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Watchuwant is now WatchBox! Subscribe for the best luxury watch content. Ah, the Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph 116264...You're looking at the missing link in the Rolex evolutionary tree. As the first rotating-bezel Rolex and the first Rolex sports watch to be adopted by pilots, the Rolex Turn-O-Graph was the middle step between the Oyster Perpetual of the pre-WWII era and the Rolex professional watches of today. This Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph is a striking tribute to the original 1953 model, and it's more than just a trivia king; it's a military homage. Also known as the Rolex "Thunderbird," the Turn-O-Graph was adopted as the official watch of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron during the 1950s. As the Air Force equivalent of the U.S. Navy's equally illustrious "Blue Angels," the Thunderbirds were global ambassador's for U.S. military power at the height of the Cold War. The Rolex Turn-O-Graph was an official service-issued component of the Thunderbirds' flight gear, and the Rolex-USAF relationship was touted in the company's contemporary advertisements. So close was the link between the Thunderbirds and the Turn-O-Graph that Rolex was authorized to employ the squadron's images in its promotional material and imprint the logo of the unit on the dials of limited edition Turn-O-Graph models. Today, the Rolex Datejust 116264 captures the classic elements of the 1950s original. Its fluted 18-karat white gold bezel is a bidirectional rotating unit that can be used as an impromptu timing tool, and the burly shoulders of the device give this 36mm watch far more wrist presence than a standard Datejust 36mm. A dial in matte anthracite is highlighted by applied white gold baton indexes and artfully integrated slashes of red. True to its Ike-era inspiration, the Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph boasts a red center seconds hand that acts in conjunction with the iconic calibrated bezel. A single line of red printed text and a high-contrast red date numeral (also period-correct) complete the standout colored elements. Rolex's 36mm stainless steel Datejust Oyster case wears like a standard 40mm watch thanks to robust lugs and a sporty three-link Oyster bracelet. A matching milled clasp opens and closes with a satisfying mechanical "snick," and its 5mm "Easylink" permits tool-free micro-sizing to find the perfect fit. Inside the Rolex Oyster case, a COSC chronometer-grade Rolex 3135 automatic caliber keeps the beat for would-be stunt pilots. The movement is the same unit found in the Submariner and Sea-Dweller, so its sports watch credentials are Ace level. See this outstanding 18-karat white gold and stainless steel Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph in high resolution images with a full factory boxed set on: https://www.thewatchbox.com/watches/rolex Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/watchbox/ WatchBox Reviews Channel: https://www.youtube.com/WatchBoxReviews Video and content by Tim Mosso.