The Air-King is Rolex’s tribute to the aviation exploration of the 1900s. The currentmodel Air-King has a few design elements that make it one of the more unconventional and unique models offered by Rolex. The particular use of color stands out first, and the green and yellow combination is not found on any other Rolex models. The dial is a unique combination of the classic Explorer 3, 6, 9 numerals and two cockpit instruments which Rolex created for their partnership with Bloodhound SSC Project. The different colors and five-minute demarcations on the dial match the cockpit instruments.
Rolex Air-King History
The Rolex Air-King was introduced to the market in 1958, but like so many other current Rolex models, its lineage can be traced back many years prior. The 1930s mark a period in history of air exploration and aviation achievement. The Houston Expedition took place in 1933 wherein Sir Douglas Douglas-Hamilton and David McIntyre piloted an open-cab plane over Mt. Everest for the first time. A second expedition over Mt. Everest took place one year later, and both times a Rolex watch was used for timekeeping onboard. The release of the Rolex Air-King pays homage to these two and the many other expeditions of this time. The earlier models of the Rolex Air-King bear a resemblance to the Rolex Explorer with a similar 3, 6, 9 numeral layout. This dial layout helped to make the Explorer especially legible, and the thought-process was the same for the Air-King. Rolex distinguished the Air-King models from the Explorers by adding “Air-King” on the dial under the Rolex logo. This layout is still a characteristic that the Rolex Air-King and Explorer share to this day.
What makes the Rolex Air-King so desirable?
Among the “time-only” watches that Rolex currently offers, the modern Air-King has a charm about it that the others just seem to be missing. Maybe it’s the old-school font of the “Air-King” text that matches the original model? Perhaps the pops of green and yellow that are not present in any other Rolex? Or the funky dial layout? In reality, there is not one characteristic that sets the Air-King apart, but it is rather all of these elements put together. It harkens back to a bygone era of excitement and exploration, and collectors get to experience a small portion of that when you wear these pieces.
Why buy pre-owned Rolex Air-King and Other Watches
Due to the high demand of stainless-steel sports model from Rolex, is it becoming increasingly difficult to find the current Air-King model in authorized dealers. As such, the pre-owned market is the best place to shop for any of the modern Air-King models. There is also a wide variety of vintage models, of course on the pre-owned market, that can be had for bargains. If you are looking to add an Air-King to your collection, modern or vintage, Watchbox’s global inventory is the best place to start your search!