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Old 18 April 2008, 10:04 AM   #1
lorsban
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Rolex Air King 114200 SASO

Hey guys,

Finally got my new AK! Here's what I think, in case anyone's interested...

Rolex Air King Silver dial, arabic numerals, domed bezel:

Price:

About $3,400 - it's a quality watch but you have to think that it's got a lot to do with the brand than for cutting edge tech or materials.

Size:

34mm - the case width is practically the same as my datejust which means you need some kind of measuring tool to really tell the difference. From lug to lug though, it's shorter than the datejust. But they share the same thickness from what I can tell. Right now, it's the smallest watch I have. It looks tiny next to my Breitling SuperOcean.

Size was a big issue for me but honestly, I'm liking how it looks on my wrist. It looks right. By modern standards, it would be considered small but I see this more as a fashion thing since back when the Air King was launched 32-33mm watches were considered normal or even big - there were big guys back then too and I'm only 5'9" so I'm no giant. Anyway, I still have those bigger watches for those times I'm feeling "insecure." haha!

Weight:

I'm not sure exactly how much it weighs but it feels heavier than the datejust most probably due to the fact that my old watch has a jubilee bracelet, while this has a solid oyster bracelet. I like how it feels on my wrist more than the datejust. It's the combination of the weight and that smooth oyster bracelet that makes it feel really comfortable to wear.

Design:

Plain, simple, classic. It's a no-nonsense watch that goes with anything. This is what I wanted. I looked at the Tag Heuer Carrera and Omega Aqua Terra along with the Air King. On line they all look good but I made my decision based on the belief that the Rolex came first when it comes to that style.

Good thing too, since when I tried the Tag on, it looked like it was a notch down in terms of build quality. The Omega, however was a close runner up but I didn't like that it was styled flashier. Again, I didn't want a flashy watch.

Box:

Ok, they could've done better in this department. I was expecting something more like the box that my datejust came with which looks really good. This box looks kinda cheap with that plastic wave design thing on top. Minor issue I guess, since I didn't buy this for the box. Still, I wouldn't mind a smaller box as long as it was designed tastefully.

Luminescence:

This watch has very good night time visibility. What else can I say?

Summary:

I was hoping to round-out my watch collection with a simple go anywhere, do anything type of watch and I believe I found it with the Air King. I was concerned with the size but I now realize it's not an issue. I wouldn't wear something smaller than this, though. It's very comfortable on the wrist, I think it's the most comfortable watch I have right now in terms of weight and bracelet design.

Practically, the only things that would bring this thing down would be the price and the box design. I think it could be priced cheaper. $3200 would be right. But I guess resale value and the fact that I might use this the most, more than makes up for it. I follow the simple price:utility ratio when I make an investment. I think the use I'll get from this watch covers for the price I paid for it.

As for the box, it looks cheap. I used to have a Tag Heuer that came with a better box. But in the end, it's the watch that matters most and I foresee this as being my main watch for a very long time.

regards,

lorsban
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Old 18 April 2008, 10:13 AM   #2
GMTJOHNNY
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I love my 1991 Air King and wear it on casual business days. It is a great time keeper! My sister has my father's AK and I got this one to remind me of him.
Simple, elegant, and very functional!
Good luck!
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Old 18 April 2008, 03:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Pics would have been nice!
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Old 18 April 2008, 09:39 PM   #4
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AK1.JPG

AK2.JPG

AK3.JPG

I apologize for the poor quality. I'm pretty bad at taking pictures and I took these with a camera phone.
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Old 20 April 2008, 11:19 AM   #5
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Here are some comparisons:

AKcomparison1.JPG

AKcomparo2.JPG
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Old 20 April 2008, 12:08 PM   #6
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Very thorough review! Helpfull for anyone who is considering an Air King as a purchase and Rolex owners in general. Thanks for the SxS photo next to the Datejust. I know what you mean about the box. Ever buy an Apple product? From iPods to iMacs, they make opening the box as much of an experience as using the product. Many could learn from them for the "initial customer experience".
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Old 20 April 2008, 01:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for the review and the pics
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Old 20 April 2008, 05:07 PM   #8
lorsban
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Here's a clearer pic:

AK&DJ.JPG
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Old 20 April 2008, 09:01 PM   #9
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Great review and pictures. What a classic look on the Air King. Wear it in good health The last set of pictures turned out much better than the phone home ones

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Old 20 April 2008, 09:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
I know what you mean about the box. Ever buy an Apple product? From iPods to iMacs, they make opening the box as much of an experience as using the product.
Like I said, it could stand to be a couple of bucks cheaper. But as it is, I don't mind if they put a little more effort in their presentation. The AK is one of the lowest priced in their line-up but it's still an expensive watch for what it is (a basic stainless steel automatic) and for what it does (tell time).

Quote:
The last set of pictures turned out much better than the phone home ones
You said it. I asked my wife to take the picture this time with a real camera and it came out pretty good. I actually wanted to replace all those other ones but for some reason I can't find the edit button on those other posts.
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Old 27 May 2008, 11:54 AM   #11
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Thanks for the thorough review!!! I posted several weeks ago about a gift from a lodge Brother of a 1991 pristine AK. I LOVE IT!!!! mine has a white dial and full markers. It's truly a gorgeous understated watch. A sharp contrast to my OP TT Date. The OP date also has the white dial, but has the Roman Numerals. It's also a little flashier, and a little more formal.
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Old 27 May 2008, 04:13 PM   #12
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Yeah, I wanted something basic, yet presentable and the AK fits the bill to a "T." I was planning to get the one with a white dial and black numerals, it looks somewhat sportier than the stainless steel model.
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Old 3 June 2008, 04:06 PM   #13
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Nice AK!!!
What's the RRP?
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Old 4 June 2008, 05:25 AM   #14
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Great review and pictures.

I know excactly what you mean. We have just fallen in love with this classy, understated brilliant watch.

Its puristic design communicates clear understatement – and thus shows the owner’s style and exclusivity.

Wear it in good health.


Here a snapshot from mine.


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Old 6 June 2008, 08:27 AM   #15
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Great Review, Watch looks good!
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Old 6 June 2008, 10:18 AM   #16
lorsban
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne_zmh View Post
Nice AK!!!
What's the RRP?
Online prices would be a good enough basis since I find that the (friendly) dealer quotations don't stray far from that. The price I got mine for was pretty close to the one's on www.jomashop.com, which was around $3400.
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Old 6 June 2008, 10:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AIRKING114200 View Post
Great review and pictures.

I know excactly what you mean. We have just fallen in love with this classy, understated brilliant watch.

Its puristic design communicates clear understatement – and thus shows the owner’s style and exclusivity.

Wear it in good health.


Here a snapshot from mine.


Nice pic! It really does the watch justice!
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Old 10 June 2008, 02:27 AM   #18
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I love this model... however, tired it on and alas even if I have all link removed from the band it still much too big... Rolex should offer female bands which are narrow and smaller as in the older model Air-King which I am wearing now... fits perfectly, I even sleep in mine...
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Old 10 June 2008, 02:51 PM   #19
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Hmm...a lot of women are buying the AK (they even have it with a pink dial, pink markers), I wonder why they don't offer smaller straps. If the lugs are the same size, maybe you could swap yours with the new one?
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Old 10 June 2008, 09:19 PM   #20
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my version of the Airking. love it.

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Old 11 June 2008, 01:54 PM   #21
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Very nice, zak98!
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Old 11 June 2008, 10:10 PM   #22
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Thanks for the pics, LB!

Great looking AK!
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Old 13 June 2008, 10:35 AM   #23
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Good thing zak posted his pic. I'm still trying to figure out how to edit the earlier pics so I can post better ones.
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Old 14 June 2008, 02:55 AM   #24
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Expert opinion... as mentioned the new Air King bracelet with the flip top opening is too big... if I purchased a normal Rolex bracelet (the one that opens with one flick) would I devalue to watch? I know clear as mud but I don't know how else to explain the different Rolex bracelets...
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Old 14 June 2008, 10:47 AM   #25
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Quote:
if I purchased a normal Rolex bracelet (the one that opens with one flick) would I devalue to watch?
As long as you keep the original bracelet, you could always put it back in case you sell it.
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Old 18 June 2008, 01:15 AM   #26
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Lorsban... now that you have reviewed the silver dial air king you have got me thinking whether I should get that instead of the white dial... however, I have poor eye sight and find that silver dial watches with silver hands tend to disappear in dim light... do you have any problem telling the time in night light...

All experts chip in with your opinions... White dial more female? Or silver dial more male? Wrist size a mere 15cm and that is would be loose on my hand ...
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Old 18 June 2008, 11:46 AM   #27
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Quote:
however, I have poor eye sight and find that silver dial watches with silver hands tend to disappear in dim light... do you have any problem telling the time in night light...
Hmm...I never really gave it much thought but it seems ok to me. As long as there's a little light, you can tell the time. The silver dial is matte, while the hands are shinny so it contrasts pretty well with the dial. But, the white faced model would probably give you better visibility.

Quote:
White dial more female? Or silver dial more male?
The white one looks more sporty to me, the silver more classy. I think my wife showed me a pic of Jennifer Aniston with an AK like mine, it looked good. If you want it to look more feminine, you can get the one with pink markers. They also have it with a pink dial. I'm not sure though, try them all on and see which suits you more.

By the way, in case you're thinking of swapping bracelets, it would be good to confirm whether the bracelet you want suits this model before you buy.
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Old 6 July 2008, 09:04 AM   #28
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I think it's classy. Thanks for the review.
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Old 7 July 2008, 05:51 PM   #29
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Here's a pic of the clasp for anyone whose interested. For me, it's by far the best designed in terms of ergonomics and deployment.
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File Type: jpg Rolex2700.JPG (28.5 KB, 2905 views)
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Old 9 July 2008, 07:13 PM   #30
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Mine's the same as Lorsban's And I have to say I love it to bits, I've had GMT 's in the past and a submariner but switched for a while to an Omega Planet ocean and I have a cartier tank francais and I have to say my air king is an amazing watch gonna trade in My Cartier for a GMT II
Great pics!!!
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