Rolex Turn-O-Graph: Multifunctional Dress Watch
With the release of the Turn-O-Graph in 1953, Rolex brought their first ever tool watch to market. More recent models are a perfect mix of the elegance of the Datejust and the sportiness of diving watches. All models have potential as investments.
The Simplest Stopwatch Ever
Rolex unveiled the first Turn-O-Graph in 1953 under the reference number 6202. This watch was the first watch series to feature a rotating bezel, and was in production for around 12 months. Although the name is a combination of the words "turn" and "chronograph," this model doesn't actually have any chronograph functionality. The watch's black aluminum bezel made the ref. 6202 a novelty; it preceded the Submariner by about a year. This makes the Turn-O-Graph Rolex's first real tool watch. With its black dial, dot indices, and Mercedes hands, you might mistake the original ref. 6202 for a Submariner at first glance.
Rolex integrated subsequent Turn-O-Graph references into the Datejust collection. These models stand out on account of their fluted bezels, which also function as a diving scale. From this point on, the timepiece fuses the elements of both a dress watch and tool watch. The moderate case size of 36 mm makes it a great choice for anyone wanting an elegant timepiece with a diving scale. The distinctive features of the most modern generation with six-digit reference numbers are the dark red second hand and red date display. Depending on the exact reference and production period, you can choose from Turn-O-Graphs in stainless steel, yellow gold, or a two-tone mix of the two materials.
All models are outfitted with in-house Rolex calibers. More recent releases are powered by the caliber 3135. This movement can also be found in the Submariner Date, Sea-Dweller, and Yacht-Master. The manufacturer ceased production of the Turn-O-Graph in 2011.
Turn-O-Graph models are great financial performers. The stainless steel ref. 116264 with a white dial increased in value by almost 50% between September 2020 and September 2022, rising from around 5,700 to 8,500 USD.
Reasons to Buy a Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph
- Rolex's first real tool watch
- Moderate 36-mm case
- Stainless steel and two-tone versions
- Accurate chronometer-certified, in-house movement
Price Overview: Datejust Turn-O-Graph
|Reference||Price (approx.), value appreciation*||Material, caliber|
|6202||33,000 USD, +17%||Stainless steel, A260|
|116263||10,000 USD, +26%||Stainless steel and yellow gold, 3135|
|116261||9,600 USD, ±0||Stainless steel and rose gold, 3135|
|116264||8,500 USD, +49%||Stainless steel, 3135|
|16264||6,200 USD, +47%||Stainless steel, 3135|
|16263||6,200 USD, +23%||Stainless steel and yellow gold, 3135|
|1625||5,800 USD, +36%||Stainless steel and yellow gold, 1570|
|1625||5,000 USD, +15%||Stainless steel, 1570|
|*between September 2020 and September 2022|
How much does a Datejust Turn-O-Graph cost?
At the time of writing in September 2022, one of the most affordable Turn-O-Graph models was a pre-owned ref. 1625 in stainless steel. You can buy this vintage watch for around 5,200 USD. If you opt instead for the yellow gold version, prices will rise to around 5,800 USD. Modern versions such as the ref. 16264 come with the caliber 3135. One of these Turn-O-Graph timepieces in stainless steel costs around 6,300 USD. The two-tone ref. 116263 from the last generation combines stainless steel and yellow gold and is also a popular choice. Expect prices around 10,000 USD. The original ref. 6202 is extremely rare, and pre-owned watches in good condition demand an investment north of 33,000 USD.
About the Turn-O-Graph Ref. 6202
In 1953, Rolex launched the ref. 6202 and marketed it as the "simplest stopwatch ever." The timepiece differs significantly from the variants presented later within the Datejust series. In fact, the model has all the ingredients of the Submariner introduced in 1954: a black dial, dot indices, and Mercedes hands. However, the count-up bezel was not intended to measure dive time. Rolex instead advertised the model's bezel as a tool to time phone calls, conferences, and the like.
