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1953 - Present (not consistently produced)
The "Thunderbird" nickname originated during the 1950s, when pilots in the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird squadron started favoring Rolex watches with rotating bezels, and sometimes even received them as special recognition awards. Rolex took full advantage of this marketing opportunity and released a special series of Datejust watches fitted with rotating bezels and the Thunderbird’s logo printed on the dial The "Thunderbird" nickname applies to any Rolex Datejust watch that is fitted with a rotating bezel. Today, a Datejust with a rotating bezel is branded as a Turn-O-Graph; however the Thunderbird nickname lives on, and all Datejust watches with rotating bezels are affectionately called "Thunderbirds" by many members of the Rolex collecting community. To browse additional watches for sale visit our Pre-Owned Rolex Datejust watches for sale.
Eric Clapton, Michael Collins, Rikki Rockett
A rotating bezel (bidirectional) with a 60-minute scale - made from either stainless steel with an aluminum insert, or solid gold (depending on the year of production).