Rolex Thunderbird, I Hardly Knew Ye

Sometimes you love a watch. Sometimes you really love a watch. But sometimes the watch just isn’t the one for you. Or at least that’s what you think at the time.

That’s my story with the Rolex Thunderbird. I owned this Rolex DateJust 116264 Turn-O-Graph 36mm Thunderbird with the blue dial for a brief time in late 2017. I loved the blue dial, red sweep seconds hand, red type on the date indicator and, of course, the Turn-O-Graph feature.

Everything was perfect about this watch. It came with all of its boxes and papers intact and was one of the later model 116264 models made. It’s only problem? 36mm.

For some reason, I couldn’t get past the size. And I would later trade this watch in on another blue-dialed watch – one perhaps a little more significant in the pantheon or watch collecting – a Patek Philippe 5960/01G-001 Complications Flyback Chronograph Annual Calendar. Now that’s a proper watch. But I really miss the Thunderbird.

Maybe one day I will get around to doing a review of the 5960 here on And maybe one day I will get around to acquiring a blue-dialed Rolex Thunderbird again. I think I’m ok with 36mm now.

NOTE: This is a back-dated post that took place during my three-year hiatus from Rather than post a new deluge of wrist shots and mini-reviews here in 2021, I’ve decided to use the date the image was taken for the post, in this case January 2018.

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