Often dubbed the "Warrior Watch," the Rolex Air-King's history is rooted in the legacy of British Royal Air Force. Rolex created the collection of Air watches to provide RAF pilots with reliable tools that could be easily read and withstand the rigors of combat. The Air-King, Rolex’s most popular Air model, was one of Rolex’s longest continuously manufactured models. It’s highly praised by collectors and fans of the brand alike for its elegant simplicity and its battle-proven toughness. Buying a Rolex Air-King watch means owning one of the most significant models in the brand’s history. Browse our diverse collection of exceptional used Rolex Air-King watches for sale.
Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf, created the Air series to honor British Royal Air Force heroes. The Air series consisted of a number of models including the Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, Air-Giant, and Air-King. Of the models in the collection, the Air-King first launched in 1945 with the Reference 4925. Rolex specifically created the model with pilots in mind. Today, the Air-King is the only remaining model from the Air series that continues to be in production.
The Air-King’s success over other models in the Air series is a result of its no-frills design and its heritage. It notably features no date window, 100-meters of water resistance, a screw-down crown, and chronometer certification. One of the most iconic Air-King models is the Reference 5500 which launched in 1957 remained in production for an impressive 37 years. Rolex created the model with an array of dial choices, some of which are extremely rare. One example is the double red, which features the words “Air-King” and “Super Precision” in red. Models like this have since become highly sought after in the pre-owned watch market.
In 2014, the brand retired the beloved model, but just two years later revived the iconic Air-King with a totally new design. The Reference 116900 boasted a 40mm case, “Superlative Chronometer” certification, and a complete overhaul of the dial. With a history spanning nearly a century, it’s clear that the Air-King has the endurance to withstand the test of time.
Video: Rolex History
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Selling Your Rolex Air King Watch
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