Rolex Turn-O-Graph Thunderbird History from an Online Pawn Shop
Rolex is a timeless watch that symbolizes wealth, status, and luxury.
The unique feature about Rolex is that behind every dial and bezel lays a story. One model that caught our eye is the Thunderbird model. The Thunderbird has a unique story that dates back to the 1950's, when it was specially designed for the US Air Force Thunderbirds.
To understand the Thunderbird model, we need to look at its origin first. In 1945, the Date Just model was born. It gets its name because it was the first wristwatch that had a date function. This watch became very popular and in the 1950’s, Rolex out did itself by coming out with a new version of the Date Just called the Turn-O-Graph. This watch had a rotating bezel that you could turn, which differs from most Rolexes because they all had stationary bezels. The Turn-O-Graph became notorious as it was awarded to US Air Force pilots returning from war.
The tradition of Air Force pilots and Rolex watches dates back to the start of WWII.
Rolex watches became extremely popular among Royal Air Force pilots and they were willing to pay the price for this prestigious watch. Unfortunately when the pilots were captured and sent to POW camps, their Rolex watches were confiscated. News of this quickly traveled to Hans Wilsdorf, the creator of Rolex, and he offered to replace all of the watches that were taken and did not require the pilots to pay him until the end of the war. The pilots who wanted their watch replaced had to write to Hans, explain their circumstance, and say where they were being held. As the number of requests for watch replacements grew, so did the morale among the pilots in the POWs. This proved that Hans did not believe the Nazis would win the war. American servicemen soon heard about the relation between British officers and Rolex while being stationed in Europe during WWII. This was the beginning of a new relationship for Rolex and the US Air Force.
Shortly after the US Air Force was established, a special unit designated to air demonstrations was created called the “Thunderbirds”.
The Thunderbirds were stationed in Arizona. This unit of the Air Force was designated for aerobatics, because of this the planes were thoroughly decorated in red, white, and blue allowing them to be viewed easily in the sky. Another unique feature of these planes was that their high speeds allowed them to cross the sonic barrier, which created a loud roaring noise much like thunder.
The Rolex Thunderbird model was specially made for the US Air Force Thunderbird unit. The Thunderbird model was given to Air Force Pilots returning from war as an honorable gift. To wear this model was a symbol of respect and honor towards the US Air Force and their long history with Rolex watches.
Rolex watches are made to perfection and are itemized by people all over the world. If you would like to buy a Rolex Thunderbird from Pawntique, an online pawn shop or see what else we have to offer, check out our storefront on Max Pawn where we are selling the Rolex Thunderbird.
Post by Don BattisDon Battis
is the CEO of Pawntique.