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AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS/Rolex

Rolex Turn-O-Graph Ref. 6202, Rolex Milestones

11.18.16

Rolex Milestones: 38 Watches That Shaped History, Lot 804

First released in 1953, the Turn-O-Graph was designed as the precursor to the 'tool watch', such as the Submariner. At the time, the model was truly different from anything that was offered on the market.

The newly introduced rotating bezel, calibrated to 60 minutes, allowed for accurate timekeeping. While reference 6202 was not the first Rolex wristwatch to carry a rotating bezel (the honor goes to the elusive Zerograph), it was the very first serially produced reference to feature one. The rotating bezel itself is a very important advancement as it inspired successors such as the Thunderbird and GMT-Master.

Turn-O-Graphs were released with different dial configurations, such as the gilt lacquer or honeycomb variant. Initially, the GMT-Master and Submariner overshadowed the Turn-O-Graph. Due to the model's unpopularity, the 6202 reference ceased production early and limited examples were manufactured. Consequently, examples such as the present watch are incredibly rare today.

JOHN GOLDBERGER’S OPINION

One of my favorite aspects of this watch is the attractive black lacquer dial, which is still very glossy in its finish. The gilt graphics are incredibly clear, and the numerals have aged with orange patina, which match the original gilt hands and lollipop seconds hand. The bezel insert is original and has a lot of character. As with Turn-O-Graphs of the period, the luminous index at 6 o'clock is brighter than the other radium numerals. Rolex most likely designed this to enhance readability. The bracelet is furthermore from the period, stamped for the second quarter of 1956.

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