The first Turn-O-Graph ref. 6202 was made of stainless steel, and like the models that followed, measured 36 mm in diameter. It is powered by Rolex's in-house caliber A260. Depending on the timepiece's exact condition, you can expect prices to come in between 24,500 and 43,000 USD. In September 2022, the average price for the ref. 6202 was roughly 33,500 USD.
Turn-O-Graphs in the Datejust Collection
The Turn-O-Graph has been part of the Rolex Datejust collection since 1954. Before ceasing production in 2011, Rolex presented an array of different references and variants. You can choose between models made of stainless steel, gold, or two-tone timepieces in stainless steel and gold. If you compare the original ref. 6202 to the later models, you'll notice that the latter are much more opulent. This comes down to the silver or gold dials, applied indices, and fluted bezels. One feature that remained consistent, however, was the count-up scale, which gives the watches a sporty flair. The manufacturer paired all models with the popular President bracelet.
You can buy the ref. 1625 in stainless steel or as a two-tone timepiece. The dials come in silver, black, or gold, depending on the exact version. The watch features either applied bar indices or Roman numerals, again depending on the exact model. The Roman numerals are applied on some versions and printed directly on the dial of others.
Inside the case, you'll find the Rolex caliber 1570. This movement has a balance frequency of 19,800 A/h. Unlike the A260 used in earlier versions, the 1570 has a balance stop. The power reserve is 48 hours.
Expect to spend around 5,200 USD on a pre-owned stainless steel Turn-O-Graph ref. 1625 on a steel bracelet. If you're interested in the two-tone version, you'll need to have closer to 6,200 USD on hand.
Turn-O-Graph With the Rolex Caliber 3135
On the surface level, the newer models, refs. 16263 and 16264, look very similar to the ref. 1625. Inside the case of the former wristwatches, however, you'll find the in-house caliber 3135. This movement has a balance frequency of 8,800 A/h and a power reserve of 50 hours.
The Turn-O-Graph ref. 16263 is a two-tone watch and, like it's older siblings, comes in numerous dial colors: gold, silver, black, blue, or white. Some even have thin vertical stripes, giving them what is known as a "tapestry dial." As for the indices, you can choose between dials with bar indices, Roman numerals, or applied Arabic numerals. The most elaborate dials feature gold square indices, which are set with diamonds.
Expect to pay around 6,200 USD for a pre-owned example on a two-tone bracelet. Models in mint condition featuring rare dials can demand up to 10,000 USD.
If you prefer more modest designs, take a look at the ref. 16264. The case and bracelet are made of stainless steel, while the dial comes in black, silver, blue, or white. Some of the silver dials are also tapestry dials. The indices are similar to the two-tone variants. You'll need to have roughly 6,500 USD on hand to call one of these timepieces your own.
Turn-O-Graph: Last Generation
The last Turn-O-Graphs were produced until 2011 and have six-digit references: 116261, 116263, and 116264. While the first two are two-tone variants, the ref. 116264 is made of stainless steel. You will still find the Rolex caliber 3135 inside all models, however, these watches boast an updated design. The fluting on the bezel has been refashioned and now looks more like the Datejust. The manufacturer also gave these watches a striking red second hand and red date display that contrast starkly with the white dial. You can pair the timepieces in this generation with either a President bracelet or Rolex's Oyster bracelet.
The ref. 11621 is the first model in this series to be crafted from a blend of rose gold and stainless steel. The dial is available in silver, gold, black, or white. Rolex decided to leave the Arabic and Roman numerals in the past, and exclusively outfits the three six-digit Turn-O-Graph references with applied bar indices.
As of September 2022, prices for a new rose gold ref. 116261 come in at around 9,600 USD. If you're interested in the yellow gold ref. 116263, plan to spend around 10,000 USD. The stainless steel ref. 116264 is slightly more affordable at around 8,500 USD.