History of the Rolex Air King

Air King History & Interesting Facts

Often dubbed the “Warrior Watch”, the Rolex Air King is a magnificent watch. Rolex Air King history is quite robust and covers many years. It is one of the simplest Rolex watches out there – and is beloved by its followers because of such simplicity. Similar to a battle-ready veteran, the Air King lacks the bells and whistles of other models, and instead has a very practical look and feel. Case and point, John McCain was known for his Rolex Air King. The history of the Rolex Air King is quite extensive.

The British Royal Air Force (British RAF) were regarded as heroes in the 1930’s – and rightfully so. These men flew countless missions, and in the face of such danger – triumphed in spite of overwhelming odds and meager aircraft. Discarding their standard issued, low quality watches, these brave pilots instead used the Rolex Oyster Perpetual religiously in their missions. Once word of this reached the founder of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf, he was so pleased that he chose to honor these heroes by creating a dedicated line of manual wind Oyster watches that were fit for the sky.

While this line was in existence before the war, Rolex started producing bigger watches and gave them names such as “Rolex Air Lion”, “Rolex Air Tiger”, “Rolex Air King” and even “Rolex Air Giant”. As these names suggest, people at the time thought the air-line to be large watches. However, it is interesting to see the evolution of such perceptions, as a 32-33 mm diameter dial is no longer considered a large watch. However at the time, it was considered grandiose. In the end, most of this line never became popular with the general public. However, Rolex decided to continue a single model within this line, the “Rolex Air King”.

Rolex continued producing the Air-line of watches, but it was the Rolex Air King which remained popular well into the 1960’s. The thing many Rolex enthusiasts appreciate about the Air King is its (i) simplicity and (ii) history. While it is simple, it can come in many forms – which gives enthusiasts all the more pleasure in wearing and collecting their Rolex Air King. One of the most iconic Air King models is the Air King 5500. The Rolex Air King 5500 history covers 37 years. For a majority of these years, the Rolex Air King 5500 was left untouched and was considered to be a classic and very coveted model.

The Rolex Air King is currently one of the longest continuously manufactures models within Rolex. It is also one of the lowest priced models – further evidence of its battle tough practicality. The history of the Rolex Air King price, is quite simple. It is one of the most affordably priced Rolex watches. This watch is the personification and living legacy of those brave, tough, simple yet courageous fighter pilots of the 1930’s.

Air King Watch Images

Rolex Air King Mens Stainless Steel Ref. 14000

Rolex Air King Mens Stainless Steel Ref. 14000

Rolex Air King Mens Stainless Steel Ref. 14000M

Rolex Air King Mens Stainless Steel Ref. 14000M

Rolex Air King Mens Stainless Steel Ref. 114200

Rolex Air King Mens Stainless Steel Ref. 114200

Resources

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Famous Wearers of Air King Watches

Jim Courier Rolex Air King Ad

Famous tennis player Jim Courier appears in this Rolex ad for the Air King, among other models

John McCain Rolex Air King

John McCain is known for always wearing his Rolex Air King

Jennifer Anniston Rolex Air King Picture Perfect

Jennifer Anniston wore a Rolex Air King in the movie "Picture Perfect"

Air King Prices at Auction

Rolex Air King 1400 Domino's

ROLEX, AIR-KING, REF. 14000 STAINLESS STEEL AUTOMATIC BRACELET WATCH, MADE FOR DOMINO'S PIZZA CASE T566871

Sold by Christie's on 02-06-2010 for $3,062 USD

Rolex Air King 1400

ROLEX, "AIR-KING PRECISION" REF. 14000

Sold by Christie's on 03-12-2008 for $1,944

Reference Numbers

Air King

4365, 4925, 5500, 5501, 5506, 5520, 6500, 6552, 7784, 14000, 14000M, 14010, 14010M, 114200, 114210, 114234

Air King Date

5700, 5701

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