 moonphase. Sotheby's calls it a "6602/6609" but 6602 is what's actually engraved on the case in every known instance. Here's a TRF thread about another example.

1959-1976: Ref. 1625 gets a movement upgrade to the Caliber 1500 series. At first it sports a 1565 movement, with 26 jewels vibrating at 5 beats per second. Starting in 1965, the 25-jewel 1575 movement ups the rate to 5.5 beats per second while increasing the power reserve from 42 to 48 hours.

1977-1987: Ref. 16250/16253/16258 gets a movement upgrade to Caliber 3035, now vibrating at 8 beats per second like modern Rolexes do.

1988 - 2003: Ref. 16263/16264 gets upgraded to a sapphire crystal and Caliber 3135 movement. No more full gold models.

2004-2011: Ref. 116261/116263/116264 got a more modern case, new bezel design, and Caliber 3135. Rose gold + steel is a new option. Small numbers of a special edition with a green seconds hand mysteriously hit Japan in 2011, and a few European AD's a couple years later (though for some reason they have 2005 serial numbers).
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Old 12 May 2020, 03:10 AM   #2
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This thread is pretty lame without pics so:

1952-1953: 6202

1953-1956: 6309

1956-1959: 6609

1957: 6602 Transcontinental

1959-1976: 1625

1977-1987: 16250/16253/16258

1988-2004: 16263/16264

2005-2011: 116261/116263/116264
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Old 12 May 2020, 04:23 AM   #3
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This is brilliant - thank you. I had no idea bout the limited edition version with green date/seconds.
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Old 14 February 2021, 02:20 PM   #4
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Great write-up, thanks!

I just picked up a D serial 116264. Love it.


♛16710 Pepsi, ♛116264 OP DJ 36 Turn-O-Graph, Zelos Thresher GMT Meteorite
- Stan
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Old 14 February 2021, 05:59 PM   #5
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Brilliant thanks for this. Just to add, the 1625 is slightly smaller than the 1601 Datejust and the dial is also very slightly smaller so they’re not easily interchangeable. I was told the plexi is from 15xx models.
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