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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 Air-King pays homage to these two and the many other expeditions of this time. The earlier models of the 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 Air-King and Explorer share to this day.
Characteristics of the Air-King
Over time, the Air-King has maintained a simple, clean look until 2007 when more colors and iterations of the Air-King were introduced. This timepiece withstands high altitudes and is anti-magnetic, a unique quality to the watch. It uses Rolex’s 3131 movement, which is the same movement used in the Milgauss. Because the Air-King is a pilot’s watch, it must be able to withstand magnetic flight instruments.
Manufactured In: Switzerland
Style: Casual, Dress
CASE & DIAL
Case Size: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Dial Color: Black
Hours Markers: Arabic Numerals
Case Shape: Round
Water Resistance: 100m
Complications: Hours And Minutes, Seconds
Strap/Bracelet Material: Stainless Steel
Band Color: Silver
Buckle Type: Folding Buckle
Originally Purchased December 2017
Very Good - Some light scrapes to band
7” x 0.75” x 1.75” (Width x Depth x Height)