Discover more about the Rolex Air-King
Buy Rolex Air-King watches new, vintage and used
The Rolex Air-King is one of the oldest series of Rolex. It is regarded as a entry level model and convinces with a simple design at an affordable price point. Originally it had been developed as part of the Air series for british pilots during the Second World War, which they especially appreciated because of the 35mm, for that time, a large housing.
For a long time the Air-King remained unchanged. To this day, it has remained faithful to the original design from the 1950s, but has undergone several technical innovations and updates. For example, with the release of the current 116900 model at Baselworld 2016, the case diameter has grown to 40mm. Visually, their recognizable value remains unmistakable, even the "Air King" lettering on the dial of the current collection takes over the original font of the 1950s.
The story of Air King
The history of Air King actually begins in the 1930s, when British pilots frequently used Oyster Perpetual wrist watches because of their slightly larger body. Rolex responded to this observation and developed several watches especially for pilots, who were better readable because of a larger dial. In addition to the Air Tiger, there was the Air Giant, the Air Lion and just the Air King; only the latter was continued as a series. The first Air King was introduced in 1945 with the Ref. 4925. Their classic simplicity was also well received outside the aviation circles and the Air King quickly became one of Rolex's most iconic models. Nevertheless, they never lost touch with aviation: airlines such as the luxury airline Pan Am gave their pilots to retire, for example, Air King watches to thank for their services.
For a long time almost nothing changed in the design of the series. In the 1960s, bi-color models made of stainless steel and yellow gold with a smooth and ribbed bezel were added. In 1992, two more stainless steel models with two bezel variants were released.
Production then stopped between 2014 and 2016 to be reintroduced in 2016 at Baselworld as a new designed model with the ref. 116900.
Key features of the Air-King series
The Air-King series convinces with simplicity and high functionality. Pilots have always valued their clean design and the associated good readability. Still, the watch dispenses with unnecessary additions, but the design of its dial has become a bit more conspicuous. The ref. 116900 of the current collection has a distinctive second hand in the same green as the Rolex logo in the upper third. It comes with cambered bezel, on the dial are 3, 6 and 9 prominently in Arabic numerals, the other indices offer as a 5-step orientation for minutes and second hand. It comes with Oyster bracelet and Oyster clasp, which guarantees a perfect fit on each wrist. The automatic caliber 3131 guarantees a precise accuracy, it is certified as a chronometer of superlatives.
Interesting models of the Air-King series at a glance
- The Rolex Air-King 114200 is slightly more eye-catching with its blue dial and contrasting orange numerals. It consists of stainless steel and is at € 3,100.
- The Rolex Air-King 14000 is also made of stainless steel, has a domed bezel and comes with classic stick indices. Price: 3.170 €.
- The Rolex Air-King 14010 M comes with a white dial with Roman numerals and is made entirely of stainless steel. Cost is 3,400 €.
- The Rolex Airking 116900 from the current collection features a domed stainless steel bezel and is equipped with the 3131 caliber of Rolex, a reliable and chic companion for everyday life. The recommended retail price is € 5,650.
More interesting Rolex series
- The Rolex Daytona is named after the eponymous car race at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. With tachymeter display on the bezel, it is not only for racers a useful companion.
- The Rolex Submariner is the classic among diving watches and an absolute icon. Even James Bond showed that she wears both a tuxedo and a diving suit.
- The Rolex GMT Master II is the pilot's watch series from Rolex. It is still associatively linked to the luxury airline Pan Am and, thanks to the display of multiple time zones, it is not only interesting for frequent travelers.
- The Rolex Milgauss can withstand magnetic fields of up to 1000 Gauss without being influenced in their accuracy. Characteristic is her orange arrow-shaped hand, which makes her a special eye-catcher.