The Air-King dates back to the mid-1930s when Rolex made a series of watches specifically for pilots, supplanted in 1945 by the first Air-King. At that time it was a relatively small 34 mm watch, and it remained in the Rolex catalogue until 2014. This year it has been relaunched, at Baselworld 2016 in Switzerland, with a 40mm steel case and a dial design that is far closer to the pilot’s watch genre than all the previous Air-King models, which had baton hour markers and the Rolex crown at 12 o’clock. The new Air-King has applied white gold numerals at 3, 6 and 9, and an applied triangle at 12 o’clock. The triangle and hands are coated in Rolex’s proprietary luminous paint Chromalight.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King
Inside, the self-winding Calibre 3131 movement has all the features of Rolex’s watchmaking technology, including the anti-magnetic Parachrom hairspring and escapement. The movement is COSC-certified, and then the entire watch is tested by Rolex’s in-house Superlative Chronometer Certification that examines precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding efficiency. The watch attains a precision of -2/+2 seconds per day, about twice better than the precision certified by COSC. The Certification is accompanied by a 5-year guarantee.
The new Rolex production building in Bienne, Switzerland
The case provides 10 bar water resistance, 100 metres in water, meaning that you can keep it on while swimming and showering. Inside, a soft iron inner case forms a Faraday cage protecting the movement from magnetic fields. The solid-link steel Oyster bracelet includes the Easylink rapid extension system that enables the user to easily increase bracelet length by about 5 mm. www.rolex.com