Rolex Datejust Ref. 1625 - "Rootbeer Thunderbird"
There are levels to collecting. For starters, this is a solid-gold Datejust which makes it incredibly rare to begin with - Rolex did not make a lot of these so it didn’t compete with its more expensive sibling, the solid-gold only Day-Date. Not only is this one such example of a solid gold Datejust, but this has a bezel that looks more like a Submariner, fashioned from solid-gold - and we call it The Thunderbird.
So What is a Thunderbird?
Luke Air Force Base, 1953: The US Air Force established the Thunderbirds - an air demonstration team. When you watch sporting events, and incredible aeronautical displays of skill put on by the US Government, you are seeing the Thunderbirds take flight. During the 1950s and 1960s, Rolex actually made a number of special order Datejusts for the Thunderbids. These watches had a rotating bezel and a dial that displayed the team's emblem at 6 o'clock. Rolex was so proud of the association, that it had produced advertisements during this period with the "Thunderbird" Datejust proudly emblazoned across. While those models still exist and do come up for sale from time to time, the name ‘Thunderbird’ went on to describe any Datejust fitted with this special ‘turn-o-graph’ style bezel - like the solid gold 1625 we have here.
Fashioned in solid-gold, this example keeps the seemingly perfect proportions of a more traditional Datejust with its 36mm oyster case, brushed lugs, and pie pan dial, but elevates all those attributes to a different level with its awe inspiring root beer colored dial and early ‘‘alpha’ handset. This dial is the same texture and printing as an early 1675 rootbeer and is the only one we’ve ever seen in the style. Truly an anomaly. To find an example of this configuration in good condition is extremely rare in itself, but this piece raises the stakes. It is fitted to a period correct solid 18K Yellow Gold Rolex Riveted Oyster Bracelet. Like we said, there are levels to collecting.
*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting.
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From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.
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