Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph "Thunderbird"

SKU AS04063
Article Number 40920210
SKU AS04063
Article Number 40920210

Why We Love it

Why We Love It

While there are many vintage watches that have bonafide aviation pedigrees, very few are associated with an elite flying unit like the Thunderbirds.

Except this watch: the Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph.

Launched the year before the Submariner, the Turn-O-Graph was, in many ways, the manufacture’s first tool watch. Rolex intended for it to be a substitute for a chronograph, which—as a wristwatch with a complication—was generally more expensive than a time-only watch. In lieu of a chronograph, Rolex intended for the bezel (which Rolex called the "time-recording rim") to be used to record elapsed time; by aligning the arrow of the turning bezel with the minute hand, the wearer could quickly keep a count of the passing minutes.

Understandably, Rolex marketed the Turn-O-Graph to business travelers and pilots. At the time the Turn-O-Graph was released, the GMT Master—that epitome of a pilot’s watch—was still a few years from existence. Therefore, in lieu of a dedicated pilot’s watch, many pilots turned to the Turn-O-Graph as a solid alternative.

In 1956, Rolex released a new reference of Turn-O-Graph: Reference 6609. This model would differ drastically from its predecessors. Unlike the previous models, which but for the bezel would be virtually indistinguishable from the Submariner, the Reference 6609 was built around the 36mm Oyster case used in the Rolex Datejust.

Rolex would offer this new reference of Turn-O-Graph to the Thunderbirds, a squadron of the U.S. Air Force known for acrobatic demonstrations and experimental flying techniques. Formed following the Second World War, the Thunderbirds were unquestionably one of the most elite units in the Air Force. Its pilots were the best of the best, and their planes—the F100 Super Sabre, the first fighter used by the United States that was capable of supersonic speed—were the creme de la creme.

So iconic was this association that Rolex used the name Thunderbird to designate all subsequent Turn-O-Graphs sold on the American market; such is the case with the Reference that followed it, the 1625.

This particular example is a fairly rare configuration, featuring a steel case, white gold bezel, and a scarcely seen matte black dial. Showing light patina and wear throughout, this is an exceptionally compelling vintage Rolex, packing a huge punch in an understated way.

If you know, you know.

The Datejust Story

We've said it over and over again - the Datejust may just be the perfect watch.

Coupling perfect proportions, simple dial layouts, and robust movements, Rolex's most prolific model is an icon of timekeeping that has been in continuous production for decades. Moreover, the Datejust is all the watch that just about any of us really need

The beauty of the Datejust is that it is the ultimate do-anything, go-anywhere watch. Equal parts sporty and dressy, the Datejust wears just as well with jeans as it does with a suit, and thanks to the signature Oyster case and tough-as-nails movement, it’s ready for anything that you can throw at it.

In production continuously since 1945, the original Datejust was the world's first wristwatch to incorporate a date disc and aperture at the 3:00 position. Since then, date windows at 3:00 have become commonplace, and the Rolex cyclops magnifier bubble has become a hallmark of the brand. Datejusts have proudly been worn by presidents, athletes and movie stars (and probably your grandfather), in a testament to how timeless and versatile the watch truly is.

While recent horological trends have favored larger sporty wristwatches, the age of the giant watch is drawing to a close, making more reasonably sized watches like the original Datejust, a pleasantly stylish option that fits the bill in every setting.

There's a magic to the Datejust's simple design, a timelessness that proves that true style never dies. 

A:S Guarantee


Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.


Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.


We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns


All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph

Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph "Thunderbird"

Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph


